Yellowcard – Final Album, First Listen

Sorry in advance, this is a longer one.

Album art – Simple, eerie and reminiscent.

Rest in Peace – The first song on the album emulates the climactic nature of the album as a whole and is somewhat of an ode to Yellowcard. Music is utilized as an avenue to communicate a message to the listener. This message being, “it’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s time to do so nonetheless.” There is also a tone of maturity interlaced in the instrumental. We’ve followed this band for almost twenty years, from Ocean Avenue to Rough Landing, Holly to One Bedroom, and there has been a maturation of the band that is evident through their music. This song is important because Yellowcard’s first album was released the year after I was born and that is the case for many of their prominent listeners. We really did grow up with Yellowcard. There are things that we have had to let go of as we approach our twenties and Yellowcard is forcing us to let go of them too, sadly. It’s like letting go of your first love, your best friend that you grew up with and experienced the primitive years of adolescence with.

What Appears – This song has more of a technological sound, reminds me of a song from the early 2000’s. It’s a song about searching for answers and I think it proves that even as we grow older, there never comes a point when we know everything. Life is a never ending journey that is made up of our hopes, our fears, and our attempts to understand it all. Even as adults we still struggle to push through what life throws at us. I would say this is the anthem for every adulting emo kid. We still experience teenage angst, we’re still lost, confused, and misunderstood we’re just forced to act like we know how to deal with it now when in reality, we don’t.

Got Yours – With a distinct bass guitar riff pattern and your typical punk accompaniment of electric guitar and drums, this song takes us back to ____ The Blink-182 inspired subtle person interjecting with lyrical yelling throughout the song adds to the pop punk aesthetic. Definitely a break up song, “I’ve got mine and you got yours”, about a relationship where one party was conflicted. “I walk with open eyes away from open arms”, this is such a relatable lyric because we so often run away from people who are trying to love us simply because we feel as though we are unlovable. This is definitely a song about redemption that the writer was not able to find in the other partner, but hopefully found through writing this song.

A Place We Set Afire – has a slower tempo and is about letting go of what hurt you in the past, allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy the life you’re living currently. It’s also about finding peace in having to let go. I also feel like this is a song directed to the fans about having to say goodbye, but reassuring us that we’ll always have a special place in their hearts regardless. The violin has a more significant touch on this album because it’s more in its element. I think they were able to include more classical elements (regarding the violin) without losing the alternative feel.

Leave A Light On – this song is solely played by the piano, with more of a ballad feel. The electric guitar has a subtle riff between verses, but this really is an intimate ballad. About half way through the song we hear the violin (or perhaps cello?!?! THERE IS A CELLO IN THIS SONG!!!) enter in with a harmony at the chorus. This is definitely a “missing that first lover on a rainy day” kind of song or if we’re going based off the lyrics, this is about a divorce and holding onto the hope that the girl will come back someday.

The Hurt Is Gone – we’re welcomed by a distant echoing melody for the first 30 seconds and then the guitars abruptly come in, but it doesn’t ruin the mood. There is a very basic instrumental to the song that works well with the chorus especially. This song is about someone struggling with the light and darkness in their life. The singer is encouraging the individual to allow them to be their refuge until the hurt is gone. This is one of the longer songs on the album. “Change comes for you, even if you’re hiding out.” Even if you hide away and feel like nothing good can come out of what you’re experiencing, better times are coming for you. It’s okay to hurt, but hold onto the hope that change is coming. There is about two minutes of guitar strumming to end the song, with subtle melodies. The last twenty seconds are a violin solo that evolve into a loud buzz from the guitar that leads into the next song.

Empty Street – This song starts off with a heavy drum presence that stays throughout the song. The theme of goodbye is also presented in this song. “I won’t be with you, but I won’t be far away.” A nice electric guitar riff is thrown in place of a bridge, followed by subtle harmonies that accompany the main vocalist. The violin also accompanies this part.   The song ends by saying “this is goodbye. the street is empty tonight.” I am not sure of the correlation between the empty street and saying goodbye yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out once I’ve listened a little more.

I’m A Wrecking Ball – The acoustic, almost folk like intro brings a warmth to the album that wasn’t quiet there before. Gets your foot tapping for sure. It’s reminiscing about a home and various significant aspects of that home/things that happened there. During the first chorus, the electric guitar makes an entrance and the lyrics are every feeling introvert’s daily struggle. Harmony is introduced in the second verse, with sporadic strums from the electric guitar. During the second chorus, we hear a hint of the violin that continues throughout the rest of the song. After hearing the third verse, I think this is a song about going back through one’s journal and finally coming to the most recent blank page, the chorus being what they choose to write on it. I imagine sitting in a cottage in the woods strumming my guitar to this song.

Savior’s Robes – We go from this chill, folk song back to POP PUNK vibes in Savior’s Robes. This is probably the heaviest song on the album. The melody is not conventional at all, with atleast    one minor chord involved. The instrumental of this song was (low-key) influenced by metal core/post-hardcore. Sounds more like ADTR’s lighter music. I can’t even focus on the lyrics because the instrumental is so intricate, my favorite on the album (musically) hands down. About half way through we have very limited strums (of the overall melody) from the bass guitar paired by shrieking from the electric guitar that evolves into the bridge with vocals. “Play us a song I know, make it an older one. Don’t you get it?” This song is almost like a pop punk riddle they want us to figure out. You’ve heard something like this before, can you figure it out?

Fields & Fences – the final song of the album :/ You can sense the climactic feeling of this song, similar to that in the first one. I think they may have used an acoustic guitar for the main melody. This is also a reminiscent song. Telling the story of how he started writing, and how he finds safety in the fields and fences of Tennessee (i don’t know if any of the members are from TN??) Then the guitar and drum presence gets a little heavier, and we hear the subtle violin in the background. The lyrics are saying that they don’t have much to give to us as fans, but they have found home in us and through the music and that because of this musical journey they now know that they are not alone. The last 30 seconds are a simple instrumental from the violin with an eerie tone and then they’re gone forever.

Review – I think this was the perfect way to say goodbye. It brought both the band and their fans closure knowing that we were so important to each other, but realizing that all good things must come to an end. Every album that led up to this one was represented through each song and we got a final taste of who Yellowcard was, who they are currently and who they plan to be as they pursue life after the last tour.

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