Yellowcard – Southern Air
As the pop-punk scene blew up in the start of the late 90’s/early 2000’s, most bands either fell out of the scene, tried to grow musically, or kept the same sound. Over the course of the past 10+ years Yellowcard has taken many hits and arguably had all three of these moments. That being said, there was always a little bit more to the band than just a typical “pop-punk” band. It could be the fact that they are all classically trained musicians, implementing a violin, or even just the fact they have that certain sound which pops. Whatever it is, the band has been trying to channel it for quite some time and continues to do so with Southern Air.
One interesting part of Southern Air is how it seems like almost a retrospective on the bands career with singer Ryan Key. Songs like the opener “Awakening” and “Rivertown Blues” sound like they could be cuts from One for the Kids. The album moves on with an Ocean Avenue radio-pop-punk sound that made the band famous with songs such as “Always Summer” and “The Surface of the Sun”. Following these songs is a bit more of a rock sound with hints of pop-rock like “A Vicious Kind” and “Sleep in the Snow”. There is even “Telescope” which mixes up a bit of all these sounds much like Paper Walls. Even slower songs like the mostly acoustic song “Ten” feel more sincere than their preceding album.
Yellowcard is one of those bands that influenced many of the pop-punk bands that have cult followings today. Southern Air is going to be one of those records that will introduce new fans and old fans will remember as a turning point where the band found their sound. It’s a return to form and solidifies their sound as a band. Go in to this album expecting some solid summer songs and you will be rewarded.— Dave Giumara, 08/06/2012