Sound — 7
It has been four years since Yellowcard's last studio release, Paper Walls, hit the shelves, and two years since the Floridian quintet announced their plans for an 'indefinite hiatus'. It is always the case, with any band coming off of an hiatus, for fans to question how the band's sound may have developed since their last release. However in a genre that, nowadays, is full of wannabe copy-cats lacking the brainpower to innovate and impress, you would be forgiven for writing off Yellowcard's latest release as just another 'pop-punk' showing. To some extent, you would be right as Yellowcard sound very similar on When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes as they did on their previous albums. There are songs on the album which reminisce of the bubblegum sugary-ness of 2003's Ocean Avenue, some which would fit right in with the darker melancholic sounds of 2006's Lights and Sounds, and others which would sound right at home on the chunkier riff-laden tunes of 2007's Paper Walls. With all that being said, Yellowcard's gift for writing memorable, sing-a-long choruses are showcased to the fullest on When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes. Songs such as With You Around, Hang You Up, and Hide, all evidence this. It is no secret that the band boasts a violin in their repertoire, and in some cases that is their saving grace, helping them shine amongst the sea of pop-punk bands that, nowadays, unfortunately litters the music industry. Songs such as Life of Leaving Home and For You, And Your Denial, are great examples of tunes in which the violin plays a major part in adding interest and effectiveness. It is just a shame that the band do not make use of their wild-card sound more often on their latest effort.
Lyrics — 8
Yellowcard have a gift for crafting catchy melodies and on When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, Ryan Key is on top form. His lyricism, whilst not groundbreaking, are not formulaic in that they are able to maintain sound interest from the listener. Topics covered, much with any pop-punk band, range from love to hope and all things in between. However, Key's penmanship is thought-provoking and thus makes his contribution to Yellowcard indispensable. For example on track Life of Leaving Home, Key sings of hope: I am awake and alive/ There is something calling me/ More than a moment in time/ It's a dream I'm following. Key's knack for creating imagery in his lyrics are also a defining factor in Yellowcard's success. For example, on stand-out track Soundtrack, Key sings: Look for me tonight/ And swear that nothings gonna break our hearts this time/ Save me from myself/ And be the soundtrack to the stories that I tell.
Overall Impression — 7
For old school fans against change, this is a perfect album as the band have showcased ten tracks on When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes that epitomizes Yellowcard's career since 2003's Ocean Avenue. However, if you are a fan who was looking forward to hearing something different on the Floridian quintet's latest release, you will be disappointed. When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes is a solid album from a band that clearly knows how to write songs with memorable melodies. Whilst this may satisfy fans, it fails to show that Yellowcard can be anything more than a band that have perfected the art of writing rocking pop-punk tunes. But hey- if that is what you are looking for, then Yellowcard have clearly done their job.