Who doesn’t love a good violin solo? “Always Summer,” the first single from Yellowcard’s new album “Southern Air” boasts a very impressive instrumental arrangement – bringing the violin front and center. This arrangement is familiar, yet refreshing to those familiar with the band’s music.
Coming in at a running time of just under 40 minutes, with a total of 10 songs, the album functions as a fleeting excursion through the emotional spectrum. The title track, “Southern Air” and the pop-based “Here I Am Alive” conjure up a general feeling of contentment – affirming that the writer is satisfied with where he is in life. In contrast, album tracks “Sleep In The Snow” and “Ten” speak of a much more longing, mournful character. This balance gives the album an overall bittersweet vibe, and, as pop-punk veterans who have been at it for the better part of two decades, I feel that vibe is very suitable.
What we hear on “Southern Air” is more or less the same band that brought us “Ocean Avenue.” Though there may not be a standout track comparable to the likes of title track and adolescent anthem, “Ocean Avenue,” there may be something better entirely – a band paying tribute to the past, hopeful towards the future.
Yellowcard is proof that the recipe for a solid record is maturity.
As someone who had never really listened to Bloc Party up until now, I had no idea what to expect. From reading other reviews, it seems that there were very mixed ideas about “Four.” Many were confused by the almost metal-like riffs on the album, as it is a change of pace from the band’s older material. For me, I personally liked the melding of indie rock and metal – it makes for something different.
The biggest problem I had with the album was inconsistency in style and theme.
It isn’t that there were really any tracks that I found particularly bad – they just didn’t all seem to fit together. It almost seemed like the band wrote 50 songs and then drew 13 of them from a hat and called it an album.
There are definitely a fair share of quality single tracks on the album (“3×3” and “Octopus,” for example).
For some people, that may be enough. And I suppose that if you’re just looking for some music to drive around town to, it’s a pretty solid album through and through. It’s definitely fun and sporadic. But if you want to be thoroughly moved by an album, I would look elsewhere. This one may just leave you motion sick.