Thursday, February 08, 2024

Rhein’s ‘Beter’ is a Symphony of Sorrow and Self-Discovery

Emerging from one of the most ancient cities in Holland, Nijmegen, the indie pop trio Rhein is nothing short of exceptional. Their freshest creative effort, ‘Beter’, explores a journey of self-improvement spurred on by disappointment from a relationship. Singing in Dutch, the vocalist compares the word ‘good’ and the word ‘better’, saying “I feel good but not much better”. This is a recognition that things could be better without emphasis on how bad things are.

There’s a line the vocalist repeats and alters throughout the song, signalling the central theme. He says “Did you know for a while that you weren’t going to come?” From this, you can tell he wishes his loved one had informed him of the change of plans. At this point, he just wants closure, and it isn’t so much about the person not coming as it is about the person knowing they weren’t going to come.

There are some serious emotions conveyed in this record. With lines featuring words and phrases like “emptying that cup”, “bleeding”, and “sweating”, the songwriter produced some captivating imagery. It isn’t just the writing that is impressive either. The vocalist delivers these lyrics smoothly, with a sense of peaceful yearning that rings through his voice.

Sonically speaking, ‘Beter’ is a feat of indie pop excellence. You’ve got this fixed drumming which almost echoes the determination to improve oneself after an emotional ordeal. There’s also the weighty and austere electric guitar rhythm which solemnly yet casually communicates the gravity of the situation.

‘Beter’ paints a picture of emotional complexity and the search for something better. It isn't just about heartbreak; it's about the bittersweet journey of self-discovery; where pain is acknowledged but resilience is chosen.

This is an anthem for inner strength blooming amid heartache.


Vukile Ntsaba

Image: ‘Beter’ Official Cover

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