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Yellowcard - Paper Walls (Cover Artwork)

Yellowcard

Yellowcard: Paper WallsPaper Walls (2007)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I'm not going to lie -- I really do like quite a lot of radio pop-punk. Yellowcard are easily one of the best acts you'll find in the Hot 200 as far as I'm concerned. With Paper Walls, Yellowcard have taken their sound to a new level. The slow songs soar higher, and the fast songs have so much more .
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I'm not going to lie -- I really do like quite a lot of radio pop-punk. Yellowcard are easily one of the best acts you'll find in the Hot 200 as far as I'm concerned. With Paper Walls, Yellowcard have taken their sound to a new level. The slow songs soar higher, and the fast songs have so much more energy. Paper Walls is exactly what pop-punk radio really needs while in the midst of the Fall Out Boy trend. Too many bands playing music too similar just isn't good in any situation. Hell, mainstream pop-punk is so cornered by the Fueled by Ramen sound right now that even a Simple Plan record would be a refreshing change of pace at this point. Right...but anyway, enough of that, onto the music.

There is only really one big miss here, that being "Dear Bobbie," a love song about vocalist Ryan Key's grandparents. However well-intentioned this song is, it simply throws the pace of this album off too much. It would make a great B-side, but it really hurts the album itself, a mixed bag of slow, powerful ballads, punchy, fast pop-punk, and mid-paced rock.

As far as ballads are concerned, we have "Keeper," "Shadows and Regrets," and "You and Me and One Spotlight." "Keeper" provides soaring vocals from Key over a prominent, beautifully light guitar riff. "Shadows and Regrets" is a spectacular song about times gone by, opening with simple acoustic strumming, opening up to light violin, eventually building up to a huge chorus, with bells and electric guitar. "You and Me and One Spotlight" is a personal favorite, if only because of the allusions to theatre. Nonetheless, Key provides equally awesome vocals on this track. Really, these songs were designed to make him shine, and it really works. How much of this is Pro Tools' work I don't know, but it does sound great at least.

Pop-punk is always what Yellowcard did best, and reasonably enough, songs of such structure represent the majority of Paper Walls for a reason. Here we have "The Takedown," "Fighting," "Afraid," "Five Becomes Four," and "Cut Me, Mick." The former three are standard relationship-based pop-punk fare, but that's not to say they aren't well-executed -- they're actually some of Yellowcard's best songs to date. "Five Becomes Four" tackles their relationship with former guitarist Ben Harper, putting violinist Sean Mackin to great use with an instantly memorable violin track. "Cut Me, Mick" relies on a New Found Glory (think Catalyst)-style "huge" guitar riff, creating a wholly enjoyable song that sticks out from the rest of the batch.

Of course, what would Yellowcard be without a solid rock base? That's how they became so huge. Yellowcard bring "Shrink the World," "Date Line (I Am Gone)," and the lead single "Light Up the Sky" to the table. While "Light Up the Sky" is a perfect take on alt-rock radio, the other two simply come off more as filler. Not that they are bad, they just get lost in the rest of the album.

The whole deal closes out with "Paper Walls," which kind of takes the best elements of Yellowcard's pop-punk, rock and ballads, and combines them for an excellent closer. The title track opens with a cool though cliché children's chorus chanting lyrics of the song, quickly opening into another New Found Glory-style riff, going out into a light, sort of acoustic section, which builds into a huge rock chorus. "Paper Walls" is an excellent way to wrap this album up.

Besides "Dear Bobbie," the greatest fault of Paper Walls is also one of its greatest strengths. While Neal Avron's production makes Ryan Key sound amazing, it often finds Mackin's violin sounding distant, and totally separate from the rest of the band. Besides that, there really is nothing to complain about on Paper Walls. It's nothing groundbreaking, but with it Yellowcard have made an amazingly competent pop-punk/pop-rock album that rocks a lot harder than most of their peers' current releases. While Yellowcard doesn't quite reach the greatness of the now (in my opinion) genre classic Ocean Avenue, and while I don't think they've proven they can write a song better than my personal favorite "Breathing," Paper Walls certainly is a welcome return from 2005's Lights and Sounds.

 

 
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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.
ycf (October 18, 2007)
Anonymous (August 7, 2007)

"Even though Lights and Sounds did go gold (and all of the true Yellowcard fans stayed strong and loved every minute of the release)"

So because you're a "true fan" you have to pretend to like garbage? Well, stay strong!

"he band went through an emotional rollercoaster because of jerks who work at radio stations all around the country"

Those jerks who work at radio stations weren't bribed enough by the jerks who work at the label. Also, the jerks who write the songs didn't do their jobs very well.

