Release Date: Jul 17, 2007
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
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.
Review Summary: Good pop-punk hindered by shaky production and songs that bring nothing new to the band's sound.It is no secret that throughout the 90s and the current decade, the music industry has pushed volume levels higher and higher. What many musicologists are discovering, however, is that this increase in volume is actually decreasing the audio quality. Everything simply becomes one ambiguous, distorted sound.
There were many offenders wading in the pop-punk deluge at the start of the millennium, and Yellowcard (who released the successful Ocean Avenue in ’03) can rest easy knowing they weren’t the worst. Which is not to say they didn’t cruise by on mediocrity —a wave they still ride with Paper Walls, a CD teeming with punchy choruses and crunchy guitars that are so five years ago. Add to that trite lyrics, predictable melodies, and nasal vocals, and they’re well on their way to cementing their status…as a footnote to a spotty movement.