Sound — 10
The sound is very incohesive, but that's okay because it's meant to be taken one song at a time. Much slower than Ocean Avenue, and jazzier than anything they've done yet. When I heard "Gifts And Curses" of the Spider-Man 2 CD, I was like "Wow, what a step in the right direction." Then this CD came out, and it became public knowledge that Ryan Key was leaving; this CD's a closing act for Yellowcard. Let's face it, he writes all the songs. They managed to evolve the sound and still sound Yellowcard-ish, which is very tough to do. As a successor to OA, the album (as a whole) falls flat, but some of the songs blow anything off OA out of the water, namely the title track, Sure Thing Falling, City of Devils, and Grey.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics are typical Key-grade lyrics. Is it still mainstream? yes. Is it still catchy? yes. Is it the same theme as OA? Hell no. The girl this time around (Holly Wood) is more an object of contempt than anything, because they've stuck w/ her for too long. This element taps into simplistic lessons of morality (something not found in Holly Wood). A huge contrast to the lovey-dovey tracks of yore. the only lyrics that really suck are from "Two Weeks From Twenty" but Key didn't write most of that song, so I'll let it slide.
Overall Impression — 10
Honestly, I'm not familiar w/ their cd One For the Kids, but when stacked up to Ocean Avenue, this CD is much more diverse than OA, which was the same song over and over, but w/a different verse. At least I don't have to be in a sappy, lovey-dovey TRL mood to enjoy violin punk-rock. Good job, Yellowcard, and long live Floridian bands (represent).