When You’re Through Thinking, Listen To This Album

May 9, 2011 by  

Yellowcard’s latest album reveals amazing progress.

Artwork courtesy of Yellowcard's CD Cover

Released in early 2011, Yellowcard’s latest album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, is already receiving overwhelming praise from critics and fans.

Yellowcard is a pop punk band based in Jacksonville, Florida. Their music heavily features a violin, and their songs are primarily about love and heartbreak. When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes is their fourth album and they’ve been together since 1997, though they took a hiatus from 2008 to 2010.

The album starts out with one long, low, heavy note creating tension and anticipation in the listener. The note is followed by fast-paced guitar and bass that could make anyone’s heart race. The song, called The Sound of You and Me, continues at that quick tempo as Ryan Key’s slightly nasal voice comes in with the first lyrics, “Are you there putting all the words together?” After about two minutes, the song slows down and becomes a ballad, though still backed by a steady hi-hat which builds up to an instrumental conclusion.

With You Around is another upbeat song about a girl the speaker has been waiting for all of his life. He talks about all the fun times they’ve had and how afraid she is he’s going to leave her. At a slow point in the song, he sings, “You’re like a slow song waiting to accelerate,” and then the song accelerates to match. It’s a clever lyric and a great song.

Hang You Up is the first really slow song on the album with pulsing, rhythmic drums to stir emotion. It is full of poetic lyrics such as, “My hands are tired of only waiting to let go, and I am waiting still.” It’s a song about waiting for a love that never panned out. He sings of still missing the girl but having to let go. Key’s voice truly shines throughout, powerful and precise. He conveys the poignant emotions perfectly without compromising his vocal talent.

Life of Leaving Home begins with Key’s vocals backed only by a guitar; a personal weakness of mine. The rest of the instrumentals pick up and the vocals continue in the same fashion, building up to a brief instrumental break followed by the chorus. The song is both powerful and relaxed at the same time because of the clash created by the up-tempo, drum-heavy instrumentals and the smooth vocals and intimate lyrics. “Think of me when the stars come out tonight, take a look at the sky,” sings Key, his voice practically dripping with longing. The song is about leaving behind his home and the girl he loves, and the lyrics are so sincere it’s heartbreaking.

Soundtrack is the second slow song on the album and another to use musical terms to refer to a girl, which is still very witty. Key sings, “Save me from myself and be the soundtrack to these stories that I tell,” saying that the album is the soundtrack, or the girl. The intense, aggressive guitar and bass are balanced out by the dulcet violin and Key’s sentimental vocals. The song is about needing to be saved and trying to survive. He asks the girl to be the one to help him survive and to save him from himself. “If I lose my confidence, I’ll borrow yours.”

The songs have a very similar feel to Yellowcard’s previous albums, but their musical growth is undeniable. The band is relying less on melodic violin to make their music stand out, but putting more emphasis on poetic lyrics. Key’s voice has matured yet still blends wonderfully with the backing instruments. The album still has an even mix of mellow and upbeat songs, but the upbeat ones have a happier feel and the slower ones have a heavier drum line, both of which are undeniably good things.

Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