music video analysis

of 11 /11
Music Video Analysis By Lydia Cole

Upload: lydiafcole22

Post on 17-Jan-2015



Entertainment & Humor

0 download

Embed Size (px)




Page 1: Music Video Analysis

Music Video AnalysisBy Lydia Cole

Page 2: Music Video Analysis

Cinnamon Chasers- Luv Deluxe

• Cinnamon Chasers video for Luv Deluxe is a classic example of E. Ann Kaplan’s theory of what is known as a narrative music video; it tells a clear story throughout, much like a short film, with no performance featured. What is unusual about it however is that usually music videos of this variety feature some form of synchronisation between their song lyrics and the events of the video’s narrative; this song however does not contain any lyrics, so the viewers interpretation of the story relies entirely on the mis-en-scene, which is surprisingly effective.

• The story itself revolves around two main characters, though only one is seen, as the entire video is in point-of-view-shot. The two characters meet; they are young, one male, one female. They run away together, driving from town to town, partying in various locations, stealing food and money, taking drugs, getting drunk, staying in motels and having sex, even killing someone, and eventually, each other. The relateability in this type of story is great, each aspect is widely used throughout cinema and television, such as is dramas like Skins, and films like Requiem for a Dream, Natural Born Killers or Trainspotting, among many others, though no direct references are used.

Page 3: Music Video Analysis

• There is occasional occurrence of voyeurism and objectification of women within the video, again in keeping with Goodwin’s theory; the story features sex so there is the potential gratification for viewers, particularly for a straight, male audience. This is also another way in which the point-of-view-shot is effective, as it puts the viewer in the place of the main character at all times- this works best of course when the viewer themselves is also a heterosexual male in this scene.

• It is however effective for all viewers throughout the video as well, as by being put in the place of the main character of the video, any viewer is more likely to conjure up more empathy and understanding for the character , the situations he finds himself in, and the choices he makes.

Page 4: Music Video Analysis

• With the lack of lyrics featured in the song, the importance of the music in keeping with the video is key- Luv Deluxe cuts perfectly with its video; it features many short, sharp scenes to keep up with the fast paced beat.

• Sometimes, a slower, more trance-like feel is desired, wherein the shots become slightly elongated and blurry- this is often when the characters are under the influence of drugs (or as is the case at the end of the video, dying) further in keeping with the narrative as well as the music and styling.

• One other contradiction with Goodwin’s theory is that in which the artist’s image is featured heavily, is close-ups, throughout their music videos. In this case, none of the musicians feature in this video, all of those featured are actors. This could be so as to maintain the video’s sense of realism- the actors are relative unknowns too, so could easily be presented as real people, with the film portrayed in a ‘found footage’ sort of scenario, such as in the Blair Witch Project and similar films, which also feature the deaths of the main characters at the end of the film, again highlighting some of the video’s levels of intertextuality.

Page 5: Music Video Analysis

The Naked and Famous- All of This

The Naked and Famous’ video for ‘All of This’ is predominantly what Kaplan’s theory would refer to as a performance video; the artists themselves are singing and playing the instruments involved in creating the song, to make a video to accompany it. Unlike a lot of performance videos however, this one is intertwined lots of often symbolic clips of inanimate objects, as well as other people, doing things which could also lead the video into the realms of the art/concept music video, though only slightly. Joe Gow has identified this type of video as ‘enhanced performance’, defined as blending performance elements with other visual elements. All of the shots featured are close ups, which gives the video an closed-off, intimate feel.

The instruments here depict part of the performance aspect of the video, which is usually featured during the verses of the song. What I find the most unusual about the performance in the video is that although all the instruments can be heard at once throughout the song, never at any time can more than one band member be seen- each receives their own close-up, and the whole band are never seen together. This could be to highlight the song’s anthemic lyrics ‘all of this is tearing us apart, I don’t know where us or this start’. When looked at in terms of the band members themselves, and they way they are presented in this fashion, they are always ‘apart’, ‘us’ being them as people, ‘this’ being them as a band.

