Yellowcard took a couple of years off between albums, during which band members went to school, bought houses, worked with other musicians and generally grew up. Now they’re back – older and more mature, maybe, with some rest behind them, but still pumping out classic, quality songs.
When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes is ten tracks of solid pop-punk, complete with catchy hooks and smooth harmonies.
They jump right off with “The Sound of You and Me,” which opens with some pumping punk guitars then breaking down melodically with ample use of the group’s most unique element, the violin. The second track (“For You and Your Denial”) really showcases the string, opening with what sounds like it should lead into a sassy orchestral arrangement instead of a pop-punk number. But it launches into classic-sounding Yellowcard at their best, with clean vocals and a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days, perhaps prompting you to break out in song at the worst possible moment. “With You Around,” the third track, opens with a seemingly simple and yet fantastic riff, slowly building into even more candy-sweet pop-punk that name-drops Saves the Day.
The album features a couple of ballads (“Hang You Up” and “Sing For Me”), which offer a little break from the rest of the uptempo numbers. The slow songs are subdued and “Sing For Me” almost drags, but both still manage to beautifully showcase the band’s musical restraint and maturity and strongly feature vocalist Ryan Key’s talent for melody. They’re the sort of tracks you may not always be in the mood for, but when you listen to them you won’t be able to resist singing along. The songs in the middle of the album (“Life of Leaving Home,” “Hide” and “Soundtrack”) are all strong and fun to hear, as is the penultimate track “See Me Smiling.” The closer, “Be The Young,” is slightly slowed-down but still driving, and ends the album on a good note.
Where Yellowcard really shine is in their hooks. Each song has its own catchy part, whether it’s the guitar riffs, vocal melodies, pounding drums or lilting violin, keeping you going from beginning to end. Fresh off their two-year hiatus, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes invokes the band’s past without dwelling on it. The time off seems to have rejuvenated the group, allowing them to keep being themselves but develop and move forward. They’re back, and with this record fans should be happy to welcome the return.