Thursday, August 09, 2012

Great music AND a great video

I've been listening to this song heavily. By my standards, that means 5x a week, which is about half of my music consumption.

The song hit me right away, with its blend of melancholy chords and the primitive, almost tribal, feeling that the xylophone (or whatever perscussion chime that is) brings. The verses are explanatory, quiet, but emotionally accessible.  His lyrics perfectly capture the internal tension that one would feel trapped in that circumstance, including the ways he lies to himself.  Then the chorus explodes with passion as the anger he feels towards her (and towards himself) comes to the surface.

The fact that his anger fixates on things that are trivial rings true. How often have you observed a friend, colleague, or maybe even yourself, when really affected by a relationship gone bad, focus on points of argument rather than core issues?

Just when I was ready to crown the song as greatest artistic achievement of the year, I finally got a look at the video.  It's the best visual adaptation I've seen since Peter Jackson filmed the bloodthirsty hordes of Isengard storming Helm's Deep (although the two are polar opposites in terms of on screen "action").

 

I love everything about this video. As Gotye sets his thoughts on the dissolved relationship, he blends into the mosaic. He's no longer an individual, he's part of something bigger than himself. And yet he is defined by jagged lines. He's fragmented by the painting, and the fragmentation is reinforced by the close-ups that emphasize parts of his body over the whole.

Panning out for the holistic shot that includes Kimbra, the new vantage point changes the overall feel to one of beauty. This nicely complements the "he said, she said" nature of the song.

While explaining her reasons for the break-up, she approaches him in a somewhat sultry fashion.  She leaves her place in the painting, and invades his space.  She's breaking her role in the design; his vision of her role in their relationship.   She's getting closer to him than he wants, almost hauntingly in his ear with her indictment. All the while, in how she moves, brings her open mouth near his ear (and her naked body near his), she's seductive.  Frustratingly so, since she (or the memory of her) is also driving him mad.   You almost feel like he's screaming for relief when he belts out his verse in the chorus.

Finally, she fades away, is stripped from the mosaic, paint removed from her body.  She has released herself from him, and from his fractured, static view of their relationship. And left him alone, shattered, with his self-consoling half-truths.

6 comments:

Fredo said...

Yup. Still awesome.

dark commenteer said...

Agreed.

ManBeast said...

First time I heard this song I thought The Police got back together.

dark commenteer said...

I thought I heard that it was actually an old Sting song...

In fact, I think I read it on the interwebs so it must be true.

ManBeast said...

Just be careful you don't misspell Gotye as Goatse when you Google. You won't be happy with the results.

Fredo said...

Any comments on the actual video? Holy tangents, Batman.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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