Whew it took them long enough. "Lights And Sounds" is finally out. And with it comes not necessarily a different sound, but a stronger and more mature sound. On "Ocean Avenue", the boys gave us lyrics, chord pogressions, and violin mixtures that blended beautifully in a "spill your heart out" state of mind. Now there is an evolved version of that standing out in the first two tracks on "Lights And Sounds". The intro to the album is a soft piano/violin track called "Three Flights Up" that lasts for roughly a minute and a half. This almost felt like the beginning of a movie that pulls you into the story right away. And it worked. As soon as the last piano chord ends the guitar feed-back hums in. The track suddenly stops, only to head straight into the catchy intro of the title song, "Lights And Sounds". The adventure is only on the second track and the guys of Yellowcard are just getting started. This is by far the best tune on the album. Similar to "Breathing" on the Ocean Avenue album, its a flawless ride that gives your air guitar something to work with and keeps you singing along the whole time. Definately makes a good opening statement.
The next track, "Down On My Head", calms down at first but soon enough it comes back with a good chorus. Of course we can't get into a slow song that completely dulls the opening attitude, so "Sure Thing Falling" takes us back into another strong, power chord infected song. Most of this song is the improved sound that Yellowcard has achieved. The opening riff is catchy and it grabs you right away. About a minute later the thumping drum beat kicks you in the face as it mixes perfectly with the vocals. "City Of Devils" sounds like a suspense movie title, but it turns out to be the calm and relaxing song to tone down the rush from the first four tracks. The acoustic adds a sort of a blues-like tone that goes well with the clean electric chords. The violin finishes the combo for a great feel during the chorus. But, as we know, this is Yellowcard. So how typical to have the next song, "Rough Landing, Holly", slap you right on the mouth with a face-melting violin solo. Yeah, a violin solo. And its pretty damn good. The beat follows right along with impossible-sounding drum rolls while the guitar distortion is the backbone of the song. "Two weeks From Twenty" was an interesting song. Another new and improved sound for the band. This song tells a teenage story with cool chord changes and a funky/clean sound.
Now this next track is my favorite on the album. In similarity to "Only One", the string intrument feel in "Waiting Game" is heart warming and so powerful at the same time. The verses are fairly calm and chilled. And then the chorus cues for, what I think is, one of the band's best moments. The entire chorus is a snare drum roll with the violins sliding in and out of the near perfect vocal melody. You sink into this song so fast you wont wake up until its over. This is my prediction for their second single-release on the album. The next song had an akward title. But dont judge "Martin Sheen Or JFK" just because it has a completely different title when compared with the actual lyrics in the song. Still a very rocking Yellowcard aura. The octave chords in the intro are a good choice to go with the vocals. Another instance where instruments blend seamlessly with voice on the album. "Space Travel" is a cool, mellow song that brings a creepy, make-you-think attitude to this point in the "Lights And Sounds" journey.
The sound in "Grey" is probably the most changed Yellowcard has become. But definately not a bad thing. The wacky guitar bend sets the mood and the vocals make the verse transform into the chorus perfectly. "Words, Hands, Hearts" has the pop feel from "Way Away" and brings a new mood feel to the end of the album. Not as good as most of the other songs that brought you to this point but still has a positive vibe. And now for the acoustic, acoustic, acoustic! "How I Go" is hard to explain because it sounds so sweet and soft compared to all the fast paced rock on the album. The two opposite sex voices on the track sound wonderful together and add the perfect touch to the rythmic guitar and violin. The longest song on the album is the last one, "Holly Wood Died", but for a good reason. Very fast paced and exciting. Sort of creepy in a way at first, but when the chorus blasts in you get lost in the groove. The end of this song was very impressive. As soon as the last chorus ends the same melody from the intro, "Three Flights Up", chimes in with all the instruments falling into place and sounding amazing. But soon enough the rock dies out and the violins end in a smooth and soft dramatic fashion that keeps you wanting more.
As I said from the beginning, Yellowcard takes you on an adventure with Lights And Sounds that not only compares to Ocean Avenue, but may very well be more mind blowing and heart felt than its predecessor. Basically, there isnt much left to say now. Anyone who reads this review should be convinced that Yellowcard has set some standards for the rock/alternative feel. Their lyrics remind us of things we experience every day. They achieve the overall sense of letting music keep your heart pounding to the drum beat and your soul staying in perfect harmony with the melody.
A classic in the genre, according to the guidelines, is no higher than a 4. A 5 is a classic to people who hate every other band in the genre. It's one of those albums that, 25 years later, people are still going to be saying, "Wow."
I heard the first five tracks, and they were pretty bland.
uhh definetly not a 5, i made a review but it got deleted. i put a 3-3.5. This is yellowcards worst album. which doesnt say much because One for the kids was amazing and ocean avenue was pretty good, theyre kinda going downhill, but theyre just expirementing.
I got a hang of only the first five tracks. I'm impressed. The music is very melodic, having the violin catch your attention and while vocals focus on subjects most people here would call "whiny", they are presented very well musically. The first track is a pretty good prologue-like instrumental, and creates a nifty bridge to Lights And Sounds, which is still excellent.
I can say I'm looking forward to the rest of the album.
This is a very solid album. It has a few bland songs mixed in (i.e. "Martin Sheen or JFK" and "Two Weeks From Twenty") but I still enjoy it quite a bit. Nicely written review.
And just to fuel the arguments some more, Yellowcard isn't punk. It's pop-punk. Original, roots punk hasn't been evident for years. Oh, MusicOfficial, when you say "SP" I hope you're not talking about the Sex Pistols, seeing as how they pretty much gave punk music one of its first big shoves in the first place.