ATP! Album Review: Yellowcard - Southern Air

2011 saw the triumphant return of Yellowcard with their seventh studio album "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes", which was greeted with tremendous praise from critics and fans across the world. Fast forward one year, and the kings of a scene that has been long-overdue for a breath of fresh air for many years, are back with "Southern Air"; armed with 10 tracks which include something to please all Yellowcard fans, old and new.

Fans were given the first taste of "Southern Air" back in May with "Always Summer", a 2012 summer anthem which screams everything that makes a Yellowcard song: a catchy melody, incredible harmonies and of course, what song would be complete without a violin solo from Sean Mackin? At this point, anticipation couldn't be any higher and "Southern Air" doesn't disappoint.

Old school fans will be automatically glued to tracks such as "Awakening", "Surface Of The Sun" and "Rivertown Blues", and those who have been recently introduced to Yellowcard from supporting bands such as All Time Low on tour will fall head over heels in love with single "Here I Am Alive", which even features guest vocals from We Are The In Crowd vocalist Tay Jardine that makes those dual harmonies between frontman Ryan Key even sweeter.

One thing Yellowcard are always known for on each album is for writing incredible ballads. Last time around with "WYTTSY", we were treated to "Sing For Me" - a song dedicated to Key's aunt Stephanie who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the time but now has sadly passed on. During the band's last tour, Key would perform the track solo acoustically and before starting to play, he would tell the audience each night about his aunt, who was one of the first Yellowcard fans and had been supportive since day one. Key again pays tribute to his lost relative on this album with "Telescope", which is without a doubt one of the stand out tracks on "Southern Air". During the chorus, we are greeted with unexpected guest vocals from Cassadee Pope, We Are The In Crowd's Tay Jardine and All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth. What works essentially about this collaboration is that their vocals are only present during the harmonies as Key sings "My only hope, you're my telescope". It's the perfect combination, but anything more would have taken away the charm and passion of the song.

Last year, Yellowcard set the bar incredibly high with "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes" but what they have conjured up this year is a release which is set to rival their entire back catalog. The band have poured their hearts into "Southern Air" and there is a tangible sense of passion behind each track. With so many new releases yet to come in the upcoming months, Yellowcard have already given 2012 a run for its money with "Southern Air".

5/5

"Southern Air" is out August 14th through Hopeless Records.

Jon Ableson

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