Aloe Blacc has developed a theme within his music he calls A.I.M.: affirmation, inspiration, and motivation. This model can be seen across his discography, from the motivational “I Need a Dollar” to his work with Avicii on the inspiring “Wake Me Up”. His latest album, All Love Everything, is Aloe Blacc’s first album as a father, and he uses the opportunity to delve into the affirming nature of the family he grew up with and the lessons from which he is raising his own family.
As the title All Love Everything suggests, it is an uplifting album. From the onset, the song “Family” lands with the most pop, singing, “And on my dark days/ My sad and broken heart days/ You’re all that I need”. The lyrics throughout show a similar sentiment, with family and loved ones being the foundation that keeps Aloe fastened down during turbulent times. While there are pleasant instrumentals accompanying each song, All Love Everything is a singer-songwriter album that highlights Aloe Blacc’s voice.
The only issue with uplifting albums is that they are reminiscent of the happily ever after at the end of a movie. As an audience, we want to walk away with feelings that the characters will be okay with each other, but there is a reason that break-up songs resonate harder than love ballads. When everything is rosy, there lacks a conflict that grips with traction on the listener’s mind. All Love Everything is essentially the montage of happy decades that are racing by because times are good. This sentiment is capitulated in the song, “Glory Days,” singing, “Welcome to the glory days/ We finally made it out the maze.” The old grind is now done, and Aloe Blacc is ready to settle in and raise his family.
Granted, it is nice to find some love, commitment, and positivity in a pandemic year besieged by isolation and conflict. Aloe Blacc has a transcendent voice that fits in alongside a church choir. All Love Everything thus becomes a beacon of light penetrating through a dense and lonely year. There are several songs throughout that are apt for a couple’s first dance at their wedding, and new parents welcoming a child into this fractured world will find a sense of solace and peace through Blacc’s soothing melodies.