Page 6: Music Video Analysis

• In great comparison, various interchanging objects are featured in scenes usually during the choruses and bridges of the song. The objects, though usually inanimate, sometimes non-facial human body parts (arms, hands, legs & feet) often symbolise what is occurring in the lyrics of the song, such as the egg, which appears during the line ‘tearing us apart’, as the egg itself breaks apart, similarly with this halved lemon. This aligns with Goodwin’s theory wherein the visuals within a music video often amplify it’s song lyrics, which appears to be a very common theme in this particular video.

• Things being broken or ‘torn apart’ be that relationships, such as in the lyrics, or objects, such as in the video, is a common theme throughout ‘All of This’. Words like ‘disassemble’ and ‘

Page 7: Music Video Analysis

• The only shots that feature the artists themselves are close ups, often extreme close-ups, in keeping with Goodwin’s theory that labels demand close-ups of their artists for advertisement purposes.

• I don’t think that this is the sole directorial purpose of the inclusion of these shots however, as the band are not that mainstream; their faces are not all over their albums or merchandise, so I do not feel their label would plaster their faces all over their videos so as to sell records. It may have simply been an artistic decision, so that the detail could be closely observed in their faces as they performed.

Page 8: Music Video Analysis

• To the right, the two hands depict the way in which the video synchronises with the timing of the song. It is one of the most perfect examples of such synchronisation I have ever seen, the entire production has been edited with such attention to detail. Because of this, the whole video flows so well, each shot cuts perfectly to the beat, and none of it feels even slightly awkward or out-of-time when viewed. Certain shots are repeated, played faster of slower to correspond with the quickening or slowing pace of the song, but every scene is timed brilliantly, no matter the desired speed or repetitiveness.

The lyrics also correspond with the visuals in a much more literal way; sometimes they actually appear on the screen, during the chorus, word by word, like a n auto-cue . Sometimes they are written in a typed font, other times hand written.

Page 9: Music Video Analysis

Robyn- Be Mine

• Robyn’s video for ‘Be Mine’ is a combination of two of Kaplan’s defined types of music video. Around half of the footage would constitute a performance video, with the artist singing the lyrics to her own song in a fixed setting. Other times, she walks around various outdoor settings, still singing. Other times, around another half of the video, she can still be heard singing (not seen), but a much more narrative video is taking place, with Robyn herself still present. The story seems to focus on her going out around common places such as a chip shop, basketball court, snooker hall/arcade and a disco, all the while running into a man, presumably an ex-boyfriend or someone she may have feelings for; these such feelings are certainly what the lyrics to the song would suggest anyway, with the chorus line ;you never were , and you never will be mine’ repeated throughout. In many ways it is a typical mainstream pop music video, in the sense that the artist herself is the definitive star, and therefore main focus of the video, and that the visuals are quite literal most of the time; she sings about what is happening around her, in the narrative sections anyway.

Page 10: Music Video Analysis

• During the performance parts of the video, various different shots are used. Close-ups of Robyn are frequent, though these are also used in the rest of the video, no doubt as she is an internationally famous artist and her label, in keeping with Goodwin’s theory, would want to use her face to sell records.

• The other shots are usually not further out than mid-shots, still to keep the main focus on Robyn herself, and not necessarily on the scene around her, though this is of some importance too in terms of symbolism, as her ‘stage’ in this performance is a bed, heightening the sexuality of the video and somewhat objectifying the artist.

• The contrast in colours is also interesting in highlighting the artist, as Robyn’s outfit is black, compared to the bright white walls, bedframe and sheets she is set against, whereas when the backdrop is dark, in the middle image here, her outfit is light, causing her to stand out in comparison.

• All of these factors are quite typical of the video of a mainstream pop artist, as they themselves become a product, and therefore the main focus of their videos.

Page 11: Music Video Analysis

The story of the video fits perfectly with the lyrics of the song, leaving little interpretation up to the viewers themselves. It is one of unrequited love, where Robyn, the main character has feelings for a man with a girlfriend. They have some sort of history , though it is not entirely clear if they were ever together, and as the song and video are from her perspective, the viewer never really knows his feelings for her.

This type of story has a common theme, it has been featured in so many films and TV, so the viewer will likely be familiar with it. As well as this, it is very likely to be something they have experienced in their own lives, so immediately, Robyn herself would become much more relatable and human to a viewer to a fan who had heard this song and watched it’s video.

The second image is taken from a dream sequence in the video, what Robyn wishes would happen at that moment, or a flashback of a previous event.