Single Review: Sister Hazel “All For You”

All For You
Album: …somewhere more familiar
Year: 1997

Ken Block discovers that his girlfriend is the most important person to him in the watery “All For You.”

A cutesy acoustic guitar starts the single, leading to an obnoxiously chipper riff. With earthy vocals, Block smarms that he understands love now. It took him years to realize that he has to not only receive love but give it, too. He had a breakthrough because of his attempts to become a better person. (“Finally I figured out/But it took a long, long time/But now there’s a turnabout/Maybe ’cause I’m trying.”)

In the pre-chorus, he says he didn’t know quite how relationships worked. But each and every time, his girlfriend has helped him out and been there. He can’t discount her loyalty. (“There’s been times, I’m so confused/All my roads, they lead to you/I just can’t turn and walk away.”)

He can’t put his finger on why he likes her so much. He’s curious if the relationship will be long-term or lead to marriage. However, he cares about her enough that he has her best interest at heart all the time. (“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.”)

Block had gone through every dating situation and possible imaginable. He became jaded and scared of beign in another relationship. They had some bumps along the way. But he’s likely to think if something happens to end the relationship, it will be his fault. (“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.”)

In the bridge, he notices that her day has been terrible. She is able to communicate her emotions to him without saying a word. Then, the single starts all over again with the part of the first verse. (“Rain comes pouring down/Falling from blue skies/Words without a sound/Coming from your eyes/Finally I figured out….maybe cause I’m trying.”)

A bubbly guitar riff follows the bridge. After the pre-chorus and chorus, Block is acapella and sings “it’s hard to say/it’s hard to say/it’s all for you.”

“All For You” is desperate to be heartfelt and brooding. But it can’t strike the right balance. Angst isn’t supposed to be cheerful and upbeat.

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