Sound — 8
The band's sound is somewhat more mature and their biggest addition is that it seems they have fully integrated the violin in their arsenal of pop-punk-emo but Lights and Sounds seems to go much deeper than that. At its first listening like many albums it seems quite ordinary but when you really get into it you're overwhelmed by their talent. As a long time Yellowcard fan, I was a little deceived at first but now I'm totally into this album and can't stop listening to it. The catchy riffs are still there and they're what makes us so addicted to Yellowcard. I was a little disappointed by 'How I Go' which includes a strings section but is not a 'Radio Song' as I could say. Waiting Game, Down on my Head, and Two Weeks From Twenty with its 'Elevator Music Feeling' are some of the songs I like best. Sean Mackin gets also more involved with his violin and you can clearly hear that he's just not that 'Violin Touch' that makes Yellowcard so special. Very good overall!
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics from Lights And Sounds are quite emo but don't really stand apart from their previous albums but there is the story of a girl whose name is 'Holly Wood' which is continued throughout the album and is what I think a criticism of the world of superstars who can get overwhelmed by fame if they don't remember why they do what they do in the first place. Lights And Sounds also gets this issue covered. Yellowcard gets his message through once again and it's not your typical punk-rock-emo album and requires quite a bit of understanding. Ryan Key has done quite a great job with this album!
Overall Impression — 9
I got this album in advance through downloading, that's lame but I'm gonna buy it for sure! I just couldn't wait for it to come out and I was right. Another great addition to any Yellowcard fan's collection. And if you don't know Yellowcard yet, I suggest you listen to Ocean Avenue first, which is easier to listen than this one. I'd say this album is more pop than Ocean Avenue too, there's no big rock hits like Way Away and Ocean Avenue on it, except maybe Lights And Sounds but I guess it'll sell great! The only thing negative I'd like to say is that Yellowcard undoubtedly changed, for good? Who knows! It is nevertheless a great album so give it a try and let yourself in!