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Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue (Cover Artwork)

Yellowcard

Yellowcard: Ocean AvenueOcean Avenue (2003)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: TheMarcTheMarc
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I blame Jason Tate for having to write this review. The hype surrounding Yellowcard's major-label debut has been ridiculous, thanks to certain websites and choice fanboys around the world. I could've sworn the second this album came out, there would be some negative review posted on this site, c.
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I blame Jason Tate for having to write this review.

The hype surrounding Yellowcard's major-label debut has been ridiculous, thanks to certain websites and choice fanboys around the world. I could've sworn the second this album came out, there would be some negative review posted on this site, completely lambasting everything and anything Yellowcard does, just to spite everyone else. But I like Yellowcard, I enjoyed their previous releases, and I wanted to try and provide an informative and somewhat unbiased review. Because, in my foolish opinion, cd reviews are meant to provide people with the necessary information to make an accurate assessment on whether or not said person should purchase the reviewed album. It shouldn't be a total giddy fanboy squealing over how amazing and tear-inducing someone's music is. On the other hand, it shouldn't be an unjustified, unwarranted, "this band sucks becasue I say so" thing either.

So how, exactly, is Ocean Avenue?

The album begins with the designated single "Way Away", which is an excellent introduction to the band: upbeat, catchy, melodic pop-punk, with the unmistakeable influence of Yellowcard's driving violin. "Breathing" is another excellent track. "Only One" has what may be the most memorable hook I have ever heard. But here's where I run into a problem. The first time I went through this album, these were the only songs that stuck out to be as fantastic. The rest seemed to be a muddled, unmemorable blur. After listening to the entire album several more times, the same problem remained. Songs like "Ocean Avenue", "Life Of A Salesman", "Miles Apart", and "Believe" are good songs, but just a little shy of excellence. As the album wears on, the violin is not as much as a driving force as it is in the beginning, and softer songs such as "View From Heaven" and "One Year, Six Months" fail to capture the true power of this band. Sure, sometimes you sit back and say, "Wow, is that a violin in there?" But when that becomes all you're listening to, you're not paying attention to the other 75% of the song, which is unfortunately the case throughout Ocean Avenue.

Don't get me wrong. I am a huge Yellowcard supporter, and no one was more excited than I was to hear what is going to no doubt be their big mainstream breakthrough. But for one reason or another, this album just isn't any more than slightly above average. Missing is the more dark sound of the Underdog e.p., and the continous energy of "One For The Kids". The production is top notch, as could be expected, and the lyrics are more upbeat and seemingly less cliche than most bands in the pop-punk genre. At least any negative effect of the band signing to Capitol has yet to be seen.

The bottom line is this: I think they can do better than this. There is potential here, but this just isn't what it was hyped to be. Is it the next soundtrack to your life? No. It is, however, not bad, and worth buying, and their live show is solid and entertaining. Hopefully, the best is still yet to come.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
The_Crowing (October 24, 2007)

This album sure is ok. And what I mean by that is every song on here is listenable. none of them are good. But they're all listenable. Average for music in general. Above-average for pop-punk.

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

Yellowcard is a diverse band, not all of their songs have to be "upbeat". Any artist's album doesn't consist of all upbeat songs, whats wrong with a more mellow song? Take it for whats it's worth, Yellowcard is in my opinion the best band to this very date! There's going to be some haters out there, but no band is perfect, not every song they write or record is going to be everyones ideal song. "Only One", "Ocean Avenue", "Lights and Sounds", "Way Away" are all good, but listen to their whole album, both of them. My faves consist of "Gifts and Curses", "One Year Six Months", "Back Home" and "Anywhere But Here"! Listen, don't criticize them for having songs that you think are "a par under excellent"

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

Sorry. My rate didn't show.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

They are a good band! No one can say they suck, because whoever does, there comment flies right back at them.

Anonymous (December 6, 2005)

Yellowcard r the greatest band that i have ever heard apart from new found glory

Anonymous (December 6, 2005)

Yellowcard r the greatest band that i have ever heard apart from new found glory

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

I don't think anyone should use the phrase "best album ever" to describe any cd. Because there are tons of people who'll think its the stupidest cd ever. Like me and Ocean Avenue. Its "hardcore" music for 13 year olds and church kids.

