A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Yellowcard's best moments are the most surprising ones. It's refreshing to hear a rock group willing to take some musical risks. On their previous album, Ocean Avenue, the surprises were provided mostly by Sean Macklin's violin and the band's wonderful vocal harmonies. On LIGHTS AND SOUNDS, sweeping orchestral strings ride over strong rhythm tracks in rich, imaginative arrangements. The vocal harmonies are as tight as ever, and the violin is still there -– along with some tasteful acoustic guitar, Celtic drums, and a cameo vocal by the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines. All combine to produce a lush tapestry of moody sound.
Is it any good?
For punk-influenced rockers, the lyrics are pretty tame, actually maybe even a little vapid. There are a couple of references to acts of violence and getting high, and the slightest bit of sexual innuendo, but the intent seems to be more cautionary tale than titillation. Lyrics like "We lost another one that we sent with a gun / They're gonna miss him he was two weeks from twenty" ("Two Weeks from Twenty") or "The whole world is different now men have died" ("Words, Hands, Hearts") are powerful and honest. The members of Yellowcard seem like intelligent, talented young people trying to make sense of a complex world in difficult times.