Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want

First Hit #1: July 15, 2000

Somehow this song was released and popular in 2000. I say somehow, because it feels older. In fact, it reminds me quite heavily of Lisa Loeb, a bit of pop with a ludicrously catchy chorus that belongs in middle of the road coffee houses. It feels about five years past its sell by date, and while I expect it to be the opening credits song to a sitcom it’s somehow not that. While familiar with the song, I always associated it with 1995, and double checked to make sure I wasn’t looking at the wrong chart when I had it queued up. A throwback that references a couple decades earlier is pretty standard, because it reflects parental tastes of emerging songwriters. A throwback from five years earlier is just weird.

It’s also really bitter, to be honest, a singer whining about why a woman doesn’t appreciate him in spite of the fact that he’s clearly the best man in the history of the Y chromosome. It’s not obvious until the change up in the final chorus, which takes on the first person pronoun and kind of cracks open the resentment that roils under the song. While a catchy power pop song, the switch in the lyrics represents a particularly risible archetype, the self-described “nice guy” who isn’t very nice at all, and has very little self awareness about this fact.

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One Response to Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want

  1. RBerman says:

    This link works in the USA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZoD8JEFjAE

    Unrequited love has moved many a pen over the years, from Patti Page’s “I Went to Your Wedding” to Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” with many stops in between (and since) those two. The guy is actually doubly clueless. He doesn’t understand why he can’t get the attention of the girl. He also misses all the clues (skid marks, skinned knees, hidden wounds and anger) that she’s a wreck who would suck him dry. So yes, he’s an idiot, in the way that young men often are. Ben Folds’ “Carrying Cathy” is a sadly eloquent version of this song subgenre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhe9gPFgB6A

    Musically, these guys could be the late blooming younger brothers of Gin Blossoms, or Deep Blue Something, or any of the other REM-inspired acoustic rock bands of the mid 90s. And yes, a catchy tune in verse and chorus.

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