Yellowcard's latest effort shows maturity while remaining true to their sound.
Apr 24, 2009
I'm sure most people remember Yellowcard for singles like "Ocean Avenue" and "Only One" off their 2003 release "Ocean Avenue". They have since then released two albums, "Lights and Sounds" and "Paper Walls". The latter was released in 2007, and may be the last thing the band releases (as they are on hiatus as of 4/24/08). If there was an album for these guys to go out on, this was it.
Yellowcard has been rocking out with a violin since the beginning, and on this album they seem to have finally mastered incorporating orchestral music into alternative rock. The violin sneaks in when you least expect it, sometimes providing a nice background riff, and other times leading the song with beautiful strokes. The hard hitting and pop punk sounds that you are used to from Yellowcard are heard on the album, with most songs powering on with solid drums laid down like only their drummer LP can do. He masterfully maneuvers the skins, adding killer beats and technical prowess wherever needed. The lead guitar is handled by Ryan Mendez, a new addition to the band after Ben Harper left the band. The man clearly knows his way around a fretboard, shredding when needed, and making beautiful harmonies on demand. Ryan Key's vocals could not be better, floating ever so lightly over softer tracks, and powering through the harder hitting songs. The use of the piano is heard moreso on this record than their others, and it is a welcome addition. The mixing of the CD is done well, and producer Neal Avron has once again lived up to his reputation.
If you are looking for a solid rock album to listen to that isn't just regurgitated power chords, Yellowcard may be just what you're looking for. With tracks that range from hard hitting to light and airy, Paper Walls offers a dynamic listening experience for any music lover.