The beauty of this melancholy gem, All You Ever Wanted, is in that it doesn’t seem to be premeditated, but rather offers a sparsely knit canvas of sound that allows the lyrical honesty to be painted without interference. The notes are unimposing and seem to fall together almost by accident, the instruments manipulated to procure a piece that more so resembles the collective of sounds heard after a rainstorm, than those in a recording studio. Raindrops. Faraway birds. Footsteps. Dan Auerbach’s pizzicato is almost metronome-esque, counting anxious paces that offer the song an even more authentic feel. Lyrically, it appears to be a berceuse to no one but himself. He spews out disconnected vignettes of simple verses that speak in a child’s voice about the most banal of desires, there is no kitsch. No excess. The childlike candor is retained as the song nears its conclusion, building to a tantrum like outright plea at camaraderie paired with a grittier sound.
There is certain cohesion between the lyrics and the music itself that I have seldom encountered, they seem to complement one another and run almost parallel, a factor that makes for easy listening. I doubt there was anyone that wasn’t swayed by the almost tidal bassline, even before Auerbach articulates the thought, ‘all hands on deck now, the sea is getting rough again’. Such knots are strewn throughout, knitting an impermeable little bijou of a song. One that awakens within you a feeling of familiarity, albeit stemming from a nonexistent memory. Lend your ears to this blues-y lullaby, even if the gesture is no more than a nod of thanks for someone finally having uttered the so often thought, so rarely verbalized modesty that is ‘all you ever wanted was someone to treat you nice and kind’.