We Will’s return this month presents every bit of style and skill as his previous releases, though in this case, the song comes with a distinctly meaningful and quite striking underlying concept and storyline. The music itself is blissfully ambient – a few gentle riffs make up the signature soundscape in a subtle yet memorable way. This musicality lays the foundation well for the reflective lyricism and emotion that follows.
The first thing that hits you with “Don’t Give Me Your Life” is the opening riff – it’s a simple set of notes and dance music, smoothly bound together in a cool and quickly appealing way. Surrounding this, the warmth of a wash of keys makes up a light and dreamlike backdrop – an easy-to-absorb chord progression gradually evolves in a fresh yet satisfying way. The development of the melody follows a similar pathway. The verses present a story-telling style of performance, then comes the repetition of a certain line – the things that don’t matter – making certain you take it in, which you do, and the music perfectly uplifts in a way that really enhances that laid back sentiment; that suggested lack of unnecessary concern. Then finally the hook, the central idea – the focus on how it feels, on the moment, the little things. The build-up works well.
There’s a lot of space on this record, the vibe is light and atmospheric – laying bare certain ideas and really keeping your focus on the thoughts within, as well as allowing you that room and that time to consider and understand it all. The songwriting deals with a young person conflicted with pending decisions – this is done with a few simple details and an easy-going verse leading softly and smoothly up towards a distinctly melodic hook. The hook is really uplifting sounding, contrasting greatly with the central difficulties of the song, and this makes it a lot more accessible and inviting in more ways than perhaps a standard musical approach to struggle in might. The track brings the dance good vibes and impressive writing that audiences will have come to expect from “We Will” and all the while it offers something completely unexpected and deep.
When you break down the lyrics, there’s a notable level of regret or sadness within the storyline, but on the whole, the song has a sense of overcoming it – of learning better, of recognizing the strengths instead of the struggles. The music is so easy going, it creates the perfect rhythm and ambiance to calm an audience, and We Will’s vocal performance excels throughout; the gentle qualities of the verses come with a lot of character and subtle grit, then the hook – the all-important line that brings everything together – showcases the opposite end of the vocal spectrum, a touch of lightness that floats above everything else.