Lift a Sail is the 9th studio album from Florida born and bred rockers Yellowcard. The album was released October 7, 2014 under Razor and Tie Records. Three singles were released before the release of the album; ‘One BedRoom’, ‘Make Me So’, and ‘Crash the Gates’ released August 19, 2014, September 9, 2014 and September 22, 2014 respectively. Said of the album as far as the sound as stated via their Ustreams there are “no fast songs (although no shortage of energy)” and “the album is less of a pop punk sound, more of a rock sound.” The album begins with the lovely violin track ‘Convocation’. It almost makes you think of traveling down the Irish countryside (I know, I’ve done it). It then transitions to ‘Transmission Home’ who’s intro sounds like it could be right at home on an A Day to Remember record.
There are some elements on Lift a Sail that don’t make you think of Yellowcard, with a bit of a slower tempo as stated above that we aren’t really used to from them based on past albums as well as more synth usage and to me, a lack of violin! The violin was a huge reason I even got into them in the first place back in the day, and the fact it’s not on many of the tracks is a little disheartening. Not necessarily does it make the album bad, but on a personal note with me it bummed me out. There were 3 tracks that really stood out to me, the first being ‘The Deepest Well (ft. Matty Mullins)’. It just has a nice tempo to it, and despite what many people are saying Matty’s voice really compliments Ryan’s. The second is ‘MSK’; the violin and piano combination is beautiful and peaceful; it’s a sad song, but a beautiful kind of sad. A music video for this song might be interesting as well, it just has that feel for some reason. Finally my favorite song on the entire album ‘California’. It’s a lovely ending to the album with a beautifully calming piano. It’s totally going to be someone’s wedding song, I’m sure of it.
Fans have been incredibly mixed as far as how they feel about the album. Most of them aren’t loving it, which isn’t surprising considering changing up your sound in this day in age is basically, in a fan’s eyes is the most unforgivable thing on the planet. But there are those who are giving it a chance, and they do like it and understand that while it might have been more beneficial to stick with the pop punk sound, that isn’t what Yellowcard wanted, and they’ve been around long enough now that they can do whatever they want and still have a loyal fanbase.
Rating: 4/5- Originally, it was going to be less, However I gave the album a few more listens before I wrote this out completely and I think this album is great. It’s very nice, mellow for the most part. It hasn’t totally grown on me yet, but it’s getting there. The single thing I can’t get over is the violin thing and how much of it I didn’t hear. Yellowcard was one of my main influences for getting into playing the violin from elementary school up to high school, seeing them on Warped this year was pretty surreal, too. I can’t even explain the feeling of finally seeing one of the biggest musical influences in your life right in front of you. They’re wonderfully talented men who I’m sure have many more years of music to give us! Be sure to pick up Lift a Sail on iTunes and Amazon!