On March 25th, Yellowcard will release their much anticipated new album ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes‘ via their new home at Hopeless Records. After their short hiatus, fans are itching to know what the band has come up with, and I’m here with good news for you. It’s the Yellowcard you know and love, with a new found energy. ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes‘ is without a doubt their strongest and most mature (this is not a bad thing by the way) album to date. I’ve been spinning the album now for just over a week, and given it a comprehensive look over to give you an indication of what you can expect come late March when this one is released. Click below to expand this post to take a read, you may want to get comfy or grab a drink, it’s long.
After a bit of a snooze type hiatus, Yellowcard are back in action, and definitely haven’t forgotten who they were in the short absence. What they have done though is matured. Quite a bit actually, not that they were ever one of those ‘silly’ pop-punk bands, but this album is a definite step up and a big leap forward in many ways for the band.
The band has this to say about the release:
“When we started talking earlier this year about beginning the process, there was an excitement and energy that had been missing from the band for quite a while. The album carries with it those feelings. Throughout the writing, we all felt that we were creating something very special. We had spent so much time apart trying to figure out the things in our lives that needed to right themselves to make Yellowcard work.“
The ‘process’ they speak of, appears to be a lot more than just jumping back into a room after a little break and writing new music together. There are a lot of moments lyrically that suggests this album is quite focused on the journey of the band and it’s relationships within, particularly through that time where they headed off in seperate directions, the moments prior to, and the now. There is a definite image painted in the lyrics of of a tested / broken / lost relationship, the process of patching up, and the resolution / realisation that what you were looking for, was there all along, and with that comes the relevance of the album’s title, ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.’ Of course, like all good music / lyrics, things have been left open to interpretation, so there is no straight up “this is about me, and you, and him and her, or them” etc.. so different people will get different messages from what is on offer here. Even better still is that you do not have to dig into and tear apart the lyrics to enjoy the album as a whole, but I recommend you do listen close, as there are a lot of positive and honest messages to be found. As much there is some pretty solid tunes to nod along to as well.
The opening track ‘The Sound Of You And Me‘ rings in with a sound that is like an old friend knocking on the door, you instantly know it’s Yellowcard here. This one lyrically seems to reminice over a damaged friendship and is like a song in two parts, the initial looking back at a time when things in the friendship were great “Are you there, putting all the words together, painting your new masterpiece. Ocean air, carrying reminders of that perfect pair that we used to be“. “Lost inbetween the truth and a dream, I’ve never been more ready to move on“. Then the song slows down and changes direction into a more mending mood, as the repeated lyric, “Bring walls down, hear all my sound, let me back in, love me again” take centre stage of the track. A great start.
From here it seems like that track set the story on its way, and the next few tracks seem to be a little angry lyrically as if they are looking back over a time the relationship was at breaking point, then broken.
‘For You, And Your Denial‘ is the first track you would have heard by now if you’ve been keeping an eye online. If you haven’t, head to iTunes for a preview / purchase [Here]. It’s an ideal one to release first I guess in the way that it is a pretty token Yellowcard sounding song, grabs the attention of the fans who’ve been wondering what the band will come up with. The violin is at its most prominent, and it’s bound to excite many a fan. If you like this track, you will like the rest, it’s not the strongest track on the album, but it has it’s place. Lyrically it appears as a bit of a ‘i’m done with you’ type track. “4am you called to spit some fire out, did you think that I would listen to you now“. “You got sadness twisted up with jealousy, show your fist to make them look like loyalty“. “Hate me all you want, i’ll be ok. I’m letting you go now“. For a glowing pop-punk song, it’s pretty angry when you listen close.
‘With You Around‘ is probably the most instantly likeable track on the album. Lyrically, anger has moved onto remembrance. The chorus “All I can think about is you and me drivin’ with a Saves The Day record on, we were singing ’til our voices were gone, and I was falling hard, you were barely hanging on” sticks like glue, I’m guessing this will be the next single. “And now I wanna chase forever down, with you around” begins the realisation that time has perhaps healed the wound and the good times far outweighed the bad. This is the track on the record you will play over and over again. Probably the best one the band has come up with to date, if not, it’s right up there.
