I don’t fully remember when my love of Yellowcard began. I think it probably started with my friend Andrew, which is where most of my musical obsessions of early high school began. He had a knack for finding music that pushed me out of my comfort zone. He would put something in his shitty CD player and suddenly my whole perspective would change. I’d start paying attention to lyrics, to how melodies and instruments lined up to create something so perfectly crafted.
Yellowcard was one of those bands for me. My first introduction to them was through their first breakout CD, “Ocean Avenue.” Possibly their most popular album to date, which is fine by me, because back then I hadn’t been aware that OA was actually their fourth studio album. For me, it was their first one. ‘Way Away’ opened the album with a slow build to a fast and furious violin/rock wall of sound and I was just blown away.
This band made me want to play violin. I never did pick it up, but when I hear their songs I still can’t help but appreciate how hard it must be to play pop/punk music with a stringed instrument more commonly known for being part of the classical music circuit. Yellowcard’s music signifies summer for me. I put them on shuffle today on my iPod as I was driving home from work. It’s a sunny day. Yellowcard makes sunny music.
It’s not all happy, positive, infectious pop. Their music has a dark side. But I like that I’m still completely in love with Ryan Key’s voice after all this time and that the violin solos just have never gotten old. I recently found out that Yellowcard is working on their next album. I know there are other fans who just didn’t like their albums after Ocean Avenue, but I’ve never stopped being excited about their music. Lights and Sounds. Paper Walls. When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. These albums have defined my adolescence. I can’t help but feel that they sometimes just grew up right along with me.