Vinyl Spotlight: Yellowcard – A Perfect Sky


Every so often, our resident vinyl lover, Kiel Hauck, takes the time to talk about a recent vinyl release and gives a breakdown about everything from packaging to sound quality. Here’s his latest installment.

As we continue our discussion of Record Store Day 2015, we turn our attention toward another highly sought after release: Yellowcard – A Perfect Sky. This 10-inch record features three unreleased/acoustic mixes from their 2014 album Lift a Sail. The pressing by Razor & Tie is limited to 1,000 copies.

It’s no secret that we were huge fans of Lift a Sail, making this pressing quite an exciting release. Adding to the intrigue was the lack of background information on the unreleased songs. Yellowcard very rarely fails to deliver, so it stood to reason that A Perfect Sky would meet our expectations. How did it measure up? Let’s take a look.

Packaging and Presentation

Judging from the pre-released image of the cover, A Perfect Sky looked quite pleasing to the eye. Sure enough, the artwork is striking, featuring deep purple, blue and green colors that echo the pastels featured on Lift a Sail’s artwork. The cover is simple and beautiful, featuring the band’s logo in the center, in front of what appears to be a cloudy, night sky.

The packaging here is quite simple, featuring an inner sleeve with lyrics on one side and a concert photo of singer Ryan Key with an acoustic guitar on the other. There’s really not much here, which is understandable considering that the release features only three songs. The record itself is pressed on 10-inch black vinyl, which feels odd with only one track on the B-side. More on that in a moment. All in all, the packaging is minimal, but the colors make it attractive.

Sound and Quality

This is where things get interesting. Featured on the release are two Neal Avron mixes of “MSK” and “California” from Lift a Sail and an acoustic Daytrotter session of “One Bedroom”. Put simply, the two Avron mixes are fantastic, but “One Bedroom” leaves a lot to be desired. “MSK” is given new life with a beautiful string arrangement backed by deep bass and gorgeous keys. The song was already outstanding in its original form, but this remix takes the song to a whole new level.

Likewise, “California” places delicate strings on top of the original keys, adding depth to the track. It could be argued that both of these songs sound better than the originals. The fact that both tracks are emotional, tug-at-your-heartstring numbers is only amplified by these new mixes. Many props are due to Avron, who never ceases to amaze when it comes to his Yellowcard production duties.

On the other side of the coin, this new version of “One Bedroom” is pretty bland. Part of the song’s original charm was its production value and swirling guitar solo, which are both stripped away in this version. It also begs the question of why an acoustic version of “Lift a Sail” or “Make Me So” wasn’t included on the B-side to fill out the record. In truth, it may have been better to leave “One Bedroom” off the release completely in favor of a simple 7-inch with “MSK” and “California”.

Nevertheless, A Perfect Sky is still a charming release that brings new life to a couple of the best tracks on Lift a Sail. There’s a chance that a few copies of the record may still be available, so drop by your local record store and have a look.


by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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