Paper Walls

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For the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist, see Paper Walls (book).
Paper Walls
Paperwalls.jpg
Studio album by Yellowcard
Released July 17, 2007
Recorded January 2 – March 22, 2007
Studio Ocean Studios, Burbank, California
Genre Pop punk[1]
Length 47:45
Label Capitol
Producer Neal Avron
Yellowcard chronology
Lights and Sounds
(2006)
Paper Walls
(2007)
iTunes Live from Las Vegas at the Palms
(2008)
Singles from Paper Walls
  1. "Light Up the Sky"
    Released: June 5, 2007

Paper Walls is the sixth studio album by American pop punk band Yellowcard, released on July 17, 2007. This is also the first Yellowcard album with Ryan Mendez, the last with Peter Mosely, and the last studio album to be released through Capitol Records. The album was recorded at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California and was mixed at South Beach Studios in Miami, Florida.

Background[edit]

Prior to the release of Lights and Sounds (2006), it was announced that guitarist Ben Harper had parted ways with the band.[2] He was replaced by Ryan Mendez.[3] Lights and Sounds failed to reach the sales expectations of their break-through album Ocean Avenue (2003).[4] Violinist Sean Mackin called the group "a little too jaded" and Lights and Sounds "a little too dark ... We all went a bit too far." Mackin insisted that the band did not see the album as a mistake, but more of a "learning experience".[4]

Recording[edit]

On October 16, 2006, only six months after the release of their previous album, Lights and Sounds, the band announced over their official website that they were back in the studio. Pre-production began in October 2006. On January 2, the band announced they had begun recording a new album.[5]

Prior to the album's release, the group released 10 behind-the-scenes videos documenting the recording process via their Myspace profile.[6]

Composition[edit]

Shortly after the album's leak and release date, the songs "Shadows and Regrets" and "Five Becomes Four" were first believed to have been written about former guitarist Ben Harper, who left the band to focus on his record label, after recording Lights and Sounds last year. However, recently it has been said that "Shadows and Regrets" is about Scott Shad, former drummer of Inspection 12 and best friend of Ryan Key, who died in a car crash. The song seems to reflect this interpretation better, as the chorus states "We were only kids. And we were best of friends. And we hoped for the best. Let go of the rest." While this could understandably be about Ben Harper, he and Key only met in high school, whereas Key and Shad knew each other their entire lives.

Throughout the months of October 2006 to March 2007, Yellowcard engaged in feedback response with their fans to somewhat suggest or influence the outcome of the upcoming album. When asked about the direction of the album, Ryan Mendez responded that this follow-up to Lights and Sounds "has the energy and intensity that Ocean Avenue had and some similarities, but not necessarily exactly the same".[7] He also stated on the official Yellowcard message board on October 21, 2006 that three songs were currently completed and that "[he] really thinks fans of both older and newer Yellowcard are going to be very happy."

In an interview with Jason Tate of AbsolutePunk.net[8] released on June 17 (one month before the release of the album), vocalist Ryan Key described the album as

Release and promotion[edit]

In January 2007, some sample demo songs were released on the band's MySpace, though they were only rough recordings from pre-production and not the final recorded versions. One demo was a 30-second rough recording of "Date Line (I Am Gone)". Another was the intro to "Bombers", which ultimately did not make it onto the album. The first Yellowcard show since October 2006, when the album began production, took place on March 29, 2007 at the Troubadour in Hollywood, California. During the show, Yellowcard played two songs from their new album ("Fighting" and "The Takedown"). The band played an acoustic set the next night at the Troubadour and also played two new songs, "Shadows and Regrets" and "Light Up the Sky".

On May 14, 2007, the band revealed that their new album would be titled Paper Walls. On the same day, "Fighting" was made available for streaming via the band's Myspace account.[9] On May 18, the album's track listing was revealed.[10] A few days later, the cover art for the album was posted on the band's MySpace profile, along with new promotional pictures. The cover art of the album shows the night skyline of Jacksonville, Florida, the band's hometown. It was announced in a press release for the album that Paper Walls would be released in an additional CD/DVD format, much in the same vein as Lights and Sounds was the previous year.[11] "Light Up the Sky" was released to radio on June 5.[12]

From late June to mid July, the band went on the 2007 edition of Warped Tour.[13] Paper Walls was made available for streaming on July 10,[6] and released a week later through Capitol.[9] Following its release, Paper Walls was heavily advertised and promoted. On July 20, the band participated in an interactive meeting with fans on There.com, a 3-D online virtual world. In August, they played a show in the studio in Los Angeles that was streamed on their MySpace page, while taking song requests directly from fans via the MySpace Instant Messenger. There have also been several other promotional attempts by the band in the month following the album's release. From late September to mid November, the group went on a tour of the U.S. with support from Ozma, Shiny Toy Guns and Lovedrug.[14]

