Saturday, June 13, 2015

Favorite Music Videos: Part 1

Today I'm going to dive into a subject I rarely ever mention on this blog despite having such a prominent place in my life: Music videos. The spectrum of them is enormous, and I feel as though I'm probably picky about music videos. I tend to not like those that try to convey a whole plot since I just don’t think it works in such small time slots. (This is why I'm not a fan of short stories unless they're from authors like Katherine Mansfield, who tell a story of psychology rather than of extrinsic plot.) Instead, I prefer the abstract. I prefer metaphors – they can say so much without a big plot. I prefer great cinematography over chaos. I have a collection of favorites that will only keep growing, so I've decided to make this a little series of posts for me to work on off and on. For now, here's the first part, containing only five of my favorite music videos.

"Oceania" - Bjork
To be honest, when I think of my favorite music videos, Bjork's "Oceania" is often the first to come to mind (along with another that I'll discuss in another post). This also happens to be my favorite Bjork song, and fortunately, the video matches the song's oceanic beauty. Bjork is covered in sparkles as she sings from the perspective of Mother Oceania as though addressing humanity, her children. So, the video consists of underwater shots of plant life, jellyfish, and fish. It's colorful without having too many colors. Really, it's a shame that we don't really have an HD version of this stunning visual aid, but this will just have to do for now.

"The Islander" - Nightwish
"The Islander" is one of the most Finnish-sounding Nightwish songs, and in my opinion, it is their prettiest and most subtle music video. "A lone man by a seashore at the end of day" is not sailing his ship, but carrying it across dry lands, and he is haunted by ghosts as he keeps trekking. I also really love the shots of the band (which even foreshadow pipe player Troy Donockley's membership): They're sitting in a circle of fire under the moon as they revel in their  pretty acoustic music. (We can't get more old school Nightwish than that, can we?)

"Call Me When You're Sober" - Evanescence
I love a lot of Evanescence videos, so don't be shocked when half of them make an appearance in these posts as I continue this little series. However, I must note that "Call Me When You're Sober" has the only video that increases my love for the song. The band plays with the Red Riding Hood theme (with actual wolves and a figurative one), so there's a lot of red imagery, and Amy Lee is at her most badass. The video ends with her stomping across a table as the plates, food, and chairs, fly away from her feet. If that doesn't say "I'm pissed and I've had enough," I don't know what does.

"Perfect Life" - Steven Wilson
I recently discovered this beautiful song and video through The Metal Pigeon, a fantastic metal review blog (despite Wilson's music not being metal). The imagery in this perfectly-shot video is quite beautiful as it was made amid open fields. All this video consists of are shots of nature and two actresses (which, based on the narration, play the role of foster sisters who have long been separated). It's a very simple visual aid that takes its time, which suits the song very well. Everytime I watch it I can practically smell the summer air.

"There Goes Our Love Again" - White Lies
I figured I'd end this post on a more fun and peppy note with the British alternative band White Lies' infectious song and video, "There Goes Our Love Again." It's more of a performance video as White Lies remain on stage the whole time, but the most exciting performance is that of the energetic dancers, led by a tiny lady in gold. It's so much fun to watch; I dare you to view it and not feel happy.

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