Restraint

The One to Make You Whole

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About this track

One of the most versatile chord progressions in rock music — as demonstrated in this video by the Axis of Awesome — is I-V-vi-IV. It’s the chord progression used by U2 in “With or Without You”, which is where I got the idea to use it in “The One to Make You Whole” — with some minor adjustments.

My version of the progression is I-v-bVI-IV, or with in an approximate key of D major, D-Am-Bb-G. The notes F and B vacillate between its sharp and flat respectively, and the melody reflects this subtle instability. It also makes it a damn hard melody to sing.

I recorded numerous takes of this vocal, and every one of them had their problems. I’m not completely satisfied with the take I eventually used, which is not so great when I consider the song one of the few singles on the album. I really need to start collaborating with musicians better than I.

I sketched this song out in early 1999, at a time I wasn’t doing much songwriting, and I was really missing it. I threw together the melody and the harmonic rhythm fairly quickly, and the lyrics poured out. It’s a song about songwriting or perhaps more generally, the creative impulse. But if you want to hear it as a love song, that’s OK as well.

Lyrics

I lost it again
It's somwhere
Out of grasp and out of sight
It's the one thing I think
Would probably make me whole
But the will cannot compete
With the fantasy nor the dream
There I go again
I just toss it all aside

It won't go away
I don't know
If I'm just clinging or
If it's right
That I'm destined to be
The one to make it whole
And I try and try and try
Don't believe me I just lie
When I tell you I'm the
One to make you whole

Don't mind me; I'm not the type
To go through with what you need
To be real; to exist
To be the one to make you whole

You're here to stay
I know it
I need you and you need me
Or is that what you would
Like me to assume?
You're the one who makes me whole
Am I anything to you?
I don't want to know
I just want you to believe

You're the one who makes me whole.

Credits

  • Produced and engineered by Greg Bueno
  • Recorded in the Closet, 2005-2011, Austin, TX and the Closet West 2013, Seattle, WA
  • Photography by Lauren Tarbel
  • Cover design by Greg Bueno
  • Published by Shinkyoku Advocacy (ASCAP)
  • Thanks to Lauren Tarbel and James R. McGirr

[Restraint]

  • Release date: October 08, 2013

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