Tag Archives: music videos

Was It All . . . Just A Dream?

I define guilty pleasure music as something that I don’t own but surreptitiously watch on YouTube. I’m not willing to commit to the song for the long haul, but it has a momentary attraction. It can be anything from trashy rap music to schmaltzy ballads. A repeat offender on my guilty pleasure rotation is Lady Antebellum. Last winter I had a brief love affair with “Need You Now“, and my latest weakness is their new-ish tune “Just A Kiss.”

Lady Antebellum is “country” music that’s generic enough to cross over to pop radio. For that reason, I first heard “Just A Kiss” on the radio while helping a teacher with back-to-school preparations. It was not love at first listen. In fact, I think I said something to the effect of “What is this Taylor Swift knockoff?” Yet somehow the song continued to haunt me. I heard it when my alarm went off in the morning and had it in my head for the rest of the day. If for no other reason than to rid myself of the earworm, I broke down and watched the music video on YouTube.

Before I go any further, you need to watch the video. There’s a plot twist (!!!) that I’m going to reveal. Unless you don’t care about spoilers for Lady Antebellum videos, in which case, read on!

Is your mind sufficiently blown? You think it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill country music video about a girl looking back on her whirlwind European love affair. Sure, Lady Antebellum woman is stalking her on the train and smiling knowingly, but that’s normal, riiiiiight? Even the conspicuous use of the latest gadgetry (iPad, anyone?) is standard issue. Then her gentleman friend reappears, they kiss, and everything’s happy. Or is it?!

Prepare for an Inception-level plot twist. Cut to the girl waking up on the train when someone sits next to her. It’s the costar of her European escapades, but why does she look so unexcited to see him? Hold the phone! “I’m sorry, have we met before?” he asks with generic music-video-handsomeness. No, says Joy (if that is her real name), they have not. But she was sleeping and she just had “this funny dream.” Joy’s new friend Brady is very understanding. Then he reaches into his bag and pulls out . . . an iPad! The same gadget that dream-Brady used to leave dream-Joy a farewell message.

Will Joy and Brady fall in love in real life? Will Joy’s freakishly detailed dreams continue to predict the future? Will they notice the trio of musicians stalking them through the train stations of Europe? Will the top keep spinning?!!!

I’m sure you’re as befuddled as I am. In the quest for answers, I can only refer you back to the video itself. I’m sure if we all watch it five more times and think really hard, everything will become clear.

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It’s Gonna Be Me, Revisited

Do you guys remember how “It’s Gonna Me” was the best song ever? Allow me to refresh your memory.

It’s March of 2000. That Y2K bummer is still hanging over you, but there’s a bright spot on the horizon. *NSYNC’s second album No Strings Attached is released to record-breaking sales. Your best friend comes over with her freshly purchased copy. The two of you listen to the album in your unfinished basement, borrowing the CD player that your mom uses for treadmill workouts. After dancing around to the already-familiar beats of “Bye Bye Bye,” you don’t know what to expect. But wait — is it possible? The second song is even better!

This was the Golden Age of *NSYNC. Justin had his curly blonde mini-fro. The boys wore ridiculous articles of denim and brightly colored leather. They were still doing highly choreographed dances in various lines and V-formations. The video is worth viewing for the doll makeup alone. When they break out of their packages at the beginning? Be still my inner ‘tween!

However, there is one detail that makes this song a classic, and that is Justin Timberlake’s delivery of the word “me.” Or should I say, “maaay”? That afternoon in my basement, we listened to the song at least three times in a row, just to hear the slow build to his proclamation of “It’s gonna be maaay” around minute 2:18. JC plays it safe in the second verse because only Justin can pull off the complete butchering of a basic English word and make it sound genius.

Foolish child that I was, I preferred JC over Justin. My boy band favorites tended toward the second most popular member. I was too set on being different to pick the most popular, but the overt strangeness of the bottom three was also off-putting. That left me with the moderately handsome brunette who got his fair share of lead vocals. (What up, Brian Littrell?!)

Happily my tastes have evolved. So when “It’s Gonna Be Me” popped up on my iPod during another day of filing, I could appreciate it in a whole new way. Or should I say, “waaay”? The way it utilizes Justin’s star power without making his solo career seem imminent, a la Celebrity. The way it manages to be danceable and sweet at the same time. The way it reimagines the pronunciation of “me.” And with that, gentle readers, just watch and enjoy.

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Robyn, Make Me Dance (and Cry)

As anyone who had to put up with me during Senior Week probably already knows, Robyn is my new obsession. “Dancing On My Own” was my go-to youtube video for much of winter term, and now the “Call Your Girlfriend” video has turned my admiration into downright love. Lately so many music videos and live performances just make me feel like the artist is trying way too hard. They’re all trying to out-Gaga each other, and sometimes even Gaga herself fails. Enter Robyn, platinum-haired Swede. She is the perfect antidote to my musical fatigue because she tries just hard enough.

If the lyrics of “Call Your Girlfriend” are a turnoff, try to get past it! Yes, Robyn is instructing her new man in the best way to break up with his current girlfriend. Some of her potentially infuriating advice includes “Tell her that the only way her heart will mend / Is when she learns to love again.” Obviously if a guy said that to me, I would be tempted to throw my beverage in his face. Still, let’s consider the possibility that the lyrics are ironic, with Robyn actually taking the side of the spurned lover. Or if that doesn’t do it for you, just give her a free pass because she’s Swedish. Surely ABBA has earned them some pop music clout. I, for one, have accepted that Robyn is on the side of all things good.

Why does the “Call Your Girlfriend” video make Robyn worthy of my unswerving devotion? Her endearingly awkward dance moves are reminiscent of both Modern Dance class (“Radiate from your navels!”) and the Punching Dance, which was my method of letting off steam as an eight-year-old. She manages to look awesome and on the verge of tears at the same time. And her platform sneakers would be the envy of any girl from the Spice Girls generation.

If you find yourself clamoring for more variations of the Punching Dance, or if you’re feeling more like the spurned lover than the helpful other woman, I also highly recommend the “Dancing On My Own” video. May it warm your icy Scandinavian heart.

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