Lift a Sail is a reflection of the different changes that Yellowcard have gone through since their last album, “Southern Air,” was released two years ago.
First of all, the departure of former drummer Longineu Parsons III, who had previously been the heart of the band with his unique rhythms. Longineu announced last February that he wanted to pursue other musical interests. For anyone who has been charmed by his intricate drum virtuosisms, their absence leaves a hole in the album.
The members of the band also experienced some painful personal problems, from Ryan Key’s wife accident to the fight against cancer of Sean Mackin, which have certainly had an impact in the making of the album.
Melodies and instrumental arrangements seem to be sacrificed to focus on a songwriting full of emotions. The lyrics indeed lead the entire album and Key more than ever strives to enhance them through extensive use of high notes, the trademark of YC’s singer.
The album starts with an instrumental song, Convocation, a spell of violins that sets the tone – one of pure, deep emotions – for the whole album, perhaps the most intense of all of Yellowcard’s albums. Make Me So, a classic rock rhythm of guitar, bass and drums, best expresses the emotional power charged within the album. One Bedroom, the first single extracted from Lift a Sail, is a declaration of love screamed to the world with a guitar solo. The romance and emotion of the album, culminating in Madrid, the only real ballad on the album, is dedicated to the first meeting of Ryan and his current wife in the Spanish city. Older fans of the band will appreciate perhaps MSK, a song in old-fashioned Yellowcard’s style, made even more special by the unique violin of Sean.
With this album, Yellowcard seem to have reached a maturity reflected both in the lyrics and the melody. Probably this won’t be Yellowcard’s fans favourite album, but this was for sure a great chance for the band to experiment with new styles that better fit their needs and not get anchored into the same genre for years.