Even before you concentrate on the lyrics and the message being relayed here, there is something heartfelt, nostalgic and perhaps melancholic about the sonic landscape that the words sit in. All too often do the words and the music of songs seem to be separate entities, or at best the latter merely a delivery system or musical vehicle for the former. What makes Always Better so great is that the two components are invested in each other, inseparable, one a yin to the other’s yang.
It is a song about people meeting and people departing. It is about the idea that relationships move on and the world changes as we move through it. It is about the fact that it is impossible to recapture the past and that all you can do is live with the present, good or bad. And whilst such a narrative is both worthy, relevant and powerful, it is made more so by the musical treatment that it comes wrapped in.
The vocals are reflective and flecked with regret, the music drifts rather than drives, the guitars gently cascade rather than build obvious melodies, and the whole song is graceful and gracious, delicate and dreamlike.
It is great when music comes as a complete package, when the music not only complements the lyrics but does so to a point where you can’t imagine either one having a life away from the other. Which is ironic considering that the song itself is about exactly that. I guess that only goes to show just how great this song is.