Anonymous (August 6, 2007)

Why would anyone name their band after a soccer term?

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

fuck this. oh, and fuck this site for posting this shit after the asshole posted crap on every other review. fuck this shit fake band. im done with this so called punk site. what a fucking joke you are.

ConsolationPrizefighter (August 2, 2007)

A baseball cap tip of the hat to punknews.org for posting this great review. A cowboy hat tip of the hat to the reviewer for looking past all of the negative jerks on this site and posting a true review of a magnificent album. A grande sombrero tip of the hat to Yelowcard for overcoming all of the negativity surrounding their last release Lights and Sounds and coming back with the best album of 2007, Paper Walls.

A wag of the finger for the overindulgent tipping of hats.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

Probably better than In With The Out Crowd.

punk_rawk_show (August 2, 2007)

its true about soapyjack and his cock loving

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

Surely Heisel has an opinion on this one.

I bet he's stoked.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

Soapy Jack likes the cock.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

Music is hard to classify. There are so many sub genres, that one gets confused very easily. I was talking to my friend yesterday. He said he was listening to Post Hardcore folk reggae. What the hell is post hardcore folk reggae? I am listening to pre new wave country opus, see that is understandable. If you don't know what pre new wave country opus is, then sir you are missing the fuck out. It is underground right now but it is fucking amazing. The fashion is the best thing. I can't wait tell I see my favorite pre new wave country opus artists clothing lines at Hot Topic.

moneenerd (August 1, 2007)

anyone remember the song starstruck? It owned every other yellowcard song ever made. Fact is. These guys, Sum 41, Rufio, Matchbook Romance, Starting Line, and A New Found Glory (but not so much) all lost that true pop punk feel long ago. It's hard to describe. But I listen to One For The Kids(yellowcard) and Say It Like You Meant It (starting line) and it just isn't the same fun sing along pop punk that you knew was true to them.

New Found Glory are the only ones that kind of still have that feel. I guess i'll know for sure when their from the screen to your stereo cd comes out. Rufio quit once they realized how trashy of a cd the comfort of home was.


Listen to The Front Page
www.myspace.com/thefrontpagenj

coldwaffles (August 1, 2007)

hot 200 billboard albums
hot 100 billboard singles

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

this is not rock n roll my friends.

nostinkinbadges (August 1, 2007)

what the hell is hot 200?

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

Jeff likes Hawthorne Heights.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

I'm in a frat and I like this album.

Seriously.

coldwaffles (August 1, 2007)

did i just score this site yellowcard ads? hahahahah

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

Score is for the guy who mentioned the old pop punk days and how A Wilhelm Scream and The Swellers are so fucking good.

AlmostPunkENough (August 1, 2007)

haha, i knew you two were bonin.

anyway, i really like this shit, it hurts me to say, but i really do. such a fun summer album, great for drowning out the samba blaring out the window of the guy next to you on the Cross Bronx.

and as for the kid who said this is so much more punk than the new AM!, i don't know if you were being serious, but goddamn do i ever agree.

inagreendase (August 1, 2007)

Is Meg your former girlfriend, inagreendase? I'm unsure of the sex of glasspipemurder, or fortyminuteswest.

Yes, that's what I was saying, though I didn't really want to drag it into here.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Is Meg your former girlfriend, inagreendase? I'm unsure of the sex of glasspipemurder, or fortyminuteswest.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

f*ck the cowbell..............more violin!!!

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Yellowcard outdid themselves on this one! bravo!

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

A baseball cap tip of the hat to punknews.org for posting this great review. A cowboy hat tip of the hat to the reviewer for looking past all of the negative jerks on this site and posting a true review of a magnificent album. A grande sombrero tip of the hat to Yelowcard for overcoming all of the negativity surrounding their last release Lights and Sounds and coming back with the best album of 2007, Paper Walls. Even though Lights and Sounds did go gold (and all of the true Yellowcard fans stayed strong and loved every minute of the release) the band went through an emotional rollercoaster because of jerks who work at radio stations all around the country and also some deep issues between band members. I have been stuck in some rough potholes these past few weeks and this release has proved to me that overcoming obstacles is something that anyone can do. If Yellowcard can overcome their huge issues so can I.

coldwaffles (July 31, 2007)

rkl - if that is the review you submitted, it's pretty much false hate on the album. you said violin wasn't present, just a minute in they are already using it. it's actually quite present in the disc.

gifts and curses is an incredibly bad song literally written for spiderman 2. terribly commercial, i stopped listening to this band for quite a while on principal after hearing it.

two minutes into takedown remind me of strung out. right before the solo, and even the solo a little bit. cool.

inagreendase (July 31, 2007)

did inagreendase really make his girlfriend staff?

