Rockstar’s cathartic first solo acoustic album
Alice in Chains band member William DuVall goes solo for the first time with his new 11 track album, One Alone. The album name is very telling for a new release that features just the singer and his guitar in a heartfelt, “soul-o” acoustic album. DuVall leaves nothing behind in this emotionally deep ode to life and the heartbreak that comes along with it.
Washington D.C.-born DuVall begins the album with a song that sings sincerely about love, demons, family and heartbreak on the track “The Light That Guides Me Home.” He serenades us with a soothing track about trying to break out of the “hell [he’s] made his own,” singing about that someone, or something missing, that feels like home. Followed by “The Veil of All My Fears,” DuVall unmasks his feelings with impressive vocal ranges accompanied by some pretty guitar riffs. “So much pain I can’t explain but through it, all my love remains” is something all listeners can all relate to, whether it’s family love or romantic love. Duvall sings, “calling out for you even though it’s in vain” and “how we lost ourselves along the way” attest to the heartbreak Duvall feels and expresses through his song.
“The 3 Wishes” starts off in a deep muddy tone, singing about being “broken by temptation.” DuVall expresses being “swallowed by the landslide but dancing in the light,” in a song that reignites feelings of regret and recollection of the good times. DuVall calls out passionately, reflecting on the beautiful darkness of being “alone in heresy.” “Strung Out on A Dream” is a lonely track that speaks of his hope for a lover to share the madness of life with. One can hear DuVall’s longing for a love he once knew on this desolate song.
“White Hot,” the fifth and most raw song on the album, showcases DuVall’s thunderous vocals and talent with his instrument. He sings about his heart and desire to “fly into the sun” on this shadowy track that is easy to get lost in. With just his guitar, DuVall sings, “still got a hold on my heart” about the “days gone by” and past loves. He hopes and longs for it to return like the “hold on his heart” that remains on this real and gritty track.
DuVall professes his love and wants to “build a bridge to you” on “Smoke and Mirrors,” a powerfully evocative song. He is being “shaken to the core” on this song and lays it all on the line with his love, heart and guitar. It shows Duvall’s sensitive side, brimming with a nostalgic feeling of a love that once was. “So Cruel” begins with a tender sentiment, “no mask will let me play the part,” and provides another look at his heart on this album. This serves as cathartic relief for his feelings and is different than his on-brand, rock vibe when playing with bands like Alice in Chains, MC5 and Neon Christ. He also brings in a bit of Jimi Hendrix flare with his string work towards the end of this song.
“Chains Around My Heart” is a song for those who have trouble not letting down the ones they love. DuVall sings “why is it so hard for me to not let you down,” expressing how hard love can be when there are “chains around your heart.” “Keep Driving Me Away” is a peek into his life, referring to it as “a Molotov cocktail since the day I was born,” and shining a light on his zealous nature that drives this emotional album. With solid strums and fervent vocals, this acoustic song is indispensable on an album about the trials and tribulations of life, relationships and how the two intermix.
Closing the album with “No Need to Wonder,” DuVall shares his loneliness with listeners while joining together human nature and emotions on his final track. A beautiful melody about “truth and consequences” and “coming to his senses” combines with a beautiful acoustic guitar that comes so naturally to him, it could be an extension of his hands. This tune brings the acoustic album full circle and showcases a new musical path aligned with his heart and soul. One Alone is DuVall and his guitar, opening up and letting it all out, on his first solo album.