Saturday, July 7, 2012

Introducing the Video Snob

When I hear a song on the radio, especially if I like it, I often picture in my mind what a nice video it must have. I don't even know if there is still an MTV or VH1 type channel out there, but at least there is YouTube and time permitting I make a point of looking up said song to have the combined audio visual experience.

Sometimes the videos are fantastic. They are interesting, visually stunning, unusual, tell a story or are just plane cool in some other way. An example of a good video would be Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and most of Lady GaGa's videos.

Most often videos are fairly plain. They feature parties, smiling dancing people, a few shots of the singer(s) singing, so mostly vague imagery or a not too elaborate story. Sometimes that's all a song really needs though, especially one that is mostly an upbeat dance tune. "Glad You Came" by The Wanted and "Stereo Love" by Edward Maya would fall into this category.

And then there are the videos that disappoint. Over the years I've come to realize that this must be a pet peeve of mine - boring, unimaginative, or worst of all - mismatched videos. This phenomenon is not unlike "the book was better than the movie," after all I have preconceived notions about what the video might look like, what the song is about, what feelings it inspires in me. Maybe the artist just feels differently. Or perhaps the artist was just lazy (or low on funds?) and thought that 3 minutes of watching him or her sing from different angles is satisfying? Anyway, I've decided to start a new series of posts in which I shall highlight my biggest video disappointments as they occur (and some from the past).

So here is my video snub of the week:     Ellie Goulding's "Lights"

The lyrics hold some drama, there is an interesting sort of change of pace towards the end - over all, a catchy song. I was picturing something medieval, probably due to the mention of a queen, or something Twilight-like, possibly because of something or other turning to stone. So for one thing I think this video is a mismatch. But then, to add insult to injury, there are the fabulous dance moves, the inexplicable tambourine, the seizure inducing lights (Oh... it says "Lights" in the title, so fucking original...) and the really high budget special effect twirly light things.

This gets 3 out of 5 snobby GaGas.

Let's cleanse our pallet with a truly haunting video for Fever Ray's "Keep the Streets Empty for Me" directed by Jens Klevje and Fabian Svensson.