Mack: Yellowcard’s ‘Southern Air’ a little staleWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Yellowcard’s latest album lacks the passion and emotional impact displayed on previous songs such as “Only One” and “Empty Apartment.” But it’s about what you would expect from a punk rock group that’s been around for 15 years.
“Southern Air” is filled with simple and predictable lyrics like on the song “Surface of the Sun” when they repeat the same mantra throughout the song about being destined for greatness. “We were born to be the ones to show the faithless what we’ve done, and there’s a fire inside. It burns like the surface of the sun.”
The cliché lyrics continue on “Here I Am Alive” when the band sings about people trying to change them after making it big. “If I could write to the kid I was before, I’d tell him you’ll get everything you ever wanted but you’ll still want more … They say you don’t grow up, you just grow old. It’s safe to say I haven’t done both. I make mistakes. I know, I know. But here I am alive. So many people close to me cut me down. This is supposed to be a bad luck town. I jumped, I fell, I hit the ground. But here I am alive.”
The one song on the album with deep, impactful lyrics also happens to be the only acoustic song. On “Ten,” front man Ryan Key sings about the loss of a child 10 years ago and what life would be like today if they hadn’t died. “You would be 10 and I’d be driving you to school. You’d be telling all your friends that you thought I was cool. You would be out in the sun until it was gone. You would be watching ‘Star Wars’ with your PJs on. And you would have all the love in my heart.”
Even on the songs with mediocre lyrics, the music is still good. The use of violin in punk music has always made Yellowcard stand out. The instrument is still a big part of their sound and helps salvage a so-so release.
“Southern Air” is decent at best, but the quality of “Ten” boosts the grade a bit. I’d recommend just downloading “Ten” before purchasing the entire album.
**1/2 out of 5