Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vertical Horizon Review: Everything You Want and Finding Me

Vertical Horizon:
Everything You Want
Finding Me Review

February has officially started and I have an idea for songs to review. Yes the month of love means love songs but February isn’t always a month full of happiness, chocolates and romance. It also sucks sometimes. So depending on whenever I get around to typing reviews, I’ll have a mixture of love songs and ‘anti’ love songs, not necessarily breakup songs but just songs that are clearly not love songs.

Remember that brief period in like the early 2000s when there were a lot of bands left over from the 90s (or new forming bands) with lots of promise for the music industry? Remember the following years that they disappeared? Do you remember a song called “Everything you want” because you probably couldn’t go a day without hearing it.

Vertical Horizon started in 1991 and is still releasing music to this day. They started in Washington DC while Matt Scannell and Keith Kane were in Georgetown University. They gained a following in the indie music scene until their third album “Everything You Want” was released under a major label known as RCA. They would be pretty much the reason Vertical Horizon nearly fell into obscurity on their follow up album “Go,” but I’ll get to that later.

“Everything You Want,” (the album) released in 1999 and had four songs released as singles but “Everything You Want” became the more popular of the singles. To put things in perspective, this song was so popular Matt’s brother went backpacking in Nepal, while visiting one of the villages he came across a man in a small hut listening to the song on the radio. 

(Don’t know much about Nepal? education time.)

Here’s a quote from the lead singer (Matt) about “Everything You Want” 
...I was in love with this girl, and she was just a broken person. She kept turning to everyone except me for love and acceptance, and I wanted so much to help her. I wanted to be the one to give her everything she wanted, but I couldn't. She just couldn't accept it from me, and it was that pain, that led me to creating the song.”

The other song being reviewed is “Finding Me,” for any Buffy fans, you’ll know the song as the opener from the 5th season. From what I’ve seen, Buffy was really popular, but I honestly never heard Finding Me until recently. I purchased the album and had my iPod on shuffle, that’s how I discovered Finding Me. It’s a really great song and I don’t know why it took so long to reach my ears.

Everything You Want 

Verse One:
“Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why”

The thing I’ve always loved about this song is how it starts. I don’t know if that’s some kind of distorted guitar, but I have yet to hear it replicated. If it is ever replicated then it’s probably a sample from this song. What I’m saying is, that opening riff is unmistakable and it will always belong to this song.
In the video there are some random sentences or phrases that show up in random places. Probably foreshadowing something but at the moment it’s unclear why they are there.

And then there’s this guy…
I'm not sure who he is or why he's there but he's just kind of there

Verse Two:
“But under skinned knees and the skid marks
Past the places where you used to learn
You howl and listen,
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return”

Referring to the quote from Matt, the girl is probably returning to past loves hoping for something new to happen and probably facing rejection at every turn while he ‘has’ to sit there and watch her fall every time. It’s rather painful and not a fun experience to be someone’s shoulder to cry on only to realize that’s the only time you’re ever important to them. 

I’m guessing that guy was relevant because they needed someone to initiate the split screen effect and to have a moment where the cards match what just happened in the video.

“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.”

I know we already know this song but for people who haven’t heard it (or to describe the experience of first time listeners) it almost looks a role-model situation. If not a role-model then someone with really low self-esteem talking about how they wish they could be someone else. Well that’s just the chorus out of context, in context with the rest of the verses; I have no commentary because the song just speaks for itself.

Also, Puppy

Verse Three:
“You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say”

In all honesty, the video and the song start sounding really bitter now. This verse and the chorus just take on a real bitter tone whereas the other verses and chorus sound… neutral. This is a person, who is weak and looking for other people to help them, but they don’t really want the help or they don’t know what they want so it’s never enough. The result of this is constantly feeling empty inside and doubting the relationship because of someone’s blindness to the person they really want.

 Verse Four:
“But you'll just sit tight
And watch it unwind
It's only what you're asking for
And you'll be just fine
With all of your time
It's only what you're waiting for”

Verse Five:
“Out of the island
Into the highway
Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return”
The words and phrases still show up throughout the video and they all mean something relative the message of the song. I’m not sure about the “Every six seconds you think about sex” message for all I know those sentences could be random facts or aphorisms that sound cool so they threw them in.

