Thomas & His Package Yellowcard - Collection 2002-2011
This is a feature where I review the physical aspects of vinyl records. The jacket, sleeves, artwork, color of the vinyl, and the color of the vinyl are all big parts of this. Anything extra or "fancy" - be it a gatefold jacket, a double LP, etc, will be evaluated as well. The goal at the end is to review the entire product as a whole and - most relevant to the everyday consumer - whether it is worth the price. I will do my best to include shitty iPhone pictures of what I'm talking about.
With Yellowcard’s career box set, Hopeless Records was put in an interesting position, and it wasn’t an enviable one. There were a lot of ways to mess up the box set, but there was a small window for success. Recapping the career of one of the most prominent pop-punk crossover bands will do that to you, I guess. Luckily, they managed to do it right.
The box itself is black with a matte finish. The Yellowcard logo and name on the front is gold and emblazoned on, so you can feel it to the touch. The box is definitely the nicest part about the package; it’s simple and classy, reading 2002-2011 Collection on the front. The back has the name of the five releases, going from the Underdog EP to Yellowcard’s fourth and most recent full-length, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.
The box opens with a drawstring and there are four flaps to move before you see Say Yes first. All four LPs came shrink-wrapped and it’s pretty awesome to see some of these records with their larger artwork for the first time. Those who grew up on Ocean Avenue and Lights and Sounds will be pleased to see these especially. Personally, Paper Walls is my favorite Yellowcard album and it was a great feeling to open that up for the first time.
Each of the vinyl comes with a standard, full-color jacket and a standard white paper sleeve. Each also has an insert that reflects the original artwork from the CD sleeves of the respective records. Here are the colors of each 12” laid out and a shitty iPhone picture of each! You guys are so lucky.
Underdog EP – Transparent Red
Ocean Avenue – Transparent Blue
Lights and Sounds – Transparent Gold or Orange
Paper Walls – Transparent Green
When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes – Black
If I’m not mistaken WYTTSY is only on black because the original pressing of that album came on colored vinyl. It’s interesting enough that each of the other 12”s come on transparent vinyl, but it happens that the color choices are my main issue with this package. I’m a fan of the color of the vinyl contributing to the feel of the product as a whole, so I would have rather seen the colors of each 12” coincide with the main color scheme on the front of the artwork. For example Paper Walls would look best in a dark blue; Lights and Sounds should be a gray – or, highlight the secondary color and make it a bright yellow. The color, at the end of the day, is a minor detail – but when reviewing the product as a whole, it’s obviously something to consider.
The individual pieces themselves revealed no scrapes or bumps, and none of the LPs skipped when playing.
Overall, the box set is a huge success. It successfully celebrates the career-so-far of a seminal pop-punk crossover band, and finally seeing Yellowcard’s first three LPs on wax is worth $80 by itself. Actually, the price isn’t ridiculous – Hopeless is selling each individual LP for $18 and the EP for $10. While those are simply too expensive by themselves, if we use that as a pricing gauge, the box is appropriately priced.
Final verdict: For a label that usually sticks to the basics in its vinyl releases, Yellowcard’s box set is a nice surprise from Hopeless Records. The colors can certainly be overlooked and the box as a whole is nice enough to overcome any shortcomings in the overall standardness of the individual records. Worth the price.