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CD Reviews: Review of Lights and Sound by Yellowcard
Thompson Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Yellowcard: Lights and Sound (Capitol  2006)

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There was an article in “Rolling Stone” recently which said that there is a whole new generation of young teenagers discovering and giving a boost in sales to classic rock albums. This is good news, because it would seem to signify the death knell for interest in modern and boring rock bands such as Yellowcard, who are doing that done-to-death punk pop emo crap all over again, and to decent sales. Apparently the kids relate to this stale ear candy that will never, ever hope to compete with those classic albums such as Who’s Next, Axis: Bold As Love, Dark Side of the Moon, and Houses of the Holy.

This is the current problem with the state of so much of today’s popular rock music: there just isn’t anything to it. It’s cookie-cutter crapola with no artist development behind it. But then again, a band like Yellowcard is so completely one dimensional that any development the band does get probably goes into its shoes and choice of energy drinks on tour. No, the majority of the radio bands these days are only expected to put out one album, maybe a couple hit singles, a big video, and a tour. Then they get forgotten while the next soundalikes take their places, and the cycle begins anew.

Oh, but Yellowcard have that violin player. Wow. That means they’re great? Hardly. This stuff might just be the thing for pimply-faced 17-year-olds, but once you get out of the Vans Tour bracket, you can just take a pass on this dull nonsense. Seriously, whoever thought that punk would become such a watered-down confection for the sensitive kiddies to connect with? It used to be about anarchy and change and politics and the like. Now it’s about singing whiny songs about candy-ass relationships and how tough it is to live these days. Gimme a fucking break. If anything, it’s easier for the youth.

These guys can’t even take the time to be grammatically correct. On the dense-as-merengue tune “Down on My Head,” Yellowcard hit us with such ruminations as “I never thought I would wake up in bed / Watching the world coming down on my head / I’d sleep like a dog if you would never of [sic] said / This is the world coming down on your head.” Damn, but that’s way deep. Repeat until you’re beyond sick of it. Damn fine message there, boys.

But wait! It gets even more intellectual on the moon/June/spoon “City of Devils”: “Flyin’ along and I / Feel like I don’t belong and I / Can’t tell right from the wrong and why / How I been here so long.” It makes you wonder how much time and “heart” they put into this goo. I’m sure the rhyming dictionary was well thumbed for these tunes, else you wouldn’t have such stirring ruminations like the ones in “Waiting Game”: “I wait for a lonely breath / I wait to surface from this depth / Wait for the light to take me away / These images I’ve kept / In my head / More than ever / I need to feel you / More than ever / I see the real you.” Fucking terrific.

Is it any wonder we “older” listeners (that usually means anyone over 25 by industry standards) bitch so much about the current state of popular music? This is what it has come down to? A jerked-off melody everyone else is doing for a chance on the next NOW That’s What I Call Music compilation. For the most part, there is no “state” of rock music today. It’s just in this retarded limbo where we have bands like Yellowcard pandering to a youth who would prefer to whine to their music than actually groove to it. There is nothing redeeming here. Not in the words, not in the music, and certainly not in the Kmart style. It’s only a matter of time before Yellowcard’s number is up. It may as well be before they bother recording that next waste of time.

~Jason Thompson


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