“Better” is a single on Khalid’s new album “Suncity,” consisting of mostly synthesized drum beats highlighting the easy-going undertones of artist’s vocals. The song focuses on the central theme that love numbs pain and conflict in life, which sheds some light on casual relationship culture.
The song starts out with mellow synthesizers, perfectly capturing the eerie lightheartedness of the opening lyrics which distorts the intended meaning. These first few lyrics are airily spoken and broken up with laughter rather than being sung, which pulls the listener into the song right from the start. The opening lyrics then fade into the beat of the synthesizers as Khalid’s vocals make a bold entrance, contrasting with the soft-spoken first words of the song. The beat continues to pick up in speed throughout the intro, but then right before the chorus begins the synthesizers are cut for a few split seconds, introducing a piano element into the song.
Just as the softness of the piano is added, the beat picks up instantly, overpowering the piano as the chorus begins. The chorus is quite repetitive, using the phrase “nothing feels better than this” multiple times. However, this repetition is nicely balanced out by Khalid’s mellow and melodious vocals powering through the steady beat of the synthesizers, seemingly creating a symbolic parallel of ideas such as conflict and contrast once again.
As the song progresses, the meaning of the song becomes clearer. The second half of the song focuses on two people engaging in a casual sensual relationship, bringing out themes of love and confusion. The two individuals within the song are aware of the conflicting feelings they have in terms of the label of their relationship, but rather than address the issue they continue on like nothing is wrong. The song then highlights the peak of the story as the synthesizers begin to overpower Khalid’s smooth vocals and tone, ending the song with a distorted version of the previously softer chorus.
Overall, the song is a smooth and mellow listen, allowing for the listener to lose themselves within the song. In terms of lyrical meaning, the song delves deeper into societal topics rather than surface level romanticism, which serves as a fresh take on the subject compared to the majority of today’s pop content.