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Yellowcard is awesome and they dont dress punk.. Unless jeans and t-shirts are punk.... If so then i guess like everyone is punk...... U guys rock and i love u!!!!!!!!

Anonymous (January 23, 2005)

Yellowcard is so freaking awesome. they arent depressed like ur average emo band...so what if they are sensitive and express thier feelings...thats awesome. all in all this album is like THE FREAKIN BEST and all the guys who think they suck are jsut jealous cuz YC gets more ass then u ever will!!!!

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

Ok first of all I fucken hate these emo kids who think punk is a fashion statement and the bands associated with them, but "Way Away" is a pretty good song. Besides that this cd is basically satan taking a dump for a half an hour.

jerock1110 (January 1, 2005)

Best Yellowcard CD! very good songs, the blend of the violin and PunK. Yellowcard is the type of punk where there is a lot of instrumentation and rythem, GREAT CD!!!

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

This is one of the best Yellowcard albums yet. I love "Empty Apartment." also "Only one","Ocean Avenue!!" YELLOW CARD ROCKS!!!!iiiiiiii!!!

AiD (November 4, 2004)

It's a good band with a little special violin sound here and there.

A good punkband with songs that get stuck in your mind

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

i like this cd very much it is punk rock with a violin this is so much better then all that teenybopper boy band crap that mtv shows all punk rocks n is equal i enjoyed the cd b4 this by yellowcard and this 1 i enjoyed immediatly when i picked it up.i am a punk fan and a punker i only listen 2 punk all types n this is 1 of my top fave cd's.i cant pick a fave song i just enjoy the whole cd so dont diss punk rock bands cause punk is the realist music out there.yellowcard did a good job on this cd they did a wonderful job song writing and playing guitar and drums.so go pick it up and listen 2 what a kick ass punk rock cd ocean ave is.other cds that are my faves green day american idiot,good charlotte the chronicles of life and death,blink 182 blink 182,bowling for soup a hangover you dont deserve,the used in love and death,my chemical romance three cheers for sweet revenge,new found glory catalyst,senses fail let it enfold you,lucky boys confusion commitent,jersey generation genocide,sugarcult palm trees and powerlines,rock against bush 1 and 2,jimmy eat world futures,hazen st. hazen st.,sum 41 chuck,simple plan still not getting any,the donnas gold medal,nofx greatest songs ever written by us,avenged sevenfold waking the fallen,midtown forget what you know the explosion black tape, and the f-up's the f-up's.so go pick up all these cd's and keep punk alive punk will never die.

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

alright cave man "shit like that make me hate punk."

but i agree with him, very queer lyrics and the singer has an annoying voice

Note : if you want to hear something good listen to Thrice - the illusion of safety

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

Shit like that make me hate punk!

Anonymous (August 24, 2004)

pure shit

Anonymous (August 19, 2004)

To be honest when i got this cd a ong while ago, I loved it... but they have a bad case of the same thing simple plan has, it get's boring really fast, after only a few listens i start to get bored and it just starts to sound terrible so it only gets 2 stars cause a good cd should be great to listen too for a whole lot longer than theirs was

Anonymous (August 3, 2004)

Yellowcard is seriously an awesome band... saw them play a few times at a local theater.. just a great bunch of guys!.... the violin is fucking great dude... who would ever think of having a violin in a band?... its something different right?.. so come on... dont hate on them... do ur thing guys... cant wait to hear what you guys have coming.. thats for damn sure!

Publikstuntz88 (July 27, 2004)

this bands alwyas been..ok. theyre not amazing, just ok.

Anonymous (July 23, 2004)

Although there are a a couple good songs like "Only One" and "One Year Six Months", the music is very generic and the whole violin thing is just a gimmick to get attention. Plus their live show pretty lacking. You can tell the producer spent a lot of time compressing the vocals.

Anonymous (July 21, 2004)

Very kick ass cd. One of my favorites. Funny how people can say music sucks because it is "sold out." See now the "true" punk bands aren't sold out because they didnt want to be. It's because their music is too shitty to catch big record label attention.

Any one of us would jump at the chance to make the money they are doing the thing they love.

The morale of my babbling is, Judge music by music, not by their "sold out" status.

