Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue Acoustic


Artist

Album

Ocean Avenue Acoustic

Label

Hopeless Records

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Saves the Day - Jimmy Eat World

Summary

A surprisingly apt and energetic reinvention of the 2003 hit release.

Rating

80 / 100

If you thought the acoustic re-imagining of Ocean Avenue would be a stripped-back, more delicate version of the original 2003 release then you’re in for a slight awakening.

‘Way Away’ immediately delivers Yellowcard’s intentions for the album by blasting a still very full and punk-ish acoustic sound. Ocean Avenue Acoustic for the most part is Ocean Avenue with all of its vigour minus the distortion. This serves the band well. Not veering too far from the spirit and feel of the original songs enables Yellowcard to really bring the album back to life.

At first it is an interesting and unexpected choice for Yellowcard to keep the tempo and arrangements of the songs so close to the originals, but it soon becomes apparent that the album could not live up to its predecessor any other way. The band’s choice allows for the little modifications to shine. This is especially so during times when bass guitar and violin adopt certain song riffs as opposed to the original guitar lines. The choice also allows LP (Longineu W. Parsons III) to play the unconstrained drums he is known for.

The classics such as, ‘Breathing’, ‘Ocean Avenue’, and ‘Believe’, remain untouched in any dramatic way, which is a relief because any drastic changes could have ruined their appeal.

The album is not entirely punchy acoustic pop punk though. ‘Empty Apartment’, which is originally rather slow to kick in, serves as an intimate acoustic moment, defining, perhaps what would be expected of the album before listening. Providing moderated moments like this serves the album well. The acoustic guitar and vocal part in ‘Empty Apartment’ also feels more mature as opposed to ageing punk rockers trying to channel their younger selves.

Yellowcard expands instrumentation and explores a little bit in ‘View From Heaven’ by introducing a banjo part and some pleasing female backing vocals. ‘One Year, Six Months’ feels Ben Folds-like with its moderately fast paced, melody-heavy piano, which replaces the acoustic guitar part from the original. The song also features some violin, which interestingly counters the piano part a little while after it is introduced to the mix.

Conclusion

Ocean Avenue Acoustic shows that the boys of Yellowcard still have it, and reanimates one of the band’s greatest albums without losing its appeal with over experimentation.

Tracklisting

1. Way Away Acoustic
2. Breathing Acoustic
3. Ocean Avenue Acoustic
4. Empty Apartment Acoustic
5. Life Of A Salesman Acoustic
6. Only One Acoustic
7. Miles Apart Acoustic
8. Twenty Three Acoustic
9. View From Heaven Acoustic
10. Inside Out Acoustic
11 Believe Acoustic
12. One Year, Six Months Acoustic
13. Back Home Acoustic

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