‘Hang You Up‘ : A bit of a Jimmy Eat World feel to the intro of this one I think. Music wise, this one is a pretty simple track, stays around the same pace throughout, not quite one for the ballad pile, but close. One of those ‘middle of the set, catch your breath / mix things up a bit’ songs. Not a standout, but by no means a bad number. “This is a black and white of you I found, I hang you up and then I pull you down“. More of the reminicing feel lyrically, perhaps almost at the stage of deciding to make that call to begin resolution.
And here ends the spotlight that has been shining on “you” these past few tracks lyrically, and things shift more to the direction of “I”.
‘Life Of Leaving Home‘ picks up the pace and there is instantly a brighter feel to things, an extra kick of energy is evident. This is that set free from what’s been dragging you down type moment. “I started out in the last slow motion scene, watching everyone change, made a map of the one way road from here, had no reason to stay” The catchy chorus begins with “I am awake and alive, there is something calling me, more than a moment in time, it’s a dream i’m following on my own“. The whole upbeat nature of this track lyrically and musically makes it one of the albums finer moments. Nice little violin solo too.
‘Hide‘ has another one of those instantly memorable choruses that you sing along to the second time it rolls around like you’ve known the lyrics forever. “If you can find a way to reach me take your time, i could be underneath you, looking up to see you, from where we used to hide‘. Pulling apart the lyrics and going with the ongoing theme of rebuilding, this would be the point where one party has made contact with the other, but there is nothing coming back. “a message sent with no reply, you used to hang on my every word, now they never come out right, I know it feels like I let you down, but I’m still around“. Musically this one could’ve slotted into any of the bands previous records. It’s their trademarked brand of shiny pop-punk, done just right.
‘Soundtrack‘: Another stand out number courtesy of the positive vibe this track gives off. There is a definite step up in the vocal department too. Could we be at that point where things are resolved and back on track? “See me now, hear me out. Look for me tonight, and swear that nothings gonna break our hearts this time. Save me from myself, and be the soundtrack to these stories that I tell“. Crowds are gonna bounce around to this one big time. “Every wish we made is finally coming true“.
‘Sing For Me‘: Power ballad time, there’ll be arms waving, lighters shining and girlfriends (or randoms) copping hugs and mushy looks when this one is played live. While it does have a place and purpose in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably the only song I just couldn’t latch onto and really enjoy. Maybe it’s a grower, we’ll see with time. Every album has one of these tracks, more often than not, a few weeks later it clicks. I’m not doing cartwheels over it just yet though.
‘See Me Smiling‘ is a welcome step up in pace and vibe once again, a pretty run of the mill pop punk song musically on first impression, but it doesn’t have that ‘heard it before’ feeling which is a good thing. That’s one of this band’s really good traits. In a sea of unoriginality, they have found a way to deliver a familiar, however unique sound. They always have, hence the success, but it’s great to hear them continue to build that. The vocals are at their best in this one, and really stand out over the music and after a few listens, this one really sticks. Lyrically this one is pretty strong. “it’s ten years now and im still learning to let go, its not the same without you theres no-one keeping time, you were the rhythm that was bringing us to life”. “All I can do is keep you closer now, cause i know you’re somewhere out there looking down. wherever you are, i hope you can see me smiling now”.
The closing number ‘Be The Young‘ has been described by the band as “for all of us, and all of you. It reminds us why we do what we do, and how lucky we actually are.” It’s chorus goes: “This is loud, this is cold, this is endless and I know, Growing up has just begun. But there’s a place we could find where this pain is useless. And we’ll forever be the young.” It’s a track that you can get a little lost in, and before you know it, it’s over. Maybe I was expecting some kind of epic ending, but really there is no need, the lyrics do all the work. It closes up the story (that my mind has been following anyway), and leaves things on a highly positive note.
It seems that a break was the best thing to happen to this band, because they have come back fresher, stronger, more honest and mature than ever. Production wise, things are very polished, but not over the top polished like a lot of similar bands. This is a band letting the words and music do all the talking, not studio trickery or a few gimmick effects to try and steal your attention. It really is the album that they are putting everything out there and now that it is ready to go, I think you will see the band really reap the rewards of writing a great album. Without a doubt this is their finest moment to date, and I’m pretty sure the band’s fanbase will agree, and with any luck, it swells too.
‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes‘ will be instores March 25th via Hopeless Records / Shock.
Pre-Order your copy online now [Here] via JB Hi-Fi Online. $21.99 + Free Shipping.
For more information keep your eyes peeled to www.yellowcardrock.com & www.hopelessrecords.com