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Released: Aug 14, 2012
Genre: Pop Punk, Alternative Rock
Label: Hopeless Records
Number Of Tracks: 10
Yellowcard has definitely taken a different turn with this one. It sounds like a combination of their records "Ocean Avenue" and "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes".
Russcool, on august 14, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Yellowcard is back! Well, it's not like they ever went anywhere. Their last record, "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes", was released only about 18 months ago. Since then, they've been touring and writing. The band's frontman, Ryan Key, said that he had no trouble writing for this album. He said that the process was so smooth, not just for him, but for his bandmates as well.
"Southern Air" reminds Yellowcard of the days when they would be driving down Georgia State Highway 316 and A1A through Neptune Beach, FL with the windows down belting the words along to their favorite songs. Guest vocalists include Cassadee Pope, We Are The In Crowd's Tay Jardine, and All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth.
01. "Awakening": This song is one of my favorites off the album. It starts off with a soft, catchy chorus that turns into a deep breakdown. The verses of this song are musically genius. The guitars tear up different types of E chords and harmonize beautifully. Then, the violin strolls in to remind you why Yellowcard is so great. They're so fast and fun to listen to. I can image a whole arena of people jamming to this song at a live Yellowcard show.
02. "Surface Of The Sun": This is another one of my favorites. It's a bit of a different sound of Yellowcard. The track seems darker then most of their songs. The choruses are my favorite parts because they are so catchy and prompts that anything is possible.
03. "Always Summer": Yet another favorite. This was actually the first single released off the album. The song has an "Ocean Avenue" kind of feel to it with it's upbeat verses and catchy choruses. This track should be on everybody's summer playlists. The most memorable part of the track has to be Sean Mackin's awesome violin solo.
04. "Here I Am Alive": This single was released just a few weeks ago. To many YC fans, the song was disappointing. It was too poppy for a Yellowcard song. Personally, I agree. It is more of a pop song than a punk or rock song, but over time, the track grows on you. You'll find your self humming the chorus during some point of the day. The track features vocals from Tay Jardine and was co-written by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.
05. "Sleep In The Snow": This song takes me to the winter. Like it's title, I can imagine myself lying in a snow angel and letting the snow flakes land softly on my cheeks. The song itself is a bit heavier. The last 58 seconds of the song put me in a true wintery feeling. It's soft and calming.
06. "A Vicious Kind": Another favorite. The track has a power-to-the-people kind of vibe to it. It makes me feel unstoppable. When I listen to it, I can picture my high school football team and I rushing out to the field before a big game. It's a different sound of Yellowcard, but a good sound. Ryan Key's voice reaches new heights in the choruses of the song. I also heard a mini violin solo in this track as well.
07. "Telescope": This track reminded me of Yellowcard's song "Sing For Me". It's also a tribute to Key's Aunt Stephanie who passed away due to cancer. She was a huge believer of the band when they first started out. The best part of the track is when Alex Gaskarth, Tay Jardine, and Cassadee Pope's vocals harmonize with Key's and they sing: "My only hope, you're my telescope".
08. "Rivertown Blues": No doubt the fastest, heaviest song of the record. Longineu Parsons III, the band's drummer, keeps a quick consistent beat that blows me away. It reminds me of Yellowcard's song "Five Becomes Four". The beats are so identical. Guitar wise, impress. This is the swiftest I've heard a Yellowcard guitarist play. Props to Ryan Mendez, the band's lead guitarist. He wrote a guitar solo for this track that stunned me. When YC plays this song live, there will be huge circle pits.
09. "Ten": This is definitely the saddest song of the record. It's also a favorite of mine. This acoustic piece is about someone was supposed to be in your life, but was taken away before you could even meet them. You could tell how personal the song is in the lyrics. Key sings about watching "Star Wars" and playing outside all day with his missing companion. There are hints of a slide guitar sprawled around the track. At one point, the song breaks down and an orchestra begins to play. In one word, beautiful.
