‘Make You Better’ by The Decemberists
From the album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (2015)
To celebrate the release of The Decemberists’ latest album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, which comes out in the UK today, I have decided to take a little look back to November of last year when the band released the above video for the lead single from the album, ‘Make You Better’, which was recently brought back to my attention by my good friend Alex. The video is, in a word, hilarious, and features the band performing on German music show ‘The Old Blue Rock Palace Show’ hosted by a beturtlenecked (like ‘besuited’, right?) and lovestruck Nick Offerman (of Parks & Recreation fame, a show that featured the Decemberists in the season six finale). Of course things go wrong, Offerman’s character asks bizarre questions and speaks in non-sequiturs and the names of the band members are sometimes slightly off (see ‘Colon Meloy’), but the band struggles through this and other technical difficulties to the end of the video.
With all of this going on it is quite easy to forget about the song and I’d recommend watching the video at least twice to allow an appreciation of the video as well as the song. The song itself is classic Decemberists’ fare, it tells a story (longing for a time when a relationship was better) that somehow seems rooted in the past (a ‘perfect paramour’ with whom the narrator exchanges letters) and is delivered by Colin Meloy in his perfectly unique voice. Hopefully the rest of the album stands up to ‘Make You Better’ and the other two ‘teasers’ from the album, ‘Lake Song’ and ‘The Wrong Year’. I’m off to find out!