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Yellowcard’s Southern Air Album
08/11/2012 (rev. 08/26/2012) by
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My favorite rock band of all time Yellowcard released a summer album hit.

It’s freaking good.

Here’s a brief background for those that haven’t followed Yellowcard.  The original Yellowcard was a straight up punk band back in Florida starting in 1997.  Ryan Key replaced the old Yellowcard’s Ben Dobson, and the music shifted from hardcore punk to pop punk.  They left Florida to come to California to record.   Their first real pop punk album was One For The Kids in 2001, and it was a solid hit that laid for things to come.  After heavy touring, they signed with Capitol Records and created their most popular album to date, Ocean Avenue in 2002.  After, they released an experimental album Lights And Sounds in 2005 which was very much different from their pop punk sound as it was more alternative.  It didn’t sit well with fans and newcomers.  They went back to the studio to make Paper Walls in 2006 which slowly goes back to their pop punk roots.  This album was no Ocean Avenue, but it hinted at things to come from Yellowcard.

However, due to various family and personal issues, Yellowcard went on hiatus for 2 years.  In 2010, they came back with When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, and toured heavily promoting it.  This was also in the veins of pop punk, but it still was no Ocean Avenue, lyrically and melodically.  However, it did hint that they were still exploring their sound and still trying to mature with it.  In 2012 this year, we now have the latest album incarnation.  This is going to give you nostalgia back to the days of Ocean Avenue and One For the Kids.

The current Yellowcard lineup consists of Ryan Key (lead vocals, guitar), Ryan Mendez (guitar), Sean Mackin (vocals, violinist), Longineu W Parsons III (drums, percussion), and Josh Portman (bass).

There are 10 tracks on Southern Air, and I like basically all but 1.

1.  Awakening

This was an excellent choice for the first song of the album.  Lyrically and melodically, this is one of my favorite songs on this album.  I love the breaks in the song as well as the pace.  Based on this song alone, you will notice that Yellowcard’s sound is now very layered and is very much vocally driven.

2.  Surface of the Sun

In this song, you can hear the bass kick of the drums be much more pronounce.  The cadence of this song is awesome and is going to be an awesome song to rock out to when you see them live.

3.  Always Summer

So far, the first 2 songs are similar in awesome-ness, and this is no different.  Make this number 3.  The lyrics in this are really catchy, and the sound is going to remind you of Ocean Avenue straight up.  Ryan’s vocals on this really stands out.  The bridge is very epic especially with Sean Mackin’s violin parts shining all throughout the song.  It definitely sounds like a summer song.

4.  Here I Am Alive

The first 3 songs were full of energy, and now they slow it down with this song.  This song sort of reminds me of Hang You Up from their last album, but it’s much better lyrically, vocally, and melodically.  This song guest features Taylor Jardin from We Are In The Crowd (which I’m also a fan of).  I love how her vocals are just providing a support layer for Ryan’s vocals.  It fits nicely and is my favorite song on this album.  The ending of this song has a call and response pattern, and it is awesome with Taylor’s voice in it.

5.  Sleep In The Snow

As we get to the midway point of the album, you can tell this is a “midway point” song.  It’s not great for me, but it’s not bad.  It makes me think of Empty Apartment on Ocean Avenue.

6.  A Vicious Kind

This is my least favorite song on this album.  It has a little of the Breathing strum patterns off of Ocean Avenue.  Lyrically, it’s pretty deep, but melodically I’m not feeling it because it feels like a fill-in song.

7.  Telescope

They redeemed themselves with this song over the last one.  Melodically, I love it when you hear simple guitar picking with violin layers and bass layers.  This one also features guest vocals from Taylor Jardin again, Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low, and Cassadee Pope from Hey Monday.

8.  Rivertown Blues

When you hear this song, you’re going to think of Twenty Three from Ocean Avenue.  Here L.P. (the drummer) really drives the song.  The solo in the bridge is pretty sick too.

9.  Ten

On every album they’ve released in the last 10 years, they’ve always had an acoustic song.  This one is no One Year Six Months, but it holds on its own.  Lyrically, it’s somber and is pretty deep.  Melodically, it’s a bit darker than some of their other songs, but it has a country feel to it.

10.  Southern Air

This song to me is similar to Back Home on Ocean Avenue and is a great ending song to this album.

All I have to say about this album is you get a little more Yellowcard in every single way in this album.  You can hear their full album stream on Youtube.

Welcome back guys.

Visit: http://www.yellowcardrock.com

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