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Lights and Sounds

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Album Review

On Lights and Sounds, Yellowcard sounds light years away from its One for the Kids/Where We Stand days. Granted, the band still trades in the immediate melodies and heart-on-sleeve lyrics that they've used since the beginning, but major-label success suits them well. Lights and Sounds is even slicker and more polished than their Capitol debut, Ocean Avenue, but Yellowcard ends up sounding self-assured instead of compromised in its big-budget surroundings. "Ocean Avenue" was a genuine breakthrough single that proved that the band had a way with connecting with listeners outside of its expected fan base; on this album, Yellowcard expands on its expected sound. Songs like the title track, "Rough Landing, Holly," and "Down on My Head" are tightly crafted, state-of-the-art examples of shiny, earnest punk-pop that sounds sunny even when it's sad, but "Two Weeks from Twenty" boasts downright jazzy guitars and whimsical lyrics reminiscent of Ben Folds, while "City of Devils" is a moody power ballad that continues the album's surprisingly grown-up feel. Indeed, ballads make up a big part of Lights and Sounds, making the most of Sean Mackin's skills with string arrangements, particularly on "Waiting Game" and "Space Travel," where the strings have just the right amount of melodrama for songs about young heartache. However, Lights and Sounds occasionally goes from expansive to indulgent, particularly toward the end of the album, which is bogged down with too many mopey, samey-sounding songs that are overpowered by big productions and arrangements. Yellowcard's ambitions to expand and emote are admirable, but their tighter, poppier songs still work the best. Regardless, Lights and Sounds' good songs are very good, and the album ends up being the band's most accomplished work yet.

Customer Reviews

This Album Rocks!

Yellowcard is one the best bands ever!

Great album

Lights and sounds was one of the first Yellowcard songs i listened to and after years of not hearing this song it still holds up and its still amazing as it was. The other songs on this are great too my favorites have to be: City of Devils Martin Sheen or JFK and Holly Wood Died just to name a few.

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The punk-inspired quintet Yellowcard formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1997 but didn't solidify their lineup until a move to Southern California in early 2000. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Key (who had briefly played with Cali-based Craig's Brother), vocalist/violinist Sean Mackin, guitarist Ben Harper, drummer Longineu Parsons, and bassist Warren Cooke, the band officially debuted on wax in 2001 with One for the Kids (Lobster) and returned a year later with the Underdog EP for Fueled by...
Full Bio
Lights and Sounds, Yellowcard
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