I can't really answer this accurately without bringing up my own personal business, which I really shouldn't have to do, but... If you must know, it was 100% Aubin's idea to give her an editorship and she's remained in the position many months after our relationship was no longer.

maxethunders (July 31, 2007)

I can tell you, without hearing a single note of this cd that it is terrible mall punk that will be another nail in the coffin of punk today.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

score is for rkl's review below a few posts.

and this

"did inagreendase really make his girlfriend staff?"

I can leave the internet now.
wyzo

onegirlarmy (July 31, 2007)

I'm no Yellowcard fan myself but I love when the posters here get all up in arms over a review that disagrees with their feelings on said band/album.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

did inagreendase really make his girlfriend staff?

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

i really like this album. this is what good poppunk is all about.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

I listened to this once when it was streaming. Seemed meh. Not enough evolution. After their last one, they just wanted to make something that would sell. And they did. Its funny how much the band commented on the poor reception of lights and sounds.

Anyways, Ocean Avenue wipes the floor with this shit.

Gifts and Curses = Greatest Yellowcard song ever.

Oh yeah, and anyone else not able to stop laughing when they heard "Dear Bobbie". I'm sure it was well intentioned and all, and I feel really bad for saying this... but the dude reading the letter sounds EXACTLY like the creepy old motherfucker from Family Guy that hits on Chris all the time. If I could get past that, I'd probably think it was a half-decent song.

rkl (July 31, 2007)

10:32 PM Recently, I've been reading on the internet about this band called Yellowcard. Apparently, they're the greatest band ever. So, I eagerly went to the store on this glorious day of release and bought twelve copies. I'm listening to all twelve at once while I write this review, to get a full feeling for the Yellowcard sound.
The album cover is pretty neat, for some reason it reminds me a lot of Metallica's Master of Puppets. Only in a much more safe way.
The album starts with "Takedown." This is my first introduction into the world of Yellowcard. I hear standard pop-punk guitars and basic 4/4 drums. Whiny voice, comparable to that one guy from NFG who always looked like he was shitting while he's singing. There is a nice solo though, at about the 2m30s mark. Maybe these guys really do like Metallica. Either that or they're jocking Avenged Sevenfold.
10:43 PM 4th song now. Its called "Keeper." "I wanna stand where I can see. Im watching you love me, Im watching you leave me now. I wish I could be somebody else. I wish I could see you in myself." I hope Steve Perry's somewhere in the writing credits, because that lyric has to be a Journey ripoff. No violin yet either. Maybe its just disguised to sound like a guitar, but why not just have another guitar? Shysters.
10:56 PM 24 odd minutes into listening. The track thats currently on is titled "Shadows & Regrets." I'm beginning to regret creating the Yellowcard wall of sound. Finally, theres a violin. I can hear it swooping and soaring in, changing this from mild radio-friendly pop-punk into mild dixie chicks-friendly pop punk. I don't know why I ever doubted these guys, this music is amazing and legendary. Kind of like a less good Mekons. The next song, "Five Becomes Four," imaginatively uses the violin, before banishing it to the basement in favor of the vocalist. I imagine that the producer made this album at gunpoint, as much as the violin's levels are turned down during duets with the vocalist.
11:01 PM I'm the target demographic here. I'm a fratboy. I'm undereducated. I believe everything I read, and do nothing but drink beer and put GHB in women's drinks. I'm not liking this music though. Put kindly, it sucks. I'm not going to stick around to listen to "Cut Me, Mick," so I'll go ahead and skip to the title track. There's a choir. Maybe this will be an ode to pedarasty. The world needs a new GG Allin, and a band with a violin could be just the one to push those kind of antics into the mainstream. But you know what, its more of the same crap, except this time its slower. The guy's voice isn't so nasally here, and I think that this time he stole lyrics from Bob Seger. I'm going to bed.

Recommend Songs: Five Becomes Four
Paper Walls

Note to readers/editors: The only thing I know about GHB is that I used to get it confused with GBH back in the day. Never seen the stuff.

rkl (July 31, 2007)

Posted by inagreendase on 2007-07-31 15:55:13

punknews records doesnt happen to have a distribution deal with capitol, does it?

http://www.punknews.org/article/12984

http://www.punkne ws.org/review/6537

If mental retardation was illegal you'd get the death penalty.


if giving staff to your girlfriend was illegal you'd get the death penalty
h0h0h0.

but,seriously. wrote that post a little pissed off, was an honest question. guess i wont be getting any more shit published here,eh?
probably been here too long. anyhow.

