“Better” by Mark and the Tiger
Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Mark and the Tiger crush it once again in the meaty “Better”. Not for the faint of heart, “Better” is a moody electro pop gem. Singer Mark Haberland follows up his last devastating emotional hit, “Hand To Hold” with a song that showcases his commanding voice. Not only can Haberland sing, his gusto and unshielded guard emit a stirring, cerebral journey. “Better” captures the minds’ depression struggle. The light shines brighter and things do get better.
Haberland, who grew up in Round Pond, Maine, pours his heart into the relatable lyrics. Against the feverish drum machine and a gliding piano bed, Haberland sings ain’t it funny how a life can go to waste, maybe things will get better, hard to know, you only got yourself to blame. As a listener, you push through the lyrical melancholy. The music bed is rippled with waves of joy, echoing the tiny reminders to stick with life. Haberland’s oasis is the music bed – as remarkable as the lyrics are, depending on your mood, it might not be the uplifting song you need. I’m not saying it’s a depressing song – but like Adele’s “Someone Like You” many emotions and thoughts bubble to the surface. One has to be ready to deal with them. I think Haberland is sharing his experience and trying to be a guiding light. For that, he is successful.
Keep on crying with a smile on your face, Haberland continues. His voice is just oozing with emotion and his range is impressive. It’s a remarkable statement in the song – just take it day by day, he infers. The timbre in his voice is deep enough to have this brawny-vibe, but sensitive enough to really not feel like you’re being lectured. There are years of hurt and experience emerging from his gutsy voice. Haberland inspires and the choice piano unveils yet another softer side to this song. The meandering beats fill the spaces – giving the song bed a lofty feel, a purple and blue tone. The backing music is uplifting, and not as dark and dreary as the lyrical content. When Haberland sings of the urge to stay home alone and go to bed, the piano has spark to it, it shows light peeking through the glass window. Seeping through that sound, too, is another immersive electro pulse that weaves itself under and over Haberland’s baritone. “Better”, like the tide, keeps drawing you farther and farther into its wake. Haberland’s words pierce the heart and soul. You drown in his lyrics, with the music bed a safe floating device.
Haberland has it in him to continue adding to his arsenal of hits. As a music lover, I crave music that takes me to another state-of-min. Sometimes, though, I just want to wallow in my misery, and have a song speak for what I’m feeling. I think “Better” does that. It also helps release the pain and make you feel like you’re not alone. Isn’t that the best music? I think so.