A Million Little Fires – “All I Want”

 A Million Little Fires – “All I Want”

A Million Little Fires – “All I Want” – Single Review

Interesting.  According to the story I’ve been reading around the history of Jay Douglas and his band A Million Little Fires, the long & the short of it is that it had started up strong with the release of its debut – the Momentary Relapse EP – back in 2016, and then it disappeared for the next six years or so.  You’ve heard the story before…heck, maybe you’ve even lived it yourself…you just get something extraordinary going and then life does everything in its power to get in your heckin’ way to prevent you from thriving.

With very vague details on all of what kept him away more or less summed up by ‘life’ itself, like I said, we’ve heard that story, or been in his shoes before…so that wasn’t necessarily the interesting part of learning about A Million Little Fires to me personally.  For me, it was more about how this dude was already rocking with a sound about fifteen years past its prime from the early 2000s, and then came back to it even later on down the road, “reimagining” his ideas into what became the Sanction’d album in the first quarter of 2023.  We’re talkin’ about a sound that’s reminiscent of what you’d have found in acts like Adema, Hoobastank, Papa Roach, Trapt…that whole era of hybrid Rock is where you’ll find the roots of a style like the one A Million Little Fires is rockin’ with…and that’s what “All I Want” reminded me of.  I’m never gonna be the guy that’d tell you any kind of sound won’t work in the internet age with so much access to whatever we wanna stream, but yeah…it was interesting to me that he was out there keeping this kind of music alive seven years ago, then returned to keep on keepin’ it alive later on too.  Like I always tell ya, we like what we like, and we love what we love…make the music YOU wanna make.

From what I’ve seen out there online, this would be the first single from Jay post-release of Sanction’d.  So heck yeah, I think we’re in that place now where he’s come back to the scene, got that full album out at long last, and now he can shift gears into the future of his career.  No reason not to be happy with the results of a track like “All I Want” – I think it clearly does what he intended it to do, and likely sounds exactly as he envisioned it would.  Ain’t nothing wrong with hitting the mark of your intentions y’all, don’t get my words twisted.  Rock is Rock is Rock – there’s always going to be room for it out there on many playlists from one side of the map straight on through to the other, in all of its various forms and expanding sub-genres.  It’s a crafted cut that leans on a songwriter’s type of vibe in terms of its lyricism, which perhaps shows a bit more of a writer’s stroke than a personal connection to what we hear – but it’s not entirely disconnected either…lines like “I feel the pressure running through me” is certainly one that you can assume directly links to Jay, and there are other examples that point to the journey he’s been through to get to where he is now today.  The most revealing might actually be the most simple too – where he sings “I’m all alone now.”  Having seen a few tales of extended absences & returns that are similar to Jay’s story, the return is usually marked by a significant change in life; sometimes it’s a breakup, a divorce, the loss of a loved one…there are plenty of reasons & I’m only theorizing of course, but yeah, more often than not you’ll find a resurgence is caused by an outside catalyst of some kind.  In any event, a reboot or a reset can be a genuinely pivotal point in an artist’s or band’s career.  The key is to keep the momentum going & not allowing whatever distractions got in the way to distract you again.

Anyhow.  When it comes to the fundamental nuts & bolts of what Jay’s creating in A Million Little Fires, the dude sounds like he’s on solid ground to me, even if he’s treading on a well-worn path that has been established for decades now.  The reality is, he’s a great singer and a highly capable one…he’s got the right level of expression in his voice and a strong presence on the mic…he performs with a supreme level of confidence, and that’ll take him as far as he wants to go.  The music itself, is locked right in…from the Electro elements you’ll hear infused into the hybrid vibes of Rock he’s workin’ with, to the dynamics he’s using as a track like “All I Want” shifts between its loud/quiet design…it packs a punch, and that’s clearly a good thing.  The quality is consistent right across the board, and he should be proud of that – “All I Want” is essentially a flawless tune, though I’d posit a couple things for him to consider going forward from here into the future.  For myself, having grown up in my twenties through the years where this sound blew the doors open and reenergized Rock in the early 2000s, I think it’s somewhat crucial for Jay to recognize he’s got the potential to take that whole style even further in the present day.  Like, I listen to spots in the music that we hear around the 2:35 mark in “All I Want” & immediately recognize a part that’s more relevant for the right here and now, even though it’s short and an instrumental section that only has about fifteen seconds to make an impact on ya.  The part that shows the most innovative moment in “All I Want” however, is found even further into the song, not taking place until the final in the last twenty seconds.  In my opinion, that could have actually been one of the main hooks, and could have potentially bent a track like “All I Want” towards an even more modernized sound that’s active in the scene right now.  The bottom line is that he’s got plenty of options to work with, and he should feel encouraged to take it to the limit & beyond during this second chance he’s given himself and his music.  Clearly the commitment, dedication, craft, and quality are undeniable components of what we hear – now it’s all about steering himself in the direction he wants to go.  He could walk the path that has been set in the past, which is tried, tested, and true – don’t get me wrong, there’s an army of people out there all across the world that’ll be more than stoked to hear a sound like A Million Little Fires has return to the forefront of the scene if he could get it there.  The flipside is that twisting his sound in a more modern variation of hybrid Rock is not only something he’s obviously capable of and could be more artistically rewarding, but also something that could get his music to number one even faster.  To sum it up as best I can, he’s relied on his past ideas and instincts as he’s pointed out in how he revived A Million Little Fires and released Sanction’d previously this year – but I think that with the immense level of skill & potential he’s got, the more he focuses on the future ahead – what music can be versus what it’s already been – the further he’ll go with his career.

Find out more about A Million Little Fires from the official website at:  https://amillionlittlefires.com

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