Artist – Sister Hazel
Album – Somewhere More Familiar
Year – 1997
Genre – Alternative Rock/Southern Rock
Prepare to be hit with the nostalgia bomb, 90’s kids. I fondly remember this song playing a lot on the top 40 radio stations while in the car with my Mom. Of course, I really didn’t appreciate it back then. Listening to it now, It really is quite a beautiful love song full of passion, emotion, and spectacular melody and harmony that just…well if you haven’t remembered this song by and are singing along, let me refresh your memory.
Right from the sunny, gorgeous guitar arpeggio at the start, you know it’s going to be a good ride. Singer Ken Block’s voice is sweet and has that perfect amount of grit that roots him firmly in the 90’s alternative scene. If you blink, you’ll miss the first verse, as it goes very fast. Pretty soon we’re already at the prechorus, and right at the end we hear the first of Sister Hazel’s wonderful harmonies. And now we dive into one of the catchiest choruses of the 90’s:
It’s hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I’ll always be with you
But words can’t say, And I can’t do
Enough to prove It’s all for you
Damn. The melody and harmony here is out of this world, and you can absolutely tell that Block means every single word of this chorus as he sings. He’s so passionate, and the band backing him is feeding off of that energy. Everything is so harmonic and fits perfectly. And the lyrics are really touching. Sometimes it’s hard to get someone we care about to notice that everything we do is for them, which is a true expression of how much you love someone. Word’s can never express it fully and sometimes even actions fail. But the love is always there in its purest form, and that’s a beautiful thing the band is expressing. It’s quite emotional, actually. You can tell whoever this song was written about was a most special person.
I really like the gentility of the second verse. Block’s voice is softer, and the instruments get a little quieter at first:
I thought I’d seen it all, ‘Cause it’s been a long long time
But then we’ll trip and fall, Wondering if I’m blind
It deals with the weariness of having your heart broken and being lonely and tired for so long, so it’s natural that the vocals and instruments reflect that. The lyrics are saying it’s been a long time since I’ve loved anyone this much, and there were so many times when I wondered what was wrong with me that bad things kept happening. But once you hit that second chorus, it’s all elation again.
The bridge has a really poetic line that I particularly like:
Words without a sound coming from your eyes
As that phrase ends on a really high note from Block and another awesome harmony, I really like the expression of love you feel when you look in a significant other’s eyes.
There’s a great guitar solo break here which adds the extra rock element to the song, and we head back to the first verse and the prechorus, but for the following chorus we get a special acapella rendition, which really lets you hear the whole harmony of the band. It’s so good, and you can hear every facet of the melody. With a quick drum kick in, the band lets it loose with another chorus, and a great powerful ending on the guitar, which I love.
Sister Hazel’s “All for You” used to be “that one hit wonder from the 90’s” for me, until I really listened and heard what a beautiful and passionate love song it is. It goes to show that this kind of songwriting never goes away, and even one hit wonders have really special aspects to them.
Thanks for reading and listening! Leave me your thoughts in the comments!