Vertical Horizon are almost a one-hit wonder band. Not many people remember a song of theirs other than “Everything You Want”. Hell, most people would be hard pressed to remember “Everything You Want”. Never mind the fact that it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in summer 2000, standing out like the sorest of thumbs amidst the Britney/Nsync/TLC cabal that was running pop radio at the time.
Why did “Everything You Want” stand out like a sore thumb? Because it was a pop/rock song. Crunchy guitars. Live drums. Nothing at all to do with R&B or hip-hop (or reggae, since this was right around the time Shaggy and Sean Paul got huge, too). Matter of fact, “Everything You Want” might be the whitest song to top the Billboard charts in the entire 20th century, American Idol champ songs notwithstanding.
Aside from the fact that “Everything You Want” has a hook as obvious as a Mack truck speeding towards you on the highway, it’s got a lyric that I find quite relatable. In short, a friend is being judgy towards the partner of another friend. On the surface, this new beau seems like the bee’s knees. But this dude is bullshitting, and our narrator is waiting patiently for his friend to wake up and smell the coffee. Surprise, surprise! The song’s final chorus switches out “he” (as in “he’s everything you want, he’s everything you need”) to “I” (I am everything you want, etc.) Turns out friendo was carrying a torch. Child, listen.
In the summer of 2000, I got to catch Vertical Horizon opening for Barenaked Ladies. I went with my boyfriend at the time (I think it was the only show we went to together). Believe it or not, I wasn’t the only person of color at the show!