#170 – Everything You Want


Artist – Vertical Horizon
Album – Everything You Want
Year – 1999
Genre – Alternative Rock

Vertical Horizon frontman Matt Scannell has said that he still experiences joy when singing “Everything You Want” because he knows it came “from a true place.” Bearing that in mind, on top of the emotional power of the lyrics and chord progression, this is a formidable song indeed, and frankly one that describes how I’m feeling at the moment. So I thought I’d review it. I think this review is going to come from a very true place as well.

Right after the distorted opening, you can get a real sense of the melancholy of the song from the acoustic guitar progression. It’s crisp and well played. Scannell’s singing from the beginning is on point and every note is in it’s right place. The dark, albeit somewhat ambiguous lyrics in the verses draw you in closer. You want to know where this song is going to take you, though you can tell it’s not going to be roses and rainbows.

The chorus is dynamite. There’s really nothing else that needs to be said. The melody is superb at pulling your heart along and keeping you emotionally invested into every word Scannell is singing. You can really sense that place inside him where the song came from. This is one of the most riveting unrequited love choruses that’s been written in a modern song, just because of its candid honesty and universality:

He’s everything you want
He’s everything you need
He’s everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don’t know why

These are the thoughts that run through our heads when we care for someone who doesn’t care for us. It doesn’t matter if we’re male or female. We think, “why not us?” “Why does that other person go for someone who doesn’t care for them like I do?” And it tears us down. It leads to some very dark and sad feelings inside us, and these very thoughts are captured and written down and sung for all to hear in this chorus. This is what songwriting is all about. Capturing moments that are true for all of us. In that sense, this is a perfect chorus. Not to mention the melody is incredible at the same time.

The next two verses and bridge build in intensity and really try to explore the mindset of the person we long for. What could they possibly be thinking? These verses try to answer that question, but still capture their ambiguous and strange nature of logic and thought. The heart is a tricky thing to pin down, and can we really know another person as well as we think we do?

The last chorus is…well it’s actually quite emotional for me to listen to. I’ve been at a point in my life where things don’t seem to work out for me too often, and I’ve grown up around many people who love seems to come easily and quickly to. What hurts me more is that often times some of these people take that experience for granted, either because they know it comes easily to them, or because they don’t truly appreciate what they have. Because of the lack of these experiences in my own life, I’d like to believe that once love comes to me, I will see it for the true miracle that it is. Being lonely for a long time builds up that ability to cherish a significant other. It truly is something I hope I never ever take for granted. I hope I love with all the power I have in me, and I hope I’m loved like that in return. Anyway, that’s how this chorus makes me feel, so I’ll just let the song talk. I’m sure we’ve all had these thoughts at some point in our lives, but I feel I’ve had them a lot lately.

I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don’t know why

There’s not much left to the song after this. It’s as if the Scannell spent all his emotion on this last chorus, which is understandable. I would want to shout those words as loud as I could if I had the power to. I guess the last thing to say is that this is an incredible song, and one that’s very relevant to my life and my feelings right now. I hope it stands the test of time, because it captures a particular emotion so well, that you have to take notice.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Thank you all so much for reading and listening, especially to a post as personal as this one. I hope you all don’t mind hearing me get so personal about what’s going on with me. I just have to be honest, because that’s how I am. Anyway, thank you.


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