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Album Review: Yellowcard – When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes (Acoustic)

Floridian violin-accompanied rockers Yellowcard have returned to grace our ears yet again. Following March’s release of ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes’ (the band’s long awaited return and the signal for their fan base to stop holding their collective breath) Ryan Key and the gang treated their fans to a what is essentially the dessert to WYTTSY's steak dinner (if you can pardon the awful metaphor), this, aesthetically pleasing acoustic rendition of their new album.

Having found success with such albums as the brilliant ‘Ocean Avenue’ and the seriously underrated ‘Paper Walls’, can the record signifying the end of their three year break sound just as good stripped down to its bare essentials?

Firstly, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a band incorporating violins fits its foot into the acoustic slipper a lot more comfortably than most. In fact, alongside an acoustic guitar that sounds almost eastern in ‘The Sound of You And Me’ it provides the perfect accompaniment to the shaker/vocal arrangement, giving off a sound rarely heard these days – it’s almost classical.

In ‘For You, And Your Denial’ the violin really does take prominence in a beautiful way. It's intricate main melody – the backbone to the song – is more akin to traditional folk music than anything Yellowcard has previously dared to stray into; this is amplified of course, by the stripped back nature of the arrangement and the shiver-inducing haunt of backing vocals in the latter half of what has to be one of the strongest acoustic performances offered to the public’s ears this year.

This album really is a grower, even in the space of one listen, by the time ‘Hang You Up’ is in full flow with its backing vocals from Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope and proto-drum beats you’ll be unable to pause this record, in fact it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that every element of a great album is present here, even without amplification; with tear-jerker ‘Hide’ the infallible power of low piano keys brings together the only emotions the album had yet to touch, and it does so with vigor.

Yellowcard’s ability to create songs that grow from aesthetically pleasing to epic is one that is hard not to admire, prolonging a love affair that began with the first time ‘Only One’ floated across the radio waves. This album continues Yellowcard’s crash course on how to write a truly brilliant song.

And none of that is taken away by the fact that this is an acoustic representation of an already-established release, if anything it adds to it. The short space of time between the release of the electric and acoustic versions inferring that fresh excitement of the band playing new songs, the melodies, the riffs, the accompaniments are all shining with the life that Yellowcard fans have so thankfully gained a double dose of this past year.


'When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes (Acoustic)' is out now.

Edward Strickson

Alter The Press!