Make You Better – The Decemberists
I think What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is one of the few Decemberists records that’s taken me a few listens to really get it. Normally, the albums are so theatrical, so dense with literary references, that they are, oddly, immediately accessible. You get it at first listen, and then uncover more as you go.
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World isn’t quite as theatrical or dense. It’s actually a more accessible, friendly album. And I think that’s what took me longer to warm to it.
“Make You Better”, though, is an immediate pop hit (and was the first single off the album, I think). This is pure power pop, and really, this is just a pure pop song (even more so than “O Valencia!”, which might be their most recognizable pop song).
But it’s a really good pop song, with an easy sing-along chorus, harmonies, and just enough of Colin Meloy’s wordplay to make it a Decemberists’ song.