Yellowcard
Paper Walls


5.0
classic

Review

by tmagistrelli USER (18 Reviews)
January 31st, 2013 | 26 replies | 1,122 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The beginning of a model of consistency.

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

The story of Yellowcard at times can be the story of the average pop punk band in the mid 2000's. The band strung together a couple hit singles together on their mainstream breakthrough Ocean Avenue. Which was extremely well received by fans, and created many new fans but was only met with average critical acclaim. High and mighty on their pop punk throne, the band sought to win over the critics and keep their fans by being the risk takers. Their over ambition translated to a creative, instrumental album, but a commercial dud in Lights and Sounds. The prior did have some of their best songs to date, but an unexpected change to alternative rock a la The Offspring, alienated the majority of their fan base that loved their catchy hooks lost on Lights and Sounds. So where do you go from there? As a band you cannot completely get rid of the sound you committed to on the previous release, but you need to try to win your fans of your older material back. The answer is you combine the sounds. Throw some muscle onto your pop punk with of course Sean Mackin on the violin. This is where there story is different, they only got better. So before us we have their 2007 effort Paper Walls which is their most ambitious, hook ridden release. And it is also their best release to date, and a classic in all forms of the word.

Many of the tracks take a strong influence from predecessor Lights and Sounds like "Afraid" with a perfect alternative rock sound. It sounds very similar "Martin Sheen or JFK" off it's predecessor but with the light warmheartedness of "Twentythree" off Ocean Avenue. As the same with "Cut Me, Mick" which gives them the edge similar to that of "Lights and Sounds" laced with heavy alternative rock.

However this album strikes a whole new territory for the group and that is consistency. Ocean Avenue and Lights And Sounds were great in their own right, but they were not consistent. This is a consistent album through and through. Their first consistent mark is their lyrics. The lyricism is the most empowering Ryan and company have ever written. A primary example is 6th track "Shadows and Regrets" in which Ryan sings about a friend that he simply grew apart from. Not only is this sad, but it is amazing how it can be related to many of us. On the same key "Dear Bobbie" is an soft anthem for the older lovers that lived in a time where if something was broke they fixed it, not threw it away. Listening to it makes you look at an elderly couple and have nothing but the utmost respect. On the albums closer, the titular "Paper Walls", a soft children's chorus is placed in the beginning, and it's a lovely touch on a beautiful song. Ryan sings to us that he is holding on to this dream he shared with another. He won't let go. No matter how much the other has stopped believing, he will not give it up.

Aside from the superb lyricism, musically this is a consistent pop punk masterpiece. The first three tracks are a significant part of the album that screams to fans and listeners that "Yellowcard is back." On the standout track the fast paced "The Takedown", guitarist Ryan Mendez opens up with a fast guitar riff and then the rest of the band jumps in with him to create a rocker with violinist Sean Mackin's finest solo to date. The song tiptoes in notes, and is one of the best listens on the entire album. The song shows the excellent mastering of all the instruments by all the members. Next track "Fighting" is pop punk at it's finest, with an incredible hook "What are we fighting for, there must be something more. Through all these words I sing, don't you feel anything?" And a rhythm accompanying the song that makes you tap your toe. Then comes the third track "Shrink the World" another hooky, perfectly made pop punk jam filled with the speed, and consistency that fans have come to expect from the band. It's easily the catchiest track on the album. Later on the album you have "Five Becomes Four", which is played so fast with Mackin's violin that you think without any prior knowledge that the track is an Irish step dance. Which also experiments with light pop punk breakdowns hardly hit by the group before.

Looking back at this album now it is easy to have no doubt in your mind it is absolutely their best record. The lyrics are incredible, the instruments are expertly placed, and the hooks are stronger than they have ever been. As for Yellowcard, this album began to set a model of consistency for the group and even after a short hiatus, they continued to be one of the most consistent groups in the entire music industry. With two amazing releases after this opus with When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes and Southern Air. However It all had to start with this masterpiece here. Pop punk is not dead, and if more people listened to this, they would know why.

"Let's take what hurts and write it all down, on these paper walls and this empty house."



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user ratings (427)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
badgerYA232 (5)
The album that set the stage for Yellowcard's future masterpieces. A must hear in this band's devel...

TH3FU (4.5)
Connection, Emotion, Acceptance....

Boxes Of Cats (4.5)
...

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (3)
Good pop-punk hindered by shaky production and songs that bring nothing new to the band's sound....


Comments:Add a Comment 
tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I needed to redeem myself after my poor review yesterday, this is my all time favorite album. If I can get any feedback to further improve my writing, please let me know. Thanks!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


Wow man great review. I can't understand how you can give this the same score as My Chemical Romance - Danger Days but this is very well written nice job.

Agreed on Shadows and Regrets such a great song. and paper walls rules too glad you quoted it.

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


of course some dipshit negged this

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks atari, yesterday was a disaster, and I tried to rectify that with this, my favorite record of all time

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


no problem just ignore the negs. it's realy well written and a great effort.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



9033 Comments


Wrong

CutMan
January 31st 2013



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"However this album strikes a whole new territory for the group and that is consistency"

...What?

Digging: Boy Hits Car - All That Led Us Here

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ocean Avenue and Lights And Sounds were great, but they were not consistent. In the least, this is a consistent album through and through.

Crawl
January 31st 2013



1525 Comments


Not a bad review, but I hate your taste

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fair enough

Hedgehog32396
January 31st 2013



503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album
not a 5 imo
but you're bumping the score up so woo

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's my favorite record so far in my life. Unless I hate music, that's a 5 to me! Hahahah

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


how old are you tmagistrelli?

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's my favorite record so far in my life. Unless I hate music, that's a 5 to me! Hahahah

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

19 years young

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


ah to be young. have you heard the ataris? (their older stuff not the album with boys of summer)

ZackSh33
January 31st 2013



242 Comments


So much better than the review you posted yesterday, but there are still errors.

Also, I bought this album when it came out and hated it. Just sayin'

tmagistrelli
January 31st 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Heard of them. Never picked up a record. Worth my time?

And I'm sorry it didn't connect with you like it did me Zach

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



19375 Comments


fuck yes they're worth your time.

actually i suppose their album "so long, astoria" might be the best place to start just because it's more poppy.

If you have time right now you tube the song "In This Diary" by the Ataris.

YoYoMancuso
January 31st 2013



10751 Comments


lol 5


good review though



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