Chorus 2:
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
And I don't know why,
I don't know”

There’s the big reveal. The ‘he’ was actually Matt, although we already knew that. It just hits home when you think about it because sometimes people suck at realizing the type of person they want isn’t necessarily the person who is right for them. The type of person you might want could be a horrible person for a relationship whereas the person you actually ‘need’ is the better person for you, but for some reason the want seems to blind you from the need. 

More or less, a story from a heartbroken man who was unfairly friend-zoned, he’s the guy who the girl probably complained about all her boyfriends to and wondered why there aren’t any nice guys around. He was that nice guy but she ignored him. The one good thing that came out of Matt’s heartache was a fantastic song and a pretty decent band.

Finding Me

“Finding Me” doesn’t have a Wiki article because apparently it wasn’t as popular as “Everything You Want” and “You’re A God.” I think it’s of equal quality of both of those songs, it might even be slightly better than those two songs mentioned. I know the first time I heard it I loved it more than those other songs. It didn’t receive a music video as far as I know which is unfortunate so all I have to review is the song.

Verse One:
“I don't think you notice
when you see my face
I guess you're waiting
to spin me around again”

Verse Two:
“Wheels I guess are turning
somewhere inside my head
I know that this is
Deeper than you get”
The song doesn’t have an unmistakable opening like “Everything you want,” but it works. This also sounds like it might end up being another ‘friend-zone’ song.

Verse Three:
“But you're coming back again
you don't mean to waste my time
But you're coming back so”

“Don't tell me
How to be
'Cause I like some suffering
don’t ask me
What I need
I'm just fine
Here finding me,

I was wrong it’s not about being in the ‘friend-zone’ it’s about thinking the grass is greener on the other side only to realize it’s not. Or somehow it’s about a person finding themselves. There’s definitely a rocky relationship element in this song. I just love how passionate Matt sounds when he sings the chorus. Even if I’m not sure what the song is trying to say I just get it. Maybe Matt’s the one confused in this relationship song. In Everything You Want, it was about him letting out his feelings for a girl. Now maybe it’s a different relationship and he’s the one confused.

Verse Four:
“I've already given
Up on getting through
I never question
who I'm talking to”

Verse Five:
Oh so much for nothing
but nothing means so much
I know it's touching
but I've been out of touch”

I don’t know what to do with these two verses. I guess it’s an argument. Matt’s arguing with someone and this is the result. I like the result I just wish I could sort it out and make sense of it.

Verse Six:
“And it's all that I can do
I'm a sight for my sore eyes
But it's all I am so”

I’m almost one-hundred percent sure there’s some sort of argument taking place in this song. I don’t know what’s being argued about but there’s some sort of argument happening. Someone wants him to be more but he can’t be more than what he already is. He’s aware of this so he thinks he’s just fine.

Verse Seven:
“I don't think you notice
When I can't reach out
I guess you're waiting
on somebody else again”

Everybody has trouble communicating every once in a while. However it’s not good when someone doesn’t notice you’re reaching out for help. That’s a really bad thing and it probably needs to be fixed. Maybe that’s what led to this argument. He tried reaching out but the other person didn’t get understand what was actually happening and then argument ensued.

Verse Eight:
“Oh so much for talking
it’s all been said before
I'm hearing something
but I wish you'd just say more”

Verse Nine:
“But you're going off again
When I try to just hold on
But you're going off so”
That’s a sign that once the person goes off there’s just no stopping them. Matt may have tried to interject but it probably didn’t work so it was just best to let them rant.

I like this song I really do, but it was rather hard to review. I like how he sounds passionate but what’s the cause of that passion. I don’t know what the song is trying to tell me. Would I recommend it to other people hell yeah I would. Difficult reviews doesn’t make a song is terrible. This song is fantastic, it’s just as much as it kills me to say, bland and kind of generic. Generic meaning it probably got lost in the sound of the other songs from the late 90’s early 2000s pop, pop-rock, era songs.

That does not mean Vertical Horizon is a generic and bland band, Matt has an outstanding voice, the band has a lot of talent. It is sad that RCA had to drop them like flies once “Go” came out because they were busy doing something other than their job. They had to promote the album, that’s all they had to do and they couldn’t do it. Vertical Horizon nearly fell into obscurity because of RCA however they dropped RCA and moved to a different label, pushing on like the troopers they are. 

((if you're wondering what font I used, it's A Yummy Apology.))

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