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Every Yellowcard Album Ranked Worst To Best

Lots of bands create comeback releases after a brief (or long) hiatus, but not so many do it twice; Yellowcard managed to fly and reintroduce its colors proudly in both 2010 and 2022 as the true Comeback Kids. 2023 is truly their year as the band is releasing a new EP called “Childhood Eyes” via Equal Vision Records at the end of July, and the title track is a great listen if you want to hear a combination of nostalgia and growth. If not, you are stuck in the past and fucking suck. Also, it will also come as a shock to many YC casual fans that the band has TEN (more on that number later) full-length records, and that “Ocean Avenue” isn’t their only song. It’s true! This article ranks all ten of these albums and no EPs, live albums, compilation records, acoustic re-imagined records, or the like are on this list. They’re way away; zing.

Anyway, we won’t be making any jokes about them having a violin player even though it is objectively corny, read on.

10. Midget Tossing (1997)

Despite nostalgia being quite an addictive drug, debut albums aren’t always a band’s most requested or revered listen. This album is only on this list because it is technically a Yellowcard album, and we at The Hard Times are sticklers for accuracy. Plus, this not-so-politically correct album title could never pass in 2023, and this album wouldn’t likely create a rabid fanbase the year that it was released either. The best part of this LP is, and this may come off like a backhanded compliment, that it shows that a band can truly grow, and it does two albums later with new lead singer and guitarist Ryan Key.

Play it again: “Sue”
Skip it: “Interlewd”

9. Where We Stand (1999)

Well, where we stand on this one is that this LP isn’t that much better than its predecessor. However, the previous record is happily not even on streaming platforms and this is Yellowcard’s oldest release to be featured on them; lesson learned. Like we stated above, this is the last Yellowcard record to feature then-vocalist Ben Dodson, but many in the scene likely were saying things in the vein of, “Sorry Try Again.” Thankfully, they did.

Play it again: “Uphill Both Ways”
Skip it: Whatever you want to call the “Bonus Track”

8. Self-Titled (2016)

Self-titled albums are often a return to form, but this final LP (for now?) has too many songs that feel long just for the sake of being long. It’s an overall slow listen, which might be intentional, but a redemptive quality is that the musicianship is truly solid on all cylinders. We like every song on this but don’t really love many. However, the album’s closer “Fields & Fences” is a solid and invigorating swan song track. Insert clever violin or violence joke here.

Play it again: “Fields & Fences”
Skip it: “I’m A Wrecking Ball”


7. One for the Kids (2001)

We know: This should be number one on the list. Actually, no: You’re dumb and likely starstruck by misplaced memories of your shitty youth. It should be number seven, for Pete’s sake. “One for the Kids” is a fun listen front to back and could benefit from a modern re-recording and/or reimagining with the band’s current lineup, if it feels so inclined. However, the indie album has a youthful feel that may be best left that way. Fun fact: Their next album “Ocean Avenue” (more on that LP later) would be on Capitol Records, the same label as ABBA and the fucking Beatles. No biggie.

Play it again: “Starstruck”
Skip it: “Untitled Hidden Track” (seriously, go on Apple Music and listen to all 1:59 of it; it’s literally NOTHING)

6. Lift a Sail (2014)

Imagine that Yellowcard listened to a lot of The Smashing Pumpkins and other ‘90s epic fuzzy grunge in the studio whilst making this record and you’ve got the polarizing (and sole release for Razor & Tie, the label that brought you Kidz Bop and Starset) “Lift a Sail.” It may sound out of place for a band that many know as pure pop-punk, but somehow it works quite well and is solid from its opening track till the very end. Give it another listen if you haven’t in a while. It’s PERFECT PCH bicycling music.

Play it again: “Transmission Home”
Skip it: “Madrid”

5. Paper Walls (2007)

We firmly believe that if this album came out immediately after 2003’s “Ocean Avenue,” “Paper Walls” wouldn’t have been the band’s last release on Capitol Records. Also, maybe it would’ve ranked higher if “Light Up The Sky” WASN’T the first and only single. Yep. 2007 was a tough year for many in the “scene” as there were SO MANY new releases in that sonic vein, so this LP likely got caught in the shuffle. Still, it’s a cult favorite amongst Yellowcard fans that will yell at us for making it number 5 on this list. We’re afraid.

Play it again: “Five Becomes Four”
Skip it: “Light Up the Sky”

4. When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes (2011)

After a four-year LP drought and a short hiatus from all things Yellowcard, the band released a sequel to the record above and came back with a ten-track banger known as 2011’s “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.” This was the band’s first of two, so far; re-read the intro, comeback releases and first album on Hopeless Records. At this point the band members were practically pop-punk’s elder statesmen, and this record cemented such without counterargument. When you’re through listening front-to-back, check out the acoustic version front-to-back for a different beachy vibe with the same songs.

Play it again: “With You Around”
Skip it: “See Me Smiling”

3. Ocean Avenue (2003)

Both Radio Disney AND Warped Tour approved? Check. Both MTV VMA award-winning AND platinum record sales? Check. What more could be said about this record that hasn’t already been said by many on LiveJournal or MySpace? Well, like the album listed above, once you re-listen (you know you’ve played this album on repeat; stop acting hard, crust punks), you should check out the acoustic version front-to-back for a stripped-down ambiance that works just as well. Believe.

Play it again: “Only One”
Skip it: “One Year, Six Months”

2. Southern Air (2012)

This record is without a doubt the band’s second most underrated album (more on that next), but it is most certainly their most slept-on release. Like “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes,” the album that came out just one year before it, “Southern Air” is a perfect ten-track-wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am masterpiece. It needs to be said: 2011 and 2012 are critical quality years for Yellowcard that deserve and need more public love. Help? And if you’re in the mood to cry right now, listen to “Ten.” Gut punch of a vicious kind.

Play it again: “Ten”
Skip it: “Rivertown Blues”

1. Lights and Sounds (2006)

Like Weezer’s sophomore album “Pinkerton,” Yellowcard’s sophomore major-label album (and fifth overall record) “Lights and Sounds” was quite a dark and misunderstood departure from its predecessor (in the best way). Sadly, many of the bitter critics and sunny “Ocean Avenue” fans just didn’t get this moody release, and album sales were FAR less than all parties wanted given how huge the last one was. Still, people seem to “get” this album more and more each year AND the title track is without hesitation the band’s best and most rocking single. Don’t @ us.

Play it again: “Lights and Sounds”
Skip it: This is tough as it is an incredible listen throughout the album’s diverse fourteen tracks but it’s gotta be “Grey”