#176 – Make You Better


Artist – The Decemberists
Album – What A Beautiful World, What A Terrible World
Year – 2015
Genre – Folk Rock

It’s always a nice gesture when a band lets me conduct an interview with them. The Decemberists are a very gracious group for doing such, and you can read an interview I did with them here:


So I thought I’d take the time to review one of my favorite tracks off of their new album. Away we go.

The first thing you hear is this beautiful, clean guitar that just resonates as if in a huge room. Singer Colin Meloy’s slightly gritty, but earnest and emotional voice also echoes all around you.

I want you, thin fingers. I wanted you, thin fingernails. And when you bend backwards I wanted you, I needed you to make me better.

I loved you in springtime. I lost you when summer came. And when you pulled backwards, I wanted you, I needed to make me better.

These are the words that Meloy writes and sings. He’s baring his soul about how much he loved someone. You can tell he loved with his whole heart. Just the honesty with which he sings is palpable, and with the piano chords striking in the background…it’s a lovely effect. A very melancholic one.

The chorus has absolutely beautiful harmonies and a super catchy melody. The instruments reach full power here, and you can feel the whole band just augmenting the mood of the song. It’s powerful stuff.

The next verse deals with the relationship being somewhat damaging, but it’s still heartbreaking to hear how much he still cared in the lyrics, because he knew that she would make him happier than he’d been before. He wouldn’t be lonely anymore, and that’s the true sense I get from Meloy’s words.

The next chorus has some wonderful melody changes, like at the end of the end of the second full line, where Meloy goes up high and then riffs it down low. It sounds great, and his clear voice keeps the song firmly anchored. We get to focus on the instruments from the band for a bit, and then we get these wonderful bridge lyrics:

All I wanted was a shimmer of your shine to make me bright.

Wow. What a sentiment of love and adoration. This, combined with the ending chorus, makes the end of the song very emotional and sad, but by time it’s over, you can really appreciate the art that The Decemberists have made with this song. It’s a different sort of song, but one that’s welcomed and one that I really love for it’s sentiments.

Thanks for reading and listening! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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