Sweating on a treadmill at the gym yesterday, I watched VH1 on the shared television — something I haven't done in years. I caught the creative offerings of celebrities like Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, and Mariah Carey. The videos were basically mini-movies, quick stories with each vocalist starring as the main character.
Didn't like 'em. I'll admit I was critical of the hyper-sexualized, anti-woman content, but when I reflected on my distaste, it had a lot to do with the genre of music videos as a whole.
A good song has the power to weave into your soul when the rhythm of the music and the beauty of the lyrics become a 2D poem. But it seemed to me that the third dimension of video diminished and overwhelmed both the music and the lyrics. The songs themselves became secondary, playing like background music to the in-your-face visuals. Music videos skew the relationship between the listener and the artist, giving the latter too much control over what should be a shared musical experience. Besides, you listen to a song. You don't watch a song.
Convince me I'm wrong. Please. I'll watch any music video if you think it honors the song. And the listener.