ConsolationPrizefighter (July 31, 2007)

I clicked this with anticipation hoping the Yellowcard super fan would be here but s/he's not! What the fuck my day is ruined.

inagreendase (July 31, 2007)

You know, ColdWaffles clearly mentions radio pop-punk as a genre earlier in the review. That's probably the "genre" he's placing Ocean Avenue in, which, as far as that style goes the last few years, is hard to contend with.

inagreendase (July 31, 2007)

punknews records doesnt happen to have a distribution deal with capitol, does it?

http://www.punknews.org/article/12984

http://www.punkne ws.org/review/6537

If mental retardation was illegal you'd get the death penalty.

die_die_die (July 31, 2007)

"Paper Walls certainly is a welcome return from 2005â??s Lights and Sounds."

That line made me realize this was a joke.

nate_derby (July 31, 2007)

Fuck this noise.

"But oh well. Who gives a shit about bands like these when you can listen to The Swellers or A Wilhelm Scream?"

Truth.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Man it must suck to always make albums for 12 year olds. Hated it!

Scruffy (July 31, 2007)

"Hell, mainstream pop-punk is so cornered by the Fueled by Ramen sound right now"

Did anyone else think, for a split second, "I don't remember hearing J Church, Blueline Medic, The Stereo, Animal Chin, Discount, Pietasters, or Ann Beretta on the radio!"

My, how times have changed.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

awesome! easily one of punks top 25 most influential bands, along with greenday, avril, no doubt and simple plan! this cd will be in heavy rotation

misterpink (July 31, 2007)

that cover is very nice

misterspike (July 31, 2007)

Never heard of 'em.

coldwaffles (July 31, 2007)

"i just think fair play for writing a review that is clearly going to give you the most shit on this site since Anchors picked justin timberlake in his top albums of the year...thats bravery right there."

i got some pretty big shit on paramore.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

i just think fair play for writing a review that is clearly going to give you the most shit on this site since Anchors picked justin timberlake in his top albums of the year...thats bravery right there.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

This is not pop-punk.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

I just love the people who get so pissed off because of a review. "Oi this isn't real punk, it makes my yellow spiked mohawk go limp!"

coldwaffles (July 31, 2007)

Yes. I honestly do enjoy this record.

For the record, Third Eye Blind is one of my favorite bands, right next to Hot Water Music.

CellarDoor (July 31, 2007)

Album of the decade.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

best album of the year thusfar, along with the new Strung Out and Mad Caddies, of course, we're talking apples, oranges and pears (pop punk, metal/skate punk and ska/reggae/dixie jaxx punk in other words)

regardless, it's a bad ass CD, on par with Ocean Ave and way better than Lights and Sounds.

The review sums it all up perfectly.

If you hate YC you'll hate this. If you liked Ocean Ave, this album is the perfect fix for your pop punk jones, bouncy, catchy, fast, ballads, soaring vocals, tight harmonies, great flow and other than "dear Bobbie" not one bad or even average/filler track, all 12 songs are solid as fuck.

Paul

ibitchslappedyourmama (July 31, 2007)

org-core

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

I enjoyed one for the kids quite a bit when it came out, though I can't specifically remember any of the songs as I write this some 6 years later, but calling ocean avenue a genre classic truely is so very, very wrong.

T-Rock (July 31, 2007)

Album of the Year. Hahaha.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Garbage band, garbage album, garbage review.

bryne (July 31, 2007)

I can't help but feel coldwaffles' tounge was planted firmly in cheek when he wrote this.

But hey if he sincerely enjoys this shit, more power to him.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Awesome. This is more punk than Against Me! and way better.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Where is true punk rock? I think I start to hate that site more and more every day. Punk is dead....or in coma. It need a fucking big thing to resurect and this is not Yellowcard or anything else that come out this years.

Oh yeah, pop-punk is dead so stop listen to that crap.

-PoPSeCKeL-

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

"â??Dear Bobbie,â?ť a love song about vocalist Ryan Key's grandparents."

I know what he's trying to say, but this just sounds terribly wrong.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

genre classic???, what is the world coming to-oldpunker-

damnitsderek (July 31, 2007)

I am sooooooooooo happy that there is a review for this album.

mcgregor107 (July 31, 2007)

Whew, this got an 8.. it's okay for me to like this in public.

JKJKKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJJK!!!!

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Score is for 'Breathing'. The reviewed album is, on the other hand, mediocre at best. Not as bad maybe as 'Lights and Sounds', but still very weak. I listened to it three times so far, but I still don't feel it. And I think I never will.

