Sweating on a treadmill at the gym yesterday, I watched VH1 on the shared television, mostly to validate my decision not to allow this channel into our home. I caught the creative offerings of women 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. You're not surprised, are you? Well, read on. You might be.
I did have an initial knee-jerk parental reaction to the hyper-sexualized, anti-woman themes I was watching, but when I reflected on my distaste, it had more to do with the genre of music videos, not their content.
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. You listen to a song. You don't watch a song. 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. I want the boys' imaginations to interpret the songs they listen to; not some music video producer's imagination.
Convince me I'm wrong. Please. I'll watch any music video if you think it honors the song. And the listener.