By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor
I go on YouTube, I catch up on my favorite channels, then suddenly, I’m watching Lady Gaga’s music videos, again. It doesn’t matter how many times I may have seen them; I could watch music videos constantly. It’s become a pet peeve of my sisters for me to watch the same music videos repeatedly, but it’s what I like to do when I get home or before I go to bed. Thinking about how much I love watching music videos, I began to think about how the videos made to accompany a song made a huge impact on the song itself and how it made an impact in pop culture.
For the purposes of this article, I only mention videos that are mainstream and iconic in pop culture. There are a ton of indie videos that are visually stunning like Glass Animals’ “Gooey” and Lana del Rey’s “Love”. (Although Lana del Rey has become more popular, she is still in the indie category (for me) because her sound is unique and not quite pop.)
“Oops!..I Did It Again” was Spears’ way of “growing up” in the eyes of society. She used her music video to tell a story about how she’s over being a kid and can enchant a lover. Not to forget that this is also a great video, with great choreography.
Sometimes, music videos can tell a story and other times, it’s just a combination of good elements. The two most iconic videos in my opinion are Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”. These are two videos that couldn’t be more different. Jackson’s “Thriller” has a story line and different settings throughout the 13 (!) minute video. Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” is black and white, has only two back up dancers, no story line and is less than four minutes long. The thing that these two videos have in common is their legendary choreography routines. As someone who wishes they knew how to dance, I think that that is what makes these videos so popular: their ability to connect the music to their dance routines in the videos.
Then there are music videos like Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.”, where the story is not explicitly said and there is no choreography, only their unique animated art. Even their most recent music video for “Saturnz Barz” keeps with their unique style in making music videos. I think music videos can teach audiences about the artists in a different way than their music. People can see the song in a new light because of the messages, or lack thereof, that are communicated through the videos.
Sure, some videos are only about partying or drinking, but the ones that are able to intrigue people are the ones that leave you with a lasting impact. The best music videos can convert the sound of their songs to a visual masterpiece. I think that music videos shape artists and give them an identity that is beyond their sound, and the ones that do it well are worth obsessing over.
Featured image via YouTube.