11 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Southern Air is the sound of emo growing up. Yellowcard formed in 1997, so the members of the Jacksonville, Fla.–based quintet were well into their 30s when its eighth studio album came out. And while the songs on Southern Air are still taut and buoyant with a youthful exuberance, they’re also nicely balanced with thoughtful lyrics that go well beyond the band’s bygone muse-in-a-mall topics. “Awakening” finds Ryan Key looking to the future and accepting that a man can (and sometimes should) embrace his own change. “Always Summer” sticks out with dynamic sections where the guitars just disappear and let the bass and drums carry the verse into a chorus that blasts open with contagiously catchy melodies and a violin solo taking center stage, where Ryan Mendez would normally inject a guitar solo. “Here I Am Alive” is another outstanding single, with Key’s most insightful verse to date: "They say you don't grow up/You just grow old/It's safe to say I haven't done both/I've made mistakes I know." “Ten” is another commendable tune with acoustic guitars and gut-knotting lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Southern Air is the sound of emo growing up. Yellowcard formed in 1997, so the members of the Jacksonville, Fla.–based quintet were well into their 30s when its eighth studio album came out. And while the songs on Southern Air are still taut and buoyant with a youthful exuberance, they’re also nicely balanced with thoughtful lyrics that go well beyond the band’s bygone muse-in-a-mall topics. “Awakening” finds Ryan Key looking to the future and accepting that a man can (and sometimes should) embrace his own change. “Always Summer” sticks out with dynamic sections where the guitars just disappear and let the bass and drums carry the verse into a chorus that blasts open with contagiously catchy melodies and a violin solo taking center stage, where Ryan Mendez would normally inject a guitar solo. “Here I Am Alive” is another outstanding single, with Key’s most insightful verse to date: "They say you don't grow up/You just grow old/It's safe to say I haven't done both/I've made mistakes I know." “Ten” is another commendable tune with acoustic guitars and gut-knotting lyrics.

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