Arts and Entertainment

Music videos inhibit personal interpretations

By Michelle Mandeau
Published: February 2010

This is my last music column of Volume 49. I could talk about how great the volume was, but the only thing musical that has happened at Denebola recently is the dance parties. So instead, I want to touch upon something that’s been bothering me for the past month and a half: music videos.

I have a very strong love-hate relationship with music videos. I appreciate how a music video can revive a song, but on the other hand, I hate how it can completely change your interpretation of the song.

Everyone knows that certain songs and artists are overplayed on the radio, and I’m sure it is as bothersome to you as it is to me. There is only one way for a song to be revitalized. You guessed it’€music videos.

Without trying, I always connect a song to a certain time in my life. The song may represent either a time period or a specific event, sometimes even both.

When I watch a music video, though, it completely changes everything I felt about the song. I always feel that the song is different because it no longer reflects my perspective, but that of the artist’s.

Ever since the end of TRL back in 2008, music videos have expanded to YouTube, AMTV, and occasionally VH1.

The thing that made TRL so great was that it wasn’t just a block of music videos but a countdown where viewers could vote.

It’s always intriguing how an artist feels about a song even if they didn’t write it (Christina Aguilera’s Hurt, anyone?) but if the artist only sings to be famous’€yes, you, Lady Gaga’€why should anyone waste their time watching the music video?

Both the artist and the listener are so caught up in the production of music videos and how much is spent on them that the song itself loses its value. If the song isn’t good to begin with, though, it doesn’t actually matter if the video is good or not.

My point is, why spend money making a video for a song that sucks? It’s absolutely absurd to spend thousands, or sometimes even millions, of dollars on a music video, regardless of whether or not the song is good.

The purpose of a music video is to show the songwriter’s vision for the song and how the song is “supposed to be understood.

It’s always intriguing to see how the artist envisioned the song but at the same time, it’s frustrating because after you see the music video, it’s almost impossible to get those images out of your head whenever you listen to the song again.

No matter what, you’ll hear how the artist feels in the song to some extent without a music video, so the video is sometimes just unnecessary.

I feel it’s more than just the artists who are supposed to be creative. Yes, they create the lyrics but everyone who listens to the song imagines something different.

The meaning of a song differs from person to person. The same song that reminds someone of a life-changing summer may remind another of a terrible break-up. Altering how someone feels isn’t exactly what I would call “connecting to fans.

Now, I’m not saying we should get rid of music videos, but that they affect listeners in ways that may change people’s perceptions.

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