10. "Southern Air": What a way to end a record. Great track. One of my favorites. To me, it sounds like classic Yellowcard. A catchy chorus, a superb verse, and a relatable meaning. This song brings YC back to their roots in the south. It explains how the land inspired them and sculpted them into what they are today. The outro is massive and reminds me of "Paper Walls" another album by Yellowcard. // 8
Lyrics: Ryan Key's lyrics can only be described in one word: breathtaking. In each record, they grow and form more sophisticated and clever. The one lyric that stands out to me the most on this record is: "I never got to meet you my best friend" from the track "Ten". Key overtime has grown more as a singer as well. His voice is the strongest it's ever been on this album. // 9
Overall Impression: Yellowcard has definitely taken a different turn with this one. It sounds like a combination of their records "Ocean Avenue" and "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes", but is it one of my favorites? Yes. When I get my driver's license, I will roll my windows down and crank up the stereo and listen to this whole album again and again. Yellowcard was spot on with that idea. The only thing that disappoints me is that the new YC bassist, Josh Portman, was unable to contribute his ideas to this record. I was curious to see what he would bring to the table, but Ryan Key and Ryan Mendez composed brilliant bass parts for every song on the album anyway.
You can stream the whole record on YouTube here. Go out and buy it. // 8
hopeless3, on august 29, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 10
Overall Impression: 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. // 10
demonhunter2211, on august 14, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: As frontman Ryan Key's lyrics and vocals will sure to catch your ears the most, "Southern Air" is the band's most impressive album as a whole. Many people have been hoping that Yellowcard would return to their "Ocean Avenue" stage, but I never understood why. Every album since then, especially "Paper Walls" and "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes", have been phenomenal. "Southern Air" does bring back that "Ocean Avenue" feel, while maintaining most of the "WYTTSY" vibe to it. Every song on this album feels like the band put in tremendous amounts of effort into making this album as good as it could be. Although it's only been a year and half since their previous record release, you wouldn't be able to tell. "Southern Air" is it's own record alone, and doesn't carry too much of "WYTTSY" along with it. The violins in this record are perfectly placed and couldn't fit the guitars or the vocals any better, and the bass is actually audible and doesn't just follow the guitars.
The album kicks off with "Awakening", which is a perfect opening track, and a perfect way to describe the explosion at 0:25. The record perfectly swings into "Surface Into The Sun" which will surely be one of their best songs live. The instant summer jam (that will without a doubt be nostalgic in the future) is the perfect road trip song for you and your buddies to sing along loudly in the car, and the most epic violin solo of all time. "Here I Am Alive" uses one of the band's catchiest sing alongs to date. As many of you would expect of Yellowcard, the very upbeat pop-punk anthem "Rivertown Blues" would be found on this record, which is very reminiscent of "The Takedown" and "The Sound Of You And Me" which will surely have you starting circle pits in your living room. The songs displays drummer Longineu Parsons III ability to be one of the most underrated drummers in the scene, and also guitarist Ryan Mendez unleashes a filthy guitar solo with uplifting violin riffs by Sean Mackin. But "Ten" is the song where Key's lyrics have been the most emotional ever in this heart breaking song. It's one of the very few songs that have actually been able to make me cry, due to it being about Key's unborn son and how life would be like with him. The album closes out with the title track "Southern Air", which contains one of the bands best closing out tracks, as well as the best endings and bridges to a song in general. "Southern Air" represents the band's best efforts without a doubt, and every member is brought to life on this album in every song. // 9
Lyrics: Ryan Key's lyrics and vocals have never been better than they have on this record. They're all very personal lyrics in which most people can relate to, and some which not that many can. Break ups, having to move away from home but never forgetting it, losing someone you love, are all topics we can relate to. But the song Ten is the stand out song in terms of lyrics. Lines such as "Don't you think we would have been best friends?" and "I never got to meet you my best friend" just show how how would have meant to Ryan and how emotional he is about this subject. But other than lyrics, Key's best vocal performances are on "A Vicious Kind", "Southern Air", "Rivertown Blues", and "Ten". This whole record just shows how much he's improved over the years and how all the emotion he put into every song. // 9
Overall Impression: "Southern Air" is arguably their best album to date. As a long time huge fan of Yellowcard, I was nowhere near disappointed. Yellowcard definitely knows how to separate themselves from the rest of the pop-punk cliches and continue to be some of the biggest players in the scene. Songs like "Awakening", "A Vicious Kind", "Rivertown Blues", and "Surface Of The Sun" will greatly appeal to those who love the fast paced and heavy stuff, while "Ten", "Telescope", and "Sleep In The Snow" will be loved by those who prefer the songs. "Southern Air" was incredible and should be in the discussion for Best Album of 2012. But we all know Justin Bieber and One Direction will be stop the charts. // 9