Review Summary: I’ve never been more ready to move on
How we look back on our past is an intriguing phenomenon. We always seem to remember the good, letting the bad slip between the cracks and fade into oblivion. Perhaps that is why, as life goes on, it seems to just get worse and worse. When reminiscing, we ignore all of the monotonous, inconsequential days and highlight the best moments. Then, by comparison, we think man, why isn’t my life that awesome now?
Personally, it’s the reason that I think last year was so much better than this year. And next year, I’m sure I will wish I was back in good old 2011. Often, this way of thinking makes it easy to look upon the past with favor, or even dwell on it. As we all know, getting stuck in a time that has long since passed is rarely (if ever) healthy…yet, we all
do it sometimes. If you are at a point in your life where it seems like the past is brighter than the future, then When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
might be exactly what you need to hear.
Yellowcard’s seventh studio album is a gentle nudge towards tomorrow, reminding us to always keep an eye on the road ahead. If the band’s reunion wasn’t symbolic enough to convey that very notion, then the opening track ‘The Sound of You and Me’ makes certain to ring it loud and clear. With lines like “someday everything ends” and “I’ve never been more ready to move on” lead vocalist Ryan Key sets the tone for change. The methods that Yellowcard use to present change widely vary throughout the album, but they never stray from that central message. ‘For You, and Your Denial’ is a bitter calling out of an ex-lover, while ‘Hang You Up’ is more toned down and observational, stating “it’s hard to see you we are older now / and when I find you, you just turn around / this is a black and white of you I’ve found / I hang you up and then I pull you down.” ‘Life of Leaving Home’ touches on the aforementioned sentiments perfectly, stating that the present is “more than a moment in time…it’s a dream I’m following on my own.” There are definitely still tracks that reminisce, but they always manage to bring the lyrics full circle and tie it to the future in a positive way. Take the album’s catchiest tune for instance, as ‘With You Around’ begins with the short, punchy verse “Do you remember when I said you were my only one, we were running underneath the California sun” which clearly recalls the girl who was the subject of 2003’s breakthrough Ocean Avenue
, and brings the topic forward with the chorus “now I want to chase forever down, with you around.” I’m not saying that Yellowcard always offers a solution, but they keep the aura upbeat and forward-thinking. Perhaps no track better illustrates this than the closing anthem ‘Be The Young’, which contains a heartfelt realization that only becomes more powerful with each repetition, “this is loud, this is cold, this is endless and I know…growing up has just begun.” It begs the question, do we ever really stop learning
? And if so, is that what being a grown up means? Most people with a decent amount of perspective on life would answer no to both of those questions, bringing even more truth to Key’s proclamations that we will forever be the young.
Musically, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
is everything you would expect from a Yellowcard album…no more, no less. The drumming is fast, diverse, and always on time, the guitars do an excellent job of dictating the melody, the violins tug at your heartstrings, and the vocals do a solid job of matching the earnest, poignant lyricism. Longtime fans will take comfort in the fun, summertime feel of these songs, even though they sometimes cut the homages a little too close. Some fresh sounds have been added to the band’s repertoire, however, as the infectious beat and swaying rhythm of ‘Hang You Up’ sets it apart from any other Yellowcard song. ‘Sing For Me’ is the album’s only true ballad, and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
all but suffers from it. The consistently fast pace preserves Yellowcard’s attempts to make this an uplifting album, while also lending it to the band’s earliest style circa 2001’s One For The Kids
– long before the alternative influences and overall maturity of a record like Lights and Sounds
ever came into fruition. The midsection consisting of ‘Life of Leaving Home’, ‘Hide’, and ‘Soundtrack’, while not quite as memorable as other portions of the album, still serves a vital purpose in keeping the album flowing at the same swift, cheerful tempo as it began. From start to finish, this is an album that does everything it can to lift your spirits and point you in the right direction…and amazingly, most of the time it does a pretty damn good job.
When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
is the album that Yellowcard needed to make. Not only does it emphatically announce their return, but it also shows that they haven’t missed a step while overcoming their temporary hiatus. Leading by example, they suggest that you do the same. Still wallowing over “the one who got away?” Forget her. It’s time to move on, and there was never a better time than the present to collect all of your unpleasant memories and leave them behind. You hold the steering wheel, not some ex-girlfriend, horrible boss, or friend who ruined your life years and years ago. It’s time to bring walls down. Come into the present, and then make every step from here on out a worthwhile stride towards the future. Yellowcard has never been more ready to move on. Will you join them?