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Paper Walls

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Album Review

Yellowcard is neither the flashiest nor the most popular among the new millennium's pop-punk bands but their fifth album Paper Walls goes a long way in proving that they are among the best of their breed. Despite violinist Sean Mackin, whose very presence can seem like a clever ploy (even as the instrument fades in prominence over the years), they're not attention-mongers — their pop is melodic but not incessantly hooky, they rock hard but not furiously. Without ever seeming laid-back, they seem casual in how they approach their music, never drawing attention to themselves, which is a bit odd because on pure musical terms they're more gripping than many of their peers, displaying a restless sense of musicality that often makes Paper Walls interesting even if means they can stray toward areas that are just a shade too indulgent for their own good. Often, those areas are quicksand pits of sentimentality, whether its drippy anthemic love songs and odes to grandparents ("Dear Bobbie"), sweeping gestures that come off as hammy due to the overdose of emotion but that same tendency to dive after a big moment pays off on the harder rockers where it gives the music true momentum. There's not just a purpose in their backbeat but they dance around the clichés of their genre, either by jacking up the overall energy quotient or suddenly exploding into metallic guitar solos — like the breakneck breakdown on the opening "The Takedown" — or strenuously writing melodies that strive for grandness, something that's evident even when they don't achieve their goal. Yellowcard works hard within the confines of their genre but they never rewrite rules: they push the boundaries a little bit further, just enough to separate themselves from their peers, but not quite enough to rope in listeners less dedicated to the super-slick sound of modern punk, especially because they lack one undeniable song to rope in the unconverted. Nevertheless, as a whole, it's hard not to listen to Paper Walls and be impressed by Yellowcard's vigorous musicality which does display more imagination than many of their peers even if the finished songs could stand hooks that dug slightly deeper.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

Light Up The sky is my favorite song!

An amazing album!

Every song on this album is so legit! You’ll love it. Just buy it.

Excellent!

I started listening to Yellowcard shortly after this album came out, I haven't listened to much of their ocean avenue album but I hear it's pretty solid. The reason I like this album so much is because I'm not to big a fan of their first two albums. They have the right idea but I didn't feel they connected with their songs that much. But this album was a big turning point in the way I see their music now. They connect so well and this album was a solid transition between the music they did in the past and the music they do now. I am a huge fan, and their music gets better and better with every album.

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
Paper Walls, Yellowcard
View In iTunes
  • $6.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, Punk
  • Released: Jul 17, 2007

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