SteeevePerry (July 31, 2007)

I used to absolutely love pop punk at the time ocean avenue came out, but i could never get into it, apart from the song only one. Gave lights and sounds a try but that was disgraceful. This is probably their best yet in my opinion. Hardly a good cd tho...

punk_rawk_show (July 31, 2007)

"anyone remember the song starstruck? It owned every other yellowcard song ever made. Fact is. These guys, Sum 41, Rufio, Matchbook Romance, Starting Line, and A New Found Glory (but not so much) all lost that true pop punk feel long ago. It's hard to describe. But I listen to One For The Kids(yellowcard) and Say It Like You Meant It (starting line) and it just isn't the same fun sing along pop punk that you knew was true to them.

New Found Glory are the only ones that kind of still have that feel. I guess i'll know for sure when their from the screen to your stereo cd comes out. Rufio quit once they realized how trashy of a cd the comfort of home was.

But oh well. Who gives a shit about bands like these when you can listen to The Swellers or A Wilhelm Scream?"

I find alot of those statements very true. Ahhhh say it like you meant it, so many damn good memories. Although yes The Swellers and A wilhelm scream are a very good replacment

punk_rawk_show (July 31, 2007)

New Found Glory are the only ones that kind of still have that feel. I guess i'll know for sure when their from the screen to your stereo cd comes out. Rufio quit once they realized how trashy of a cd the comfort of home was.

But oh well. Who gives a shit about bands like these when you can listen to The Swellers or A Wilhelm Scream?"

I find alot of those statements very true. Ahhhh say it like you meant it, so many damn good memories. Although yes The Swellers and A wilhelm scream are a very good replacment

rkl (July 31, 2007)

fuck you guys. i submitted this 2 and a half weeks ago, with its true rating.

punknews records doesnt happen to have a distribution deal with capitol, does it?

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

These guys totally tucked their tails in between their legs, and forced out pop punk after their last album bombed, huh? Whatever, going "back to your roots" is almost always a horrible idea.

- suck the fuck

nocigar (July 31, 2007)

even a Simple Plan record would be a refreshing change of pace at this point.

what the fuck is wrong with you? Get your hearing checked.

nocigar (July 31, 2007)

score is for this kid giving anberlin and yellowcard 8 stars

treos (July 31, 2007)

score is for a wilhelm scream and strike anywhere

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Ocean Avenue is a genre classic. I bet 60% of the United States population between the ages of 16-19 know the majority of the words to that song.

facetofacereunion08 (July 31, 2007)

"Where we stand" was a good Yellowcard album...but then again, Ryan Key wasn't the singer yet.

Score is for calling "Ocean Avenue" a genre classic

rob_rob (July 31, 2007)

what kind of horrible human calls ocean avenue genre classic, unless of course that "genre" marked the was the last time i watched mtv.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

anyone remember the song starstruck? It owned every other yellowcard song ever made. Fact is. These guys, Sum 41, Rufio, Matchbook Romance, Starting Line, and A New Found Glory (but not so much) all lost that true pop punk feel long ago. It's hard to describe. But I listen to One For The Kids(yellowcard) and Say It Like You Meant It (starting line) and it just isn't the same fun sing along pop punk that you knew was true to them.

New Found Glory are the only ones that kind of still have that feel. I guess i'll know for sure when their from the screen to your stereo cd comes out. Rufio quit once they realized how trashy of a cd the comfort of home was.

But oh well. Who gives a shit about bands like these when you can listen to The Swellers or A Wilhelm Scream?

ozmanx (July 31, 2007)

Ugh. The whole Yelllowcard shtick got old really quick, no one cares!

NotPatriotic (July 31, 2007)

The upcoming post (hopefully) from the Yellowcard fan is going to be epic.

Dante3000 (July 31, 2007)

People with paper walls, shouldn't light their farts on fire.
-Dante

Albert_Belle (July 31, 2007)

Yes! Finally, I love a good 'Card cd.

Phantom_Maggot (July 31, 2007)

I almost feel like this is a reaction to all the Yellowcard posts and just a big joke...at least I hope that it is.

WainscottRockCity (July 31, 2007)

Oh look, another four star review on Punknews. Average pop-punk with some decent hooks and a gimmick violin.

feeeding5000 (July 31, 2007)

Oh, and I have to say that I don't trust Coldwaffles' taste, particularly, so I'm gonna assume he meant a 4, not an 8.

GlassPipeMurder (July 31, 2007)

yellowcard?

feeeding5000 (July 31, 2007)

I know I don't deserve it, but, "First"?

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