Early in the process of collecting songs for this album I struggled with the order I should be putting them in. I am a surprisingly logical person (for such a hopeless romantic!) so I was drawn to a chronological order to tell the story as it developed in time. Problem was, it didn’t really work like that. The earliest songs I wrote for Brandy were already full-blown lovesongs, while some later ones went back to treat the way we got there, describing early impressions, the hesitance, the interesting factors that pushed us toward being a couple, often in spite of our own awareness or intentions. One song from that first year, “Sunshine”, did have more general lyrics (partly because my Orchid Highway bandmate Jamie had a hand in writing them) that fit an early perspective, but I didn’t like it as an album opener. So I landed on a compromise, deciding to arrange a song order that followed a narrative arc as far as possible, building to our current mature – and I might add, very happy! – relationship.
One song turned out so good as a recording, and just felt like the best introduction to the whole album that I could not resist promoting it to the lead-off position. I wrote “All & Everything” a few years in, another full-blown ‘Mature Love’ song. It does reach back to early origins in the line “you’re what I was looking for / when I didn’t look for anything” – a sentiment that creeps into other lyrics, as does “Kept me coming back for more.” The idea of being overtaken by love almost passively (“Till I wasn’t leaving anymore”) is found in several other songs as well. The refrain that grew out of that “Anymore” I made a key to the song’s structure, following it up with sections singing “Anyway” and “Anyone.” The chorus (“You’re my be-all…”) and the title itself are my usual plundering of well-worn clichés from the long tradition of love lyrics. All in all, this song is a pretty good summary or microcosm of the whole album, so in the end a good starting point after all!
Tomorrow, a preview of song #2 “Sunshine” – stay tuned lovers and dreamers!