Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Afternoon Music Videos: Matthew Good - Weapon

I haven’t been posting much recently – part of this is due to an increased workload, part of it is just general apathy – but in the interest of maintaining some semblance of activity, here is one of my favourite music videos by my favourite artist, Matthew Good. "Weapon" was the first single off of Good's first solo album, the brilliant Avalanche, and it marks a noticeable shift in his style of song-writing, moving from the aggressive, angst-ridden post-grunge of the Matthew Good Band to a slower, more ethereal sound. Orchestral flourishes give an almost heavenly air to a song that already feels deeply immersed in inner struggle, with the blaring din of the guitars representing the conflict that surrounds the speaker. Like a lot of Good's songs, lyrically, "Weapon" doesn't so much as follow a strict narrative or have a clear meaning to it as it does present a kind of poetic imagery, relying on the strength of its singer to convey the emotions of the words as they relate to the mood.

It is perhaps because of this that Good's music videos are often as beguiling as they are. Without having to push a particular story as it exists within the song, he (as well as whoever happens to be helping direct the video) is allowed to instead go the direct route of appealing to the mood of the song, rather than follow some pre-conditioned meaning that may not fit as well. Indeed, this is both an artfully and satirically adept music video that follows an entirely different path than the song, and yet, manages to enhance it beautifully. Through a bleak yet enrapturing collage of images and colours, the video provides a cynical and subversive backdrop that impresses upon its viewer the same feelings of desperate, mocking dissonance that resonate throughout Good’s material (albeit much moreso in his pre-solo career). At first, the video may appear to go the traditional route of "band pretends to play song while you listen to song", but that standard is immediately subverted through sarcastic and self-depricating editing, quick cuts filled with pseudo-subliminal messages, and a potent yet subtle sense of irony that takes nothing sacred.

But enough of my rambling:

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