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Lights and Sounds

161 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 24, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Lights and Sounds is a bigger, broader album from their platinum debut album Ocean Avenue, that finds Yellowcard moving away from songs about breakups and onto more expansive themes of artifice, war, and adulthood. The guitars are tougher, the songs more intricate and encompass a wider spectrum of musical styles, which is evident the title track. Capitol. 2006.

Lights and Sounds is a statement of intent: Yellowcard has grown up. Never "just kids" to begin with, the California-by-way-of-Florida quintet tackles thornier subjects than on 2003's Ocean Avenue, while taking a more ambitious approach towards their already proficient musicianship. Sean Mackin's surprisingly well integrated violin playing has always been a big part of their sound, but now they've upped the ante. Their third album doesn't just open with a pretty piano-based instrumental ("Three Flights Up"), but leads to a 25-piece orchestra, along with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, on "How I Go." It may sound pretentious, but they make the unusual combination (pop-punk plus classical) work. On their second major label effort, Yellowcard comes across as serious to be sure--and this is nothing new--but not pretentious or silly. Affairs of the heart are as important as ever, but charismatic frontman Ryan Key has other matters on his mind. On "Two Weeks from Twenty," featuring Printz Board of the Black Eyed Peas, he sings, "We lost another one that we sent with a gun / They're gonna miss him he was two weeks from twenty." Then on "Words, Hands, Hearts," he laments, "The whole world is different now men have died." No longer bright-eyed teenagers, Yellowcard hasn't lost hope and their compassion remains boundless, but the times have changed, and so have they. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,438 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kitty Smith on January 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I am doing my best not to compare Lights + Sounds to Ocean Avenue. Yellowcard does sound much broader on this release, and their musical styhle has grown beautifully. Not all of the songs have stuck to me on the first listen, but I'm sure it will grow on me.

But in a comment about the Editor's Note, Ocean Avenue was NOT Yellowcard's debut album. They've had three previously -- Where We Stand, The Underdog, and One for the Kids. The reason many may think Ocean Avenue was their first release is because that is the most well known. I would recommend checking out their other releases, as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Manzella on January 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Like everyone, I had extremely high hopes for this album. On first listen you're like "Is this Yellowcard?" This very different from Ocean Avenue. And it IS a less enjoyable album than Ocean Avenue. But you appreciate it. I respect them for making something completely different and not just going with the flow regardless of what the kids or the critics think.

Here's what I didn't like though...

-The first single, Lights & Sounds is a very mediocre song, there are so many others on this album that would've been better.

-The appearance of the leather jacket(in every promo photo and the L&S video) just screams A and R

-The violinist! One of the main things that make this band different from the rest, he's very subdued on this album. It's a shame.

-Words Hands Hearts sounds very "Okay I'm gonna try and write an anti-war song"

Standout tracks:

"Down On My Head"

"Two Weeks From Twenty"

"How I Go"

I'd recommend buying this if your a YC fan and especially if you're not. This is no Ocean Avenue, it something more, even if you can tell they tried way too hard.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Demorian on January 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
All bands have to do some experimentation when they hit the big time like Yellowcard did with Ocean Avenue. They have to find a way to a "mature" (the common term) sound, i.e. they have to find what it is about their music that people like and hold on to it, while finding what imperfections turn those would-be listeners away and cleansing them.

It's hard to do... a lot of bands lose their strength with efforts after their debut because they try too hard (or not hard enough) and end up sounding like... well, everything else. Sometimes a sophomore effort just doesn't go well and a band comes back strong with a third release that just makes everyone happy... But such growth takes real talent.

And I sincerely hope Yellowcard can do that with their next release, because there's something wrong with "Lights and Sounds."

Yes, there is a new quality to their sound, and it does sound good... they've gotten heavier. If not a good song, at least the title track is almost entirely pulse-pounding, hard-hitting rockout. With the exception of the more acoustic tracks, this heavier guitar persists through the album and it can be safely said that this is "Lights and Sounds"'s signature improvement.

That being said...

What happened to the violin, guys?

Yea, you hear it... but it's a lot less prominent than in the previous release, and it's what made Ocean Avenue a great album. It's what set the band apart from all the rest. The title track has no noticeable violin at all, and many of the songs only use what *was* Yellowcard's signature instrument as harmony during some of the bridges and verses, rather than as an accompaniment throughout the entire song. There are several tracks where you're sitting there just wondering where it went.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brent Faulkner, Jr. VINE VOICE on February 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of the punk-pop scene, there are a ton of bands competing just to get mainstream and commercial success. Yellowcard entered the punk-pop scene when it was already saturated with many other established, commercial acts. Green Day, Blink-182, Simple Plan (by the time their OCEAN AVENUE album became popular), Good Charlotte, among others. Many chided Yellowcard while others applauded. Having not been an avid follower of Yellowcard, I expected just another pop-punk band looking for the mainstream success of Better, more established bands. Despite any odds that Yellowcard has had as a band, LIGHTS AND SOUNDS shows that the band has overcame those odds to make a truly credible rock album.

LIGHTS AND SOUNDS instantly grabs your attention because it starts with an instrumental track called "Three Flights Up". "Three Flights Up" features nice melodic piano lines which sound like "lights and sounds" coincidentally. It provides a nice atmosphere for the album to begin. In fact, the instrumental introduction is reminiscent on Coldplay's sound as well as the introduction on Coheed and Cambria's latest album where lush strings are used very effectively.

The momentum from the opening track continues on into the second track, "Lights And Sounds" which has a very punk feel. The biggest drawback to the song is that you feel that it is just a good punk song and not a very innovative one. The first song "Lights And Sounds" also showcases the major advantages of the entire album and that is the hooky nature of the album. There is always a hook that grasps the audience even if the songwriting grows dull (as it does on tracks "Sure Thing Falling", "Martin Sheen or JFK", and "Words, Hands, Hearts").
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take this junk off the punk rock listings-ether your punk or your pop...
A real punk rocker would be too worried about destroying the government or something ridiculous like that and wouldn't have time to whine on the internet about what little kids think. Yellowcard isn't punk. Who cares? I don't think they claim to be. Instead of narrow-mindedly judging bands... Read More
Apr 14, 2006 by J. Keener |  See all 6 posts
The sex pistols are real punk rock, why do people think pop groups and... Be the first to reply
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