By Julie Rodriguez
Music videos are an art form. It’s a way for musicians to deepen the messages of their lyrics, show off their crazy dance moves, or simply give their audiences a bit more of themselves. Watching some of today’s music videos has me confused and even cringing, read: Miley Cyrus. But have you ever taken a second to look back and explore videos from the stone ages? I wonder if audiences have always craved such a weird display from our vocal artists. Start to watch some of the top 100 hits of the 80’s and you’ll come across an old classic like "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. Simply hearing that initial bum-bum can send you into a leg warmer frenzy.
"Tainted Love" is the wailing lyrics of a hurt boy who clearly got mixed up with a girl that just wasn’t that into him. But the music video looks as if a country club had a Grecian party and only this dude got the invitation for the costume party. Then this girl’s dad (step father/babysitter, whatever) hands her an apple before she is subjected to the man-child at the table. Why is he not letting this happen? What role does this preppy man play in her life? What’s up with Grecian boy yelling at this little girl? This child is not a tease sir, and please stop wearing so much eyeliner. The 80’s were clearly a confusing time for everyone, but with over a million views on YouTube, Soft Cell seems to understand an audience.
Now get your mind out of your shoulder pads and come back today’s day and age. There are a ton of artists who produce interesting videos to say the least (Katy Perry, OK GO, Lady Gaga) but we’ll stick with the theme of loooovveee. Compare Soft Cell to our beautiful party girl (and my personal favorite pregame music artist), Ke$ha. She wrote a love ballad by the name of "Your Love is my Drug" and it was revered by millions. Instead of being sad like Soft Cell, Ke$ha found a dude she is smitten about. Unlike her usual one night stand, don’t take things too seriously attitude.
In Ke$ha’s video, she wakes up in the desert with a greasy looking dude with absolutely nothing else around (but don’t worry- she gets a ride via an elephant). There are multiple times during this three and a half minute video that the morals of our society come into question. Like rowing boats in the desert, Ke$ha being a mermaid, being in the desert taking drugs and dancing with neon paint (where is the blue light?!). Basically it is a very trippy video where we get to see a different side Ke$ha’s heart. This video has over 70 million views on YouTube. (That is more views on a video than Australia has people in their country!)
Our society has always been craving the next bizarre, marvelous, fantastical thing that music video directors can come up with from their imagination. The 80’s had it easy. With their neon colors and lack of competition that exists today, the sky was their limit. In today’s age, we have so much technology, that you never know what’s going to come next. So music directors of the world, I’m speaking for society when I say, continue on with your video making and let the weirdness flow! Just please, less naked chicks on construction equipment for a while.
Edited by Valerie Reich
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