Photo from rabbitsblack.com.
By Rebecca Brooks
Florida pop punk band Yellowcard have just released their self-titled tenth and final album. They are best known for the 2004 single, “Ocean Avenue,” from the album of the same name. They are also known for their incorporation of a violin player in the lineup.
“Yellowcard” is a highly diverse album that blends pop punk with other sounds such as indie rock and folk rock. Each song is a slightly different journey from the last that manages to create a seamless flow.
The opening track, “Rest in Peace,” starts the album on a strong note due to the violin adding lots of color to the song. It also has a good message about learning to forgive someone you love, and moving on from the past. “Got Yours” goes hard from start to finish, the drums truly standing out along with heavy, fast paced guitar riffs.
The song, “A Place We Set Afire,” brings a different sound to the first few pop punk tried and true tracks. It opts for a much slower vibe, carrying a raw and emotional feeling that tugs at the heart strings. The slower feeling carries on with “Leave a Light On,” which just contains vocals, violin and piano.
The rock vibes return in “The Hurt Is Gone,” which incorporates a fantastic and memorable chorus notable for lead singer Ryan Key’s impressive vocal range. The instruments in the background also add to the song’s flavor, making it an easy crowd pleaser. “Empty Street” picks up right where “The Hurt Is Gone” left off, the ending of the latter transitioning into the former. The track shows promise with the opening guitar riff and the funky bass line that follows.
The album takes another turn with “I’m a Wrecking Ball,” which introduces a more folk rock/indie sound that is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons. “Savior’s Robes” adds more contrast, including a heavier punk beginning and sharp transition in the middle that slows things down. With the final track, “Fields & Fences” proves to be a good closer with a beautiful violin fade out that almost works to remind the listener that this is their final album.
Yellowcard utilize many diverse sounds on this album, while still making sure their roots remain prominent throughout. The transitions from one song to the next keeps you on your toes, wondering where it will go next. With how well constructed their final album is, you start to wish it wasn’t.