Ahh, Yellowcard. No other band understands me quite like you do. Yesterday, Yellowcard’s new album, Southern Air came out. Naturally I pre-ordered it from Amazon a week ago and happily received it on my door step yesterday afternoon.
My husband isn’t a Yellowcard fan (he attempted to listen to a few songs on the new CD before giving up). That’s fine with me. Not everyone likes all the same things. In a way it’s nice because it makes me feel like Yellowcard is all mine. It’s frequently my music of choice in the car– but it’s so much more than that. Whatever it is I’m going through, they have a song for it. Their songs make me feel better when I’m down. They’re an epic anthem to my life. It’s my everyday background music. It’s inspiration for writing a great scene or blog post. It’s gratifying and uplifting.
My first instinct upon getting the CD wasn’t to stuff it into the nearest CD player. Instead, after dinner, I sat down and read through the book of lyrics. I patiently waited for this morning, when I could listen to it peacefully in my car. My car is where I get my best listening done. It’s where I can belt out the lyrics, or cry along with them. Happily, I put in the CD and turned the volume up. The first song– Awakening –started and they had me all over again. After the first bit of the lyrics, a much stronger guitar and drum background came in… immediately I was taken back to the days of Ocean Ave. This CD encapsulates all this is Yellowcard. Some old, some new, and everything you expect Yellowcard to be. Southern Air is a beautifully well-rounded album book-ended by the strong Awakening & Southern Air.
At this point I’m going to run through the 5 songs on the album that really stood out to me. While I enjoy and like them all, these five just stick out to me. I don’t want to give the songs away, though, so rather than talk about the lyrics, I’m going to talk about why they stand out to me.
Awakening– It’s that first punch. Every Yellowcard CD starts off with a song of not-quite-describable Yellowcard-ness. It is epic and within the first 5 seconds of the song, you know you’re listening to a Yellowcard album. It falls right in with Way Away, Lights & Sounds, The Takedown, and The Sound of You and Me.
Always Summer– The anthem song. It’s the type of song I turn up when I hear it. The one I can always listen to. The one that makes me feel better. It strikes me the same way that Ocean Avenue, Only One, Light Up the Sky, and For You and Your Denial do.
Here I am Alive- The song that resonates with me. On every CD there are 1 or 2 songs that resonate with me as really relating to my life or helping me put things in perspective. It’s a go to song when I’m feeling down or upset or when I need a pick me up. It’s there to help me not feel so alone. This song immediately stood out to me like that, in the same way as Empty Apartment, Down on my Head, Hang You Up, City of Devils, Shrink the World, and You and me and One Spotlight.
Ten- The “crushing” song, as another reviewer put it. On every Yellowcard album, there is at least 1 song that makes me really think about things. At least 1 that is more emotional and that stands out the most. Listening to this song in the car this morning brought tears to my eyes. It is beautiful. And heartbreaking. It follows some of Yellowcard’s most poignant (and my favorite) songs: View From Heaven, Believe, Space Travel, Dear Bobbie, Sing for Me.
Southern Air- The closer. The final act. Yellowcard’s albums always have a great balance to them. While they’re all different, they have a consistent formula. Start with the punch, then tell the story with the mix of rock and smoother ballads, then close with an epic, beautiful, and gratifying song that makes us all listen to the CD all over again. Southern Air is no exception. It follows it’s predecessors Back Home, Holly Wood Died, Paper Walls, and Be the Young and like them, wraps up the album in a very fitting, understated, and yet epic way. It’s an anthem. It’s a story. It’s Yellowcard to the very core.
I know I didn’t mention much (OK, any) of early Yellowcard. That’s because, although I’ve listened to it, it’s not my niche as much as Ocean Ave., Lights & Sounds, Paper Walls, When You’re Through Thinking Say Yes, and Southern Air are. I understand that not everyone is a Yellowcard fan, but if you are, you’ll love this. Because it’s Yellowcard doing what they do best… writing and recording amazing, meaningful music that speaks to me and so many others out there. This album is great. It continues to push Yellowcard forward (including some amazing, strong vocal ranges from Ryan Key), and will hopefully introduce them to a whole new generation of fans. A new generation to grow up to and find solace in their music.
“This southern air is in my lungs. It’s in every word I’ve sung. It seems the only truth I know, is we’ll always be home.
Always be home, always be home…”