Ocean Avenue Acoustic review by Yellowcard

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  • Released: Aug 13, 2013
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.2 (18 votes)
Yellowcard: Ocean Avenue Acoustic

Sound — 6
Pop punk group Yellowcard first captured the attention of a worldwide audience following the release of their 1997 studio album, humorously titled "Midget Tossing"; however it wasn't until seven years later that the band would break into the mainstream with their hit radio single "Ocean Avenue." Yellowcard's interesting choice of instrumentation immediately allowed the alternative rock group to stand out from other bands just merging into the scene, by adding eloquent violin playing to their Weezer-esque punk rock style. And since the release of their now out-of-print debut, Yellowcard have issued a number of increasingly successful studio albums; the last of which being "Southern Air," which debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts.

Yellowcard are now revisiting a number of their greatest hits and fan favorites and this time playing them acoustic style, in case you could not infer from the album title. "Ocean Avenue Acoustic" features thirteen tracks built around the exact same choruses, lyrical delivery, violin playing, bass pounding and drumming that comprised the original renditions, but this time revived with bright acoustic work. There are not too many cons that come with this release for me to focus upon. The collective performance from each member of Yellowcard is standout, and their new takes remain true to the studio versions.

Those same songs that fans have listened to time and time again, when played acoustic style with the same bright vocal melodies that coated the original versions, provide some familiarity to piece, yet also some freshness. These revisitings sound brand new, perhaps even better than the original releases, and the end result is much better than I originally anticipated.

Lyrics — 7
Lead vocalist Ryan Key does a noteworthy job at providing that aforementioned familiarity to these new acoustic takes. Whenever the band begins to move into more expansive territory with the acoustic guitar playing, it is Ryan's lyrical delivery that keeps the song remaining true to the original renditions. His vocal range has remained very much intact since the band's debut, and by that I mean he can still hit the same relatively high notes in the chorus of "Ocean Avenue" without any apparent struggle. When you are going back and revisiting some of your greatest hits, it is important as a vocalist to to be the anchor to your band's original studio versions. And Ryan does exactly this with "Ocean Avenue Acoustic."

Overall Impression — 7
Yellowcard decide to move into a new direction with their new studio outing, "Ocean Avenue Acoustic." Instead of issuing another album of new material, the band instead decided to go back and revisit a number of their greatest hits, this time playing them acoustic style. While it may not have been exactly what their fanbase have been waiting for, what we do have with "Ocean Avenue Acoustic" is a refreshing take on some familiar songs that established fans should have no difficulty in enjoying for themselves, as well as any follower of the pop punk music scene.

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13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I loved this album when it came out and I gotta say it was pretty disappointing to hear that most of the songs are basically just the original but played with acoustic guitars, as in no real changes at all. I would have loved to hear different takes on the songs which I thought they would have after 10 years and everything that comes with that, personal growth, change in musical preferences and influences etc Still a pleasant way to revisit the album and all and I nostalgia'd all over, but it had a lot more potential.
    Yeah after hearing the chilled out stuff towards the end of Southern Air, I had high hopes for this. Still good to listen to, just very underwhelming
    Dude, Empty Apartment, Twenty-Three, and One Year Six Months are all completely different, and even Ocean Avenue sounds a lot different.
    I remember listening to the acoustic live recording of Empty Apartment that came with Ocean Avenue way back when. The vocals were pretty bad, like he was trying to scream out the high notes. The two tracks here, at least, sound better than that...
    Really love the album!... only 7? the same songs had a 9 for a review for ocean avenue. Can't re-invent the album. Since I bought it, I'm always listening to it
    Can someone PLEASE tab the empty apartment on this cd... The acoustic one not the Normal one Please :'( I Beg you!
    I mostly love this because Yellowcard always does amazing acoustically. The new "Twenty-Three" was pretty disappointing, though. I was expecting it to have the same energy as the original (as Yellowcard's acoustic versions usually do), but they took a pretty boring route with it. Also, Ryan is a way better singer now than he was 10 years ago when they made "Ocean Avenue."
    true that YC is amazing acoustic, but i disagree for the Twenty-three song. I think a lot of their best songs are not always the fastest, and they have made a good job changing it.
    Yellowcard has gotten really bad since the 1st CD was released. I used to see them all the time in my town, actually played a few shows with them. I can't stand them now.
    How have they've become worse? They're a lot better musically and lyrically. I Think Southern Air is their biggest album next to Ocean Avenue ...
    So you are telling me Yellowcard 1st CD was their best... If you ask me "Midget tossing" was a super Bad cd like the worst one they did if you ask me... The first album that I enjoyed was "one for the Kids" after that they just got better and better first song I fell in love with was on that album