Home » Essays » Paradise in Mall Hell

Paradise in Mall Hell

Yesterday I had to make a trip to the local mall. When I was younger, growing up in a rural area, the mall was an amazing place. It was over 50 miles away and was a place to go get pretty much anything you needed.

Nowadays, malls have been reduced to specialty chains selling wares for an exorbitant amount, really bad fast food and loads of teens cruising for…well, something or someone. I was lucky enough to miss out on the teenagers, since I went during the day. (The teens come out at night.)

The mall was unusually quiet, save for the canned music playing unusually loud over the mall’s sound system. I had stopped at a bench to answer an e-mail (Crackberry!) and was typing away when it came on: an upbeat song with a downward chromatic chord progression (a la “Dear Prudence”), coupled with a charming, high piano line. The singer, a female, sounded like a more throaty version of Sarah McLachlan – more emotional and plain.

I quickly started jotting down lyrics – just bits: “…trying to read your mind”. “… going to break my heart.” The word “better.” When I got home, I quickly Googled the lyrics and found it: “Better After All” by Jonatha Brooke.

I had heard  Jonatha Brooke back when she was with the Story but found much of her material hit and miss. This song from her 2004 album Back in the Circus is a keeper.

Share this:


Hooks and Harmony is a blog dedicated to melodic pop music and 80s music.