After nearly two decades of pop-punk prominence, Yellowcard is saying goodbye with their final self-titled album. Even though their retirement may be hard for fans to accept, Yellowcard lets us know the process will be just as hard for the band.
While they’ve always been angsty, both lyrically and sonically, there was a vibrancy in songs like “Empty Apartment”, “Sing for Me”, and “Here I Am Alive” that seems to be missing from this record. Yellowcard is unrelentingly somber from start to finish and even occasionally bitter.
I think listener’s satisfaction will depend greatly on how they deal with saying goodbye. People who enter into a fog of reflective sadness should feel right at home listening to this album – I promise that’s not ridicule; many people get that way when losing something they love, and Yellowcard captured the feeling perfectly.
Unfortunately, for people like me who prefer to celebrate the past when saying goodbye, this album will feel more like a lost opportunity. I wanted one more ride down Ocean Avenue, one last deep breath of summer air, not a long sad farewell.
That being said, my critique on Yellowcard has nothing to do the actual quality of the music. Ryan Key’s penetrating and poignant vocals are alive and well throughout, and the writing is just as intimate and narrative as ever. The album also featured some departures from what I’d come to expect. Such as slow and almost folksy feel of “I’m a Wrecking Ball” or the turbulent aggression of “Got Yours”.
With their final effort, Yellowcard continues to experiment with and evolve a style within their genre that they can truly call their own. Even if the tone of this record differs from the work that drew me to the band in the first place, the artistry remains the same, and that alone makes Yellowcard worth a listen.
Yellowcard will be on tour for the greater part of the fall. For dates and ticket information, click here.