Sound — 9
Wow. What an album! The sounds go from rock to pop, summer to winter! 01. In "Awakening", which was the second song I heard in the album, was just a breath of fresh air with the classic YC feel in the rhythm guitar and the wavering sound of the lead guitar to start us out. Then they bring on the heat and crank up the volume emphasized with the drum beats, this is where I play the air drums and rock out. Such a cool song. The classic sound of Ryan Key's vocals just had me thinking back to "One For The Kids". 02. In "Surface Of The Sun" I hear the vocals belted out by Ryan and can't help but join in, it's the "Ocean Avenue" slice of the album. Classic guitars, drums, violin... Just a truly classic YC song. 03. "Always Summer", the first song I heard from this album. I bought the single and listened to it on repeat for at least a week. The guitar parts were mesmerizing and I had to pick up the guitar and figure out how to play them as soon as I heard them. I must say I really liked their music video for this song because Ryan actually smiled into the mic with Sean, you could tell they had so much fun making this music and the video. The violin part in this song was amazing as always. The drums were the best, all thanks to LP! The song gets stuck in your head and you enjoy it, I believe that speaks volumes. 04. I will admit I despised "Here I Am Alive" at first because of its pop sound. I thought Yellowcard ruined their own album by writing that song. It grew on me. It sticks in your head and you find yourself singing it constantly but you have to admit, it's catchy. It's fun to sing and not nearly as fake as Justin Beiber or One Direction. It's got pure guitar, drum and violin. I now consider it a new brand of pop. Don't judge this song off of first impressions, it's not that bad. 05. "Sleep In The Snow" I thought was an "ok" song when I heard it for the first time... Then Key started singing softly with the violin at the end... I melted. Then went back and listened to it again and again and again. It is a great song, the instrumentation is perfect. This song takes you to a different place. A happy place. 06. "A Vicious Kind". Oh yeah, that right there is a good song. You can hear the anger and frustration. I'm not sorry at all! Such a good "game face" song. Where only your opinion matters. The instrumentation in this song is so good... You have to love that harder rock sound in their music. The vocal part that Key brought to the table in this song just astounded me, he's reached new heights! Incredible new sound in Ryan's vocals, no disappointment here! 07. "Telescope". Beautiful song! Just like "Sing For Me", it has such a great emotional attachment that is brought out in the sound. Its so cool to listen to for all of us songwriters who get writers block, amazing song. I love the guitar and the sound of the mandolin in the background later in the song with the guitar was spectacular. LP did such a great job with the drum beat, it just brought this song to life. 08. "Rivertown Blues" reminds me a lot of "Life Of A Salesman". The beat and the vocal sounds sound very similar to me. But they do have their differences in sound. I love the violin part in the song. Just a great sound for a great song. Mendez totally rocked his guitar solo and I was astounded by the speed of it and just its overall sound. Amazing. 09. "Ten". Wow. I just about cried when I heard this song... So much meaning and emotion all put into one song. I love the guitar in this song, it's simple and incomplete just as the meaning of the song is. I was very surprised when I heard the slide guitar, it was very unexpected. It sounded odd at first but I'm really starting to like the sound of it. The vocals are a little repetitive in sound but you never get tired of it. The mandolin complete this song, completely. I love it, such a beautiful sound to add to the chorus. I like the violin in the background too. Beautiful song. If you love the emotional, more mellow songs get this one! 10. "Southern Air". That rhythm guitar is fantastic! I love it! The lead guitar is incredible, they really cranked up the heat with the guitars in this song. Spectacular! The violin was incredible, complimenting Ryan's voice wonderfully. The bridge has the coolest sound. The guitars, violin, bass, and Ryan's new singing range in this song is amazing. Spectacular album. Lots of new and classic sounds. I know the description for all of these songs aren't about the same length but they are all incredible songs. Sounds and styles are fantastic. A must have for all Yellowcard and rock lovers.
Lyrics — 10
01. "Bottoms up tonight!" I loved the lyrics in "Awakening". They were just the coolest you could get. Yellowcard always has a way of making the absolute best lyrics. "Surface Of The Sun" had some pretty wicked lyrics. I like how they had "do or do not, there is no try" put in there as it is a "Starwars" quote, knowing Ryan is a huge fan of "Starwars". 03. "Its always summer in my heart and in my soul!" I was singing this all summer long. Really catchy lyrics. Well written and new. By hearing this song you can tell that Yellowcard is really committed to their fans. 04. "Here I Am Alive" actually has pretty cool lyrics. I think we all did/do things as kids that we regret and wish we could take back. Ryan showed a new side of his vocals in this song that I was really impressed with in this song. 05. "Sleep In The Snow" has some of the best lyrics in this song. A cool sound along with it. I love the ending when you hear the backup vocals singing with Key. It just gives it a great sound. The lyrics make me think "you're going to miss me." 06. "A Vicious Kind". No mercy here. The lyrics are amazing. Not much more to say, they just are. You can tell there was no holding back in writing this song. "You're a vicious kind because you lived this life, where you're allowed to win." 07. "Telescope" is so genuine. Such emotion was put into these lyrics. The mandolin part was beautifully written. These lyrics make the whole song all the better, originally I would've said the mandolin made the song what it is but its truly the lyrics. 08. "Rivertown Blues". I didn't understand the lyrics of this song at first. They seemed all over the place. But after a while you better understand it. It is a really cool song and has amazing lyrics of old friends. 09. "Ten" had me the moment I heard it. So sad. Beautifully written lyrics. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. So beautiful. I love the lyrics. I tried not to cry but stopped when he said "you would be playing tunes on your fist guitar" I just sobbed. Unimaginable sadness is written in this song. All respect to Ryan Key for having the courage to write such a song. 10. "Southern Air" is wonderful. Noticing that through all of the change we go through, home is where the heart is.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is the best one they've written yet. Spectacular music. All of the songs impressed me because they're all so different. I love the diversity and emotion in the music. I wish they had a little more acoustic music in the album but I think what they did was great and I can't wait to see what they have planned for the future. Buy the album, $10 is a small price to pay for their best work.