Anonymous (July 11, 2004)

Why does everyone say a band has sold out just because they become popular? I don't see how Yellowcard has compromised their sound to appeal to a broader audience... In fact, they're a prime example of a band getting big without changing. Green Day, as we all know, didn't break big until "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" exploded them into superstardom, and it was an acoustic ballad... Jimmy Eat World sold out because they got big, too, right? Weezer sold out because they got big, too, right? If you judge someone's career based upon a single TRL appearance then in that case, Ranicd has sold out... Quit being a schmuck and enjoy what you enjoy and leave the rest to us...

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

They are a pretty good band but why do they have a violin? that sorta ruins it!

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

ilikebandssuchasopivy

if yellowcard was on trl that means they are terrible cuz their pop punk shit.

also, all of these albums should be burned and banned

Anonymous (June 27, 2004)

The new Descendents album is awful....they should've stayed retired. In fact, they were never a great band by any means. Now they're just another overrated joke in the pop-punk world. I'd much rather listen to Yellowcard.

Anonymous (June 13, 2004)

this album is good. not yellowcards best work...but not their worst. i like this album because its not like any other punk song. it doesnt whine constantly about girls and such. they sing about things that really matter in this cd. each song goes over the important aspects about life and death. about dads and about lost friends. this cd has true meaning and is really really good.

~val

Anonymous (June 10, 2004)

"...the lyrics are original, the music is awesome, especially with the violin incorporated.." Original lyrics? My sister and I were listening to this album in the car. If you can guess every line of the song subsequently after the first, that's not a good sign. Ooo. Violin. Big fucking deal. I have to give them props for that, though. Way to find a gimmick to sell your sub-par albums. Albeit, their violinist sucks. Can't fucking hold the instrument right and can barely do finger vibrato. I'm gonna find that guy and poop in his mouth as he sleeps.

crizack (May 15, 2004)

just another band that i can complain on how much they suck.

ilikebandssuchasopivy (April 9, 2004)

"Yellowcard has officially sold out.4 word:they were on TRL."

You are fourteen.

Anonymous (April 8, 2004)

Yellowcard has officially sold out.4 word:they were on TRL.

Anonymous (February 24, 2004)

this is an amazing album. yellowcard kicks ass..!! i saw them live juss last december n im planning on seeing them again this march!! this album is so worth purchasing.. you can listen to it over and over and never get sick of hearing it. they have an original sound. esp with the violin. great band recomend buying their cd and seeing them live!!
-emma-

Anonymous (February 23, 2004)

Sometimes when my mom takes a shit and forgets to flush the toilet ill go in the bathrooms pick up the poo and put it on a plate, i will have a fork and i will just totally enjoy that tird that warm gooey feeling in your mouth is just the best feeling in the world and especially if its your moms trust me do this.

Anonymous (November 9, 2003)

I think their song about loving your dad is way better than Good Charlotte's song about hating your dad.

Anonymous (October 22, 2003)

Obviously most of the people who have commented haven't even listened to the album. If you don't like the songs on it, you must not really be listening.... the lyrics are original, the music is awesome, especially with the violin incorporated, and they put on a kick ass show!! And by the way, I'd like a definition of "punk" because some of you are really good at saying what isn't punk, but what is then? Awesome album!

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

What does this band have to do with Craig's Brother? I heard had the same drummer. What is the real story?

Anonymous (September 18, 2003)

I saw these guys last night and they put on such an amazing live show. I highly recommend that everyone go see them if they get a chance.

Anonymous (August 11, 2003)

i really think this album isnt anything special- i really dont get all the hype. i like 'one for the kids' a lot better.

Anonymous (August 9, 2003)

It is sad that the Jacksonville music scene is known for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Limp Bizkit, Cold, and now Yellowcard. I'm moving to Tampa.

Anonymous (August 5, 2003)

I still say this album rocks!

Anonymous (August 4, 2003)

"and the song about loving your dad is better than good charlottes songs about hating your dad, but just as cheesey."

haha... Good Charlotte has a song about hating their dad?

Anonymous (August 4, 2003)

Where exactly is this "most memorable hook" in the song "Only One".

Anonymous (August 2, 2003)

hmm, this album is ok but not awesome. it basically sounds like movielife with a violin here and there , but its not in your face. they are like slightly edgier pop punk. its good, but like the movielife is, not that good, definate potential.
however theres a 9/11 song on here(believe i think its called). that shit should be outlawed, no more songs about that, its just cliche'd. and the song about loving your dad is better than good charlottes songs about hating your dad, but just as cheesey. the first 4 songs are the best then track 7, teh rest is average.

funkisdead (August 2, 2003)

lobster records is the shit.

