Sunday, July 3, 2011

Music Videos

Music videos are the essential visual of music. It gives an artist the chance to explore their production in more depth; a chance to say something they didn’t get to say lyrically, or a chance to emphasize what they want the audience to get from their words. Music videos are the colorguard of singles. Just like a marching band, an artist needs that next dimension that can further define and really bring together an extensive idea. 

Music videos are usually created specifically to coordinate within a subgroup of genre. Hip Hop and Rap videos are centered on club dancing, sweaty bodies, and darkly lit rooms. Pop videos almost always have a synchronized dancing sequence, while Rock and Roll videos consist of shots of a band playing on some sort of stage or against a green screen. Indie, Folk and Country videos usually feature the artist/artists singing in laid back venues such as a field, or a vintage room. These are just observations of similar characteristics of videos based on genres. It’s not to say that a specific video can’t differ from its stereotypical expectation, but most don’t. 

I feel as if this generation of music videos is quite lacking. Music video is just that; a video to music, and a video of any sort should paint a picture or tell a story. What most music videos are today are just scenes, shots of a room with bodies either dancing or singing. Where’s the story? Where’s the art? When I sit and watch MTV, all the videos begin to blur together back to back with no originality, no innovation to give me a breath of fresh air. 

 The only fresh idea that has been brought to the table lately is lyric videos, such as Kanye West’s All of The Lights, but honestly that’s a cop out to me. You’re spending at least a minute of your video spelling out the words and the rest of the video is just you acting crazy in an alley and Rhianna wearing a shirt that barely covers anything. So all in all, it’s still a typical hip hop video. But, Kanye has contributed some artistic vision with his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in the areas of video specially. The video to Runaway was an aesthetically pleasing collaboration of the beauty of Kanye’s music and the beauty of the ballerinas intertwined with the irony of “scum bags” toasting to themselves. Also, an artistic innovation, first introduced by Michael Jackson and now renovated by Kanye, is making a short film, or “mini movie,” with the music on an album. 

 This is a promising start to the inevitable facelift of music videos. Many videos lately are featuring a sort of cold cut, a little back story shown without music that furthers the depth. Nicki Minaj in her video for Moment 4 Life, and Lady Gaga in many of her videos, including Telephone and more recently, Born This Way, make use of these prolonged introductions. 

-Sam Watson

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, the lyric video is a big hit in London right now and Kanye also made use of this tactic in his song Paranoid.