I don't often obsess over a song. I'm more of an album kind of guy. Albums can be great or miserable, and so can individual songs on those albums, but usually the strength or weakness of a single track just weighs in to my overall estimation of an album.
Of course, for every rule there is an exception. A few weeks ago I went on a new music binge. I opened Slacker Radio on my iPhone, fired up their Alternative channel and listened until I found five songs I really liked, then went and grabbed the albums those songs were on, hoping that the albums would be good enough to break me out of my music funk.
One of the albums I downloaded was All At Once from Airborne Toxic Event. This is one of those times that I realize I'm behind on finding this artist, but honestly I just couldn't care. The album is good and I'm just glad to have found it! I love the instrumentation the artists use, the range of sounds they are able to command, and, probably most inspiring to me, their lyrics.
But one songs on the album, All I Ever Wanted, has really stuck out to me. I'm not even sure if the track has been or will be released as a single, but it certainly needs to be! Take a listen:
I can't define what I appreciate most from the song, the lyrics or the arrangement, but I don't think it matters because it's purely amazing. The lyrics take you on a journey of fear and hope and realization and self-doubt and love… you know, all the things us neurotics think about pretty much daily! And the strings came through with such simplicity and the intensity of their delivery is perfect.
It's a song that I know I can relate to, and one that I think so many others can too. I've read the explanations across the interwebs of what people think the song means, and from a literal stand point I'm sure the abandonment idea makes sense, but the beauty of a song like this (as with any good art) is that there is still room for interpretation from the viewer/listener.
When I hear these lyrics, I don't hear a man saying that the relationship is over. I hear a man that knows that shit just got real, as the kids say. He knows the honeymoon-period is over. It's a flash-point perspective on the moment that it dawned on him that he's with someone and that he's not sure he can be everything to them like he always wanted to be. And that leads to his fear that maybe this won't work out, that maybe the person he's with isn't exactly who he thought either and maybe that'll end badly. But in the end, I feel like he comes back and says that he's in love anyway, despite the fears and the insecurities and the short-comings. He's going to defy his self-doubt because he knows that nobody is perfect.
I've been listening to this song a lot. I mean, like on repeat. I've been learning to play a version of it so that I can play it in the short windows of time that I'm not listening to it. I've been reading (*shudder*) fan-site message boards to get other opinions on the song. I'm quite obsessed. And I think you should be too.