Lately, I've been indulging myself in a music video binge. There's something I've noticed about all of them. They've got really weird visuals that go with the music. Some videos tell a coherent story, yet have little relevance to the actual lyrics. Most are just random visuals and I'm left scratching my head at what it all means.
I've come to a conclusion. These videos have no deeper meaning. They're not meant to complement the lyrics to convey a story or a message. The weirdness grabs your attention and holds it for the duration of the music video because you try to figure out what it all means. If you're listening to the music on its own, it might not hold you're attention, but because you're trying to decipher the weirdness in search of a deeper meaning, you end up watching the entire video from start to finish. Very clever. I'm sure it's an industry secret, and they do this deliberately.
Also, I suppose the weirdness is the result of the artist trying to convey a feeling more so than a cerebral message about the meaning of life. Philosophical exploration is more in the realm of literature, whereas music speaks more to the limbic system. My desire to find cerebral meaning in weird music videos could simply be the result of my bias as an author.
Personally, I don't like weird music videos that I can't figure out. While the weirdness captures my attention initially, if by the end I fail to find a deeper meaning or a connection to the lyrics, I will feel mildly annoyed. Then again, the trick worked. I watched the whole thing from start to finish, and the actual music wasn't too bad. So good job, musical people. You played me.
If you're a musician, and you've grown big enough to produce high quality music videos, I have a simple request. If you're gunning for a weird music video, please make it complement the lyrics so that it adds a deeper layer of meaning to your music. Please don't make it a random series of visuals that convey no real meaning.
Or maybe I'm just too stupid to figure out what the weirdness means. I don't know. What do you guys think?
If you're like me and you're looking for art that tells a coherent story, consider checking out my novel, Red Eden: Homeworld Bound:
Michael E. Vigil