Yellowcard
When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes


4.0
excellent

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 14th, 2011 | 322 replies | 49,893 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And all the fans cheer and join in unison: Yes

I recently had the pleasure of dangling my copy of Yellowcard’s When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes in front of a friend of mine, a girl that is probably one of Yellowcard’s most avid fans. Remember when we were fourteen, I asked her, when we’d lie out on your grandmother’s trampoline and talk about guys, for you, and girls, for me? We’d always play Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue in the background on your CD player, letting Ryan Key’s vocals, those energetic guitars and drums, and Sean Mackin’s violin create the soundtrack for our memories – chiefly consisting of love, leaving home, and naivety. Of course, she said, feels like it was just yesterday. Well, remember how we wanted Yellowcard to make another album like that for us? How 2006’s Lights and Sounds was a step in a more mature rock direction, but didn’t transition well enough on record? Or how 2007’s Paper Walls tried too hard for its own good?

I smiled and pressed: Do you know what I have here, figuratively, in my hands?

When You’re Through Thinking is the Yellowcard album that fans have, literally, been screaming for the band to make since their mainstream breakthrough eight years ago. It’s got the energy, the violin prevalence – so long to the days of thick, drowning production values – and those simple yet profound lyrics by vocalist/guitarist Ryan Key that make you think a little harder on the love-life topic than usual. In the conclusion of the rip-roaring opener, “The Sound of You and Me”, the singer invites the listener to “Let me back in / Love me again”, an apology of sorts for the delay in delivering their Summer Album Vol 2, all before the band lets loose with a crunchy, fervent breakdown. It’s sincere, carrying with it the weight of a few un-sure years of wondering for Yellowcard in their trying to find their feet again since Ocean Avenue’s release. With When You’re Through Thinking, Yellowcard have finally found them.

This will not be the return to the mainstream for Yellowcard, though. As hook-y and as catchy as When You’re Through Thinking is, it’s not a radio record. Instead Ryan Key and crew have focused on writing a strong collection of pop-rock songs, more intent on recalling nostalgia for the listener than being arena rockers – or Billboard singles, rather. You hear in first single “For You and Your Denial” Ocean Avenue’s “Believe”, the lead violin line firmly sticking itself into your noggin; in “With You Around” Key lyrically recalls hit single “Only One” of the same record; and in “See Me Smiling”, the band go from a passionate second chorus into a build not so unlike that of “Gifts and Curses”, Yellowcard’s stellar inclusion to the Spiderman 2 soundtrack. The record bleeds with the best that Yellowcard have done thus far, yet in a fresh context, bursting with newfound energy after a short hiatus that, in hindsight, was certainly needed.

You can argue that Yellowcard settle into a too-comfortable groove from start to finish on When You’re Through Thinking, leaving a middle section that lacks punch and has little to distinguish itself from the rest of the tracks present. “Hide” and “Soundtrack” are the first songs to come to mind, in context of the record fitting well with the mood of making the best of things, but as individual tracks not offering that much other than a likable hook. “Sing For Me” is the album’s ballad and is also a little on the saccharine side, Key’s exclamation’s of “Just close your eyes and sing for me” in the chorus coming as a letdown after the tracks more promising verses. “See Me Smiling” picks up after this with a fury, though, being arguably the album’s strongest track in which choruses and verses collide with the best Yellowcard have to offer instrumentally. “Be the Young”, too, is soaring and anthemic, Key declaring that youth lives on eternally and that “we’ll forever be the young”.

Sure, there’s still a bit of naivety to Yellowcard’s music in When You’re Through Thinking, but that’s one of the reasons why we enjoyed them as teens in the first place. They are once again looking for the best in life, talking about love, and are doing it all behind passionate and energetic music, just like they did years ago on Ocean Avenue. That’s what the fans wanted from this reunion album, right, an album that reminded us about their breakthrough? Yes, we did, and while it may not get Yellowcard back into the mainstream, a place that they still have the potential to take back, as a record made for the fans, When You’re Through Thinking is everything that we could have wanted. The band sounds fresh from their rest, aren’t trying to be something they’re not again, and most importantly, they sound young and sincere. Welcome back, Yellowcard.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



7143 Comments


In b4 Sowing.

Great review Jared. Your last two paragraphs really hit it out of the park.

Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome. I want to hear this.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Knott-
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't decide how I feel about this yet.

It really annoys me how similar the vocal melody in Sing To Me is to that in Hang You Up.

Phideaux
March 14th 2011



1653 Comments


Nice review. Count me interested. Was never a huge fan of these guys, but I'll give them another chance.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



5784 Comments


Appreciate it guys

hmm, knott, they dont really sound too similar to me

Knott-
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You kidding, at the end of the choruses it's like the same vocal melody.

"Sing for me"/"Pull you down"

Some good songs on here, doubtless, but it all feels a little bit stunted.

I also loved Paper Walls and Lights And Sounds.

Deathcar
March 14th 2011



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your review makes me happy. Can't wait to get my hands on this, Ocean Avenue was the album back in the day.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



17197 Comments


one for the kids and paper walls are still their best, but this has some quality stuff on it.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



5784 Comments


I enjoyed much of paper sounds but it was forced

Knott-
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

paper sounds

CelestialDust
March 14th 2011



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

never heard an album from them, nice review.

Spec
March 14th 2011



27060 Comments


Paper Sounds?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm not sure how I feel about this quite yet either. The chorus in the opening track sounds just like the verse from "View from Heaven" and there are some other annoying little similarities. It isn't as catchy as I had hoped, but I have a feeling it will grow on me in other ways and perhaps become more meaningful than Paper Walls, if not L&S as well. Definitely not better than Ocean Avenue, but nobody was expecting it to be. Should be an interesting album for me to digest, seeing as I have loved this band since One For The Kids.

Nice review Jared. I disagree with a few minor points, like how this is in a fresh context. From what I have heard so far this is a 50/50 merge of Ocean Avenue and Paper Walls. I love the violin presence that was sorely missed towards the end of YC's first run (pre-hiatus), but I was a little disappointed that there weren't any huge riffs like on The Takedown or at the end of Holly Wood Died. Also a lot of the songs, while energetic and solid instrumentally, seemed a little samey. After about 2 listens only about four of the songs stand apart very strongly. Like I said though, I will definitely listen to this more to see if my opinion changes, but as it stands this is a slight letdown but still very good (maybe a 3-3.5). I will definitely review it when it comes out too, if for no other reason because I have had my intro paragraph written for over a month.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

theacademy
March 14th 2011



28244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

4.0

wait... what?

porch
March 14th 2011



8451 Comments


lol

Tyrael
March 14th 2011



20739 Comments


Yes... just yes.

NorwichScene
March 14th 2011



1409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Willies avatar is awesome, it's so fluffy!!

Great album!

Digging: Flood of Red - Throw

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

just noticed the recommended by reviewer: "reunion albums - not sucking" haha

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 14th 2011



10585 Comments


I really liked the first paragraph. Really cool way to kick off a review.

But i've never liked Yellowcard, so I will not be checking this out : /

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sometimes you just break my heart, you know that Xeno



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