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

I could never understand why YellowCard got so popular in the first place. They were not on a major label and they were not on a famous punk label...ala Epitaph, Fat, Nitro etc...
After all the hoopla I downloaded their first two cd's and there are maybe 3 songs total that are any good....this is just one of those bands that I don't understand.

Katie4213 (August 1, 2003)

this band is nothing special. and the fact that they are all extremely lacking in character and morals does not help their appeal at all. i will never buy a cd of theirs not only bc i am not a fan of their music, but when i spent 4 hours with them in seattle, i thought they were some of the rudest most arrogent people i have ever met.

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

i'm not a fan of yellowcard at all.
anyway, regarding that Descendents album. that message has been on Allcentral for almost a year now. I'll believe it when I see it. The Descendents were and probably still are the best "pop-punk" band on the planet.

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

From ALLcentral.com: "A new Descendents album and two new ALL albums are currently in various stages of production. No news yet regarding album titles or projected release dates." So, at least we know all the recording is done...

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

i don't consider this punk...

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

why does this band remind me more of the backstreet boys than say the ramones. punk is turning into kiddie music.

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

i dont know whats so special about this band or one for the kids. they have a kick ass live show though.

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

the new Descendents cd will crush this and show all of you how much this really sucks.....if the new Descendents cd ever comes out.

Anonymous (July 30, 2003)

underdog is their best cd

funkisdead (July 30, 2003)

"yellowcard.. now here's a band. you know how some bands have that special glow to them.. what the fuck special is going on here?"

i swear, if you sit down and listen to one for the kids, they have honesty, energy, and a sound that differentiates themselves from the hordes of shitty pop punk bands out there. i think they HAD plenty going for them. the underdog sucked.

adam (July 30, 2003)

TheMarc: I'm not sure why you were expecting a negative response to Yellowcard from the readers / editors here in general. I just looked though the archives and the last yellowcard article I found was from when they released that EP on FBR... so if anything, we've given them no press rather then negative press.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

It was funny at Warped when the kiddies had to choose to see YellowCard, or Simple Plan. They looked distraught. Face to Face was the tits.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

ima say the new yellocard

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Question: The new Thrice or the new Yellowcard?

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

yellowcard.. now here's a band. you know how some bands have that special glow to them.. what the fuck special is going on here? this band has nothing really working in thier favour, other than the fact they write generic pop punk songs which are decent at best, and they have barrel loads of money behind them. their violin play is a gimmick. He hardly does anything and does even less live.. oh i'll admit he does jump around alot, and good god he does a backflip. the circus is in town folks.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

This is better than most current poppunk, but that's not saying much.

bluetunehead (July 29, 2003)

you said "the scene"

apbeatsyourass (July 29, 2003)

i blame "themarc" for having to do this.

since when is it cool to hate on people that are doing great things to help out bands in the scene? if you were friends with a band and loved their music as much as tate does, you would do the same, if not more o help them out. grow the fuck up kid.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

this album is definitely one that has been worked very hard on, and it is proved through each and every song. the band has evolved and are trying new things that are unique from all the other bands out there. for god's sake who would have ever thought a young rock band would have a violin player?

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

.. just for the record, YC and Jason are like best friends. So, him moving on .. probably not going to happen.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

If only Yellowcard didn't want to be New Found Glory so bad. It's ridiculous, it truly is. I admit however, that this record is much better than NFG's "Sticks and Stones". Man, that was bad. Anyways, the songs are catchy, poppy, blah, blah, but the disturbing trend is the atrocious lyrics. Honestly, horrendous. "there's a place off Ocean Avenue where I used to sit and talk with you" "Way away away from here I'll be. Way away away so you can see." It's embarrasing, to tell you the truth. After hearing the similarly trite "underdog" off the same titled ep, I hoped that was just an aberrition. How wrong I was. Listen to "Rough Draft", back when they could write. Actually, the problem is that they can still write, but after jumping to Capitol they had to become more radio friendly, which means that the major label has changed them for the worse. I'm not saying that "One for the Kids" was a lyrically genius album, but you didn't listen to the songs in disgust wonder how a man in his 20s could write such juvenile lyrics, the same kind most people would write in 7th grade and go "man, this sucks". Anyways, the album's not too bad, lyrics aside, the violin's cool, and I apologize for rambling incoherently.

annonymous (July 29, 2003)

Did that wyzo guy say Greta Cohn from Cursive is hot......... your fucking gross

funkisdead (July 29, 2003)

one for the kids was a really good record, fucking cool music. this is not anywhere near as cool.
after one for the kids, this is the full length i figured they would make... less energy, more simplicity....
at least the art is better than that bullshit on the underdog ep. that shit was whack.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

they didnt even write their own songs. M A T R I X!! thanks avirl!!