In early 2008, Capitol Records announced that they will not promote Paper Walls anymore, meaning that a second single was not released.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (62/100)[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 87%[16]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[17]
Alternative Press 3/5 stars
Entertainment Weekly (C)[18]
IGN (7.4/10)[19]

Critical response[edit]

The reactions of critics who have been sent copies of the album to preview before its release have been positive, which has a score of 62 (indicating generally favorable reviews) on Metacritic which is higher than its predecessor Lights and Sounds.[15]

Jason Tate, webmaster of absolutepunk.net has said it is "the best "pop-punk" album of the past 5 or so years"[20] and Drew Beringer claims it to be "like Ocean Avenue, but with more balls." He went on further to say "The more I listen to Paper Walls by Yellowcard, the more I fall in love with it. It has been a long time since a pop-punk album has really enthralled me. Everyone is going to dig this." [21] Allmusic was satisfied with Paper Walls and claimed "Yellowcard is neither the flashiest nor the most popular among the new millennium's pop-punk bands but their fifth album Paper Walls goes a long way in proving that they are among the best of their breed."[17]

With positive critical reception from critics, fans enjoyed Paper Walls as well. This is shown on Metacritic with a 7.6 out of 10, indicating generally positive reviews.[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

Following the album's release, it debuted at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 40,000 copies in its first week, which is less than half of the first week sales of their previous studio album, Lights and Sounds. In its second week, Paper Walls fell to #46, selling 17,000 units. On week three it hit #70 with sales of about 10,000 copies, and on week four it fell to #92, selling 7,000 copies that week. A total of 74,000 copies were sold in the first four weeks of release.[22]

The lead single, "Light Up the Sky", peaked at #32 'Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks' in the U.S.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Yellowcard, except "Dear Bobbie" by Yellowcard & William Alexander Speir.

No. Title Length
1. "The Takedown" 3:37
2. "Fighting" 3:00
3. "Shrink the World" 3:20
4. "Keeper" 3:55
5. "Light Up the Sky" 3:37
6. "Shadows and Regrets" 3:59
7. "Five Becomes Four" 3:30
8. "Afraid" 3:13
9. "Date Line (I Am Gone)" 3:22
10. "Dear Bobbie" 4:14
11. "You and Me and One Spotlight" 3:57
12. "Cut Me, Mick" 3:34
13. "Paper Walls" 4:28
Total length: 47:45
  • "Gift and Curses" (Live & Acoustic) and "How I Go" (Live & Acoustic) were made available on the deluxe DVD of the album.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
2007 U.S. Billboard 200 13
UK Albums Chart 113
Australian Albums Chart 25

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
2007 Light Up the Sky Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 32
U.S. Modern Rock Tracks 41

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yellowcard - Paper Walls". Driven Far Off. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  2. ^ Montgomery, James (November 7, 2005). "Yellowcard Confirm What Fans Already Knew: Ben Harper Is Out". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ Goldberg, Michael Alan (January 27, 2006). "Digging deeper". The Boston Phoenix. p. 1. Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Montgomery, James; Sasha Hamrogue (June 27, 2006). "Yellowcard On Ambitious Lights And Sounds: 'We All Went A Bit Too Far'". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Yellowcard begin recording new album". Alternative Press. January 3, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Yellowcard stream full album on MySpace". Alternative Press. July 10, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ (OFFLINE) Board Offline
  8. ^ Yellowcard Teaser Interview - News Article - AbsolutePunk.net
  9. ^ a b "Yellowcard set new album's title, release date; post song". Alternative Press. May 14, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  10. ^ "AP Exclusive: Tracklisting for new Yellowcard LP revealed". Alternative Press. May 18, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Yellowcard Press-Release
  12. ^ "AllAccess.com Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. May 29, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Throwdown added to Warped 07; Madina Lake drop off". Alternative Press. April 26, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Yellowcard announce tour dates". Alternative Press. July 15, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "Paper Walls Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  16. ^ Tate, Jason (June 6, 2007). "Yellowcard - Paper Walls". AbsolutePunk. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b "Paper Walls - Yellowcard". Allmusic. 
  18. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2007-07-20). "Paper Walls Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  19. ^ "Yellowcard - Paper Walls Review". IGN. 
  20. ^ Jason Tate's Blog - Blogs - AbsolutePunk.net
  21. ^ Drew Beringer's Blog - Blogs - AbsolutePunk.net
  22. ^ Katie Hasty, "'NOW 25' Scores 12th No. 1 Album Of The Series", Billboard.com, July 25, 2007.

External links[edit]