Rock quintet Yellowcard bursts its pop bubble on its sophomore album, "Lights and Sounds." The 14 tracks on the Capitol Records release are crafted with chord progressions and lyrics that reflect a mo

Rock quintet Yellowcard bursts its pop bubble on its sophomore album, "Lights and Sounds." The 14 tracks on the Capitol Records release are crafted with chord progressions and lyrics that reflect a more mature sound and viewpoint than the group expressed on its pop-oriented major-label debut, 2003's "Ocean Avenue."

"We really wanted to shed the pop/punk label that came along with the last album," lead singer/guitarist Ryan Key says of the album. He and bassist/keyboardist Pete Mosely "moved to New York in the middle of winter after 20 months of touring to write the music and really hone in on what we wanted to say."

"On this album, we took the opportunity to show people that hey, we like to make real music," Key adds. "We're not just plugging in our guitars and singing the catchiest melody to sell records."

The album also features a recurring character, named Holly Wood, who appears lyrically in a number of songs to help explore such themes as temptation. "I've always written about 'My girlfriend did this and here's how I feel about it,' or 'I had a fight with this person,'" Key says. "None of these songs are about those things. I pushed a lot of personal limits, and Holly Wood helps navigate through the themes of love and evil that are on this album.

Additionally, "Lights and Sounds" boasts the noteworthy "Two Weeks From Twenty," a commentary on the Iraq War, and the ethereal ballad "How I Go," featuring Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines and a 25-piece orchestra.