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

This is possibly the poppiest punk related CD I've bought this year. Thats not a bad thing with Yellowcard. I saw these guys as on opening act on their second Bay Area date after "one for the kids" came out, and I bought their CD after seeing the show. They blew me away.

With Ocean Ave, they've amassed a group of well produced (but not overproduced IMHO) songs. Like the review I wouldn't say it's anything revolutionary, but is certainly head and shoulders above the bands most of you would write off as pop punk and therefore dismissable. With the more forgettable pop punk/"emo" releases of the summer (including but not limited to Mest, and the forthcoming Dashboard album) Yellowcard stands out as one of the better ones.

So if you can get past your scene police insticts telling you to automatically hate pop punk, listen to a track or 2 from these guys. IMHO, like the Ataris, they are able to convey emotion alot better than most bands, and thus making their music more meaningful, to me at least. (wow, I'm gonna get shit for this paragraph)

bottom line, YC is not your average pop punk band, and the violin isn't a dumb gimmick. It works, and while the album isn't revolutionary, it's a solid effort. I recommend "Way Away" and the last track "Back Home"

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I can stand a lot of bands with a pop/nu-emo thing going and I guess having a violin is cool, but honestly Yellowcard doesn't have any memorable riffs in their music. I have yet to hear any of their songs on record or live that I could remember for more than a minute. I seriously don't get why so many people like this band so much.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

seriously, Tate doesn't need any more attentioned tossed on to him than he already receives. Yellowcard was doing just fine before he heard of them, and will do just fine after Tate's moved on to another band of the week. The only upside to this is that the good people at Lobster Records are getting the attention they deserve.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

The violin player should ditch the rest of the band, and find someone who knows how to write lyrics and actually sing, and then make a solo album. He is this band. I dont even want to imagine what they sound like without him.

-GreenVandal

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

good balanced review.

someone needs to tell yellowcard its all about the hot cello player now. Like murder by death and cursive. Get the hot celloist, the records in the bag.

The girl on the cover is too perfectly white and normal. Why can't we get a Varla pinup girl on there?

wyzo

ZLNFTOC (July 29, 2003)

Very good. I just listened to this album
last night and was planning on writing a review on it. Definitive lack of innovative lyrics and to many punkish "You"'s. I miss the Yellowcard that wrote songs like "* Struck" and "Rough Draft."

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Wow, they have a violin player? How Rad!

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

""Because, in my foolish opinion, cd reviews are meant to provide people with the necessary information to make an accurate assessment on whether or not said person should purchase the reviewed album" ... wait so does that mean that my assessment on whether or not I should buy this album will only be accurate if I listen to you? dumbass"

Strange how this site attracts so many morons.

Nice review.

-scotty

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

good one bsd

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Hmmm I wonder if I'd like this.

-BSD

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

"Because, in my foolish opinion, cd reviews are meant to provide people with the necessary information to make an accurate assessment on whether or not said person should purchase the reviewed album" ... wait so does that mean that my assessment on whether or not I should buy this album will only be accurate if I listen to you? dumbass

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I saw them on Warped and they were awesome! They totally stood out.

thriceequalsgod (July 29, 2003)

im too tired to actually read the review.... but the first line is priceless. ill read later

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Wow, I couldn't disagree with you more. This album is WAY above average. Almost every song on this album stands out and leaves an imprint on the listener. You think Underdog is better than this? This is leagues above that. These songs are raw, heartfelt, and powerful. The violin is important and well placed throughout the entire record for the first time on any of their releases. Maybe the hype kept you from giving what you called an "unbiased opinion" because if you were really giving an unbiased opinion you would not have mentioned the hype in the first place.

hey_sailor (July 29, 2003)

this band sucks becasue I say so

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

you should write more

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

having a violin does not stop this from being generic, annoying, high whinny vocaled pop-punk. yawm.

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