“But if I was to say I regret it, would it change a thing?”
Sometimes, you just gotta break the rules. I’m usually pretty stringent on not including “performance” videos unless it’s an extreme circumstance. Yesterday, this video came out. I’d consider it pretty fucking extreme circumstances – Haim, the sisters doing it for themselves, have delivered one of the coolest looking pop videos in a damn long time. Like, the thing looks spectacular. And all eyes, naturally, are on them.
Yes, there are some simple performance shots, but that’s not what you’re watching for. Check out when the three are stripped of their instruments and deliver the song with some truly slick choreography as provided by one Fatima Robinson. That name may not seem all that familiar, but perhaps the videos for As Long as You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys and Try Again by the late, great Aaliyah do? That’s Fatima’s work. She brings a vintage style to the clip, all rhythm and popping limbs; while director Warren Fu (Daft Punk, The Killers, The Strokes) adds a sheen and a few well-tapped filters; as well as some sharp camera cuts. The best thing about If I Could Change Your Mind, overall, is the fact it’s a glossy pop video that looks fantastic and doesn’t include a single product placement. We’re kicking it old school here, and that’s exactly what fits.
“The room is on fire, as she’s fixing her hair…”
By 2003, The Strokes were very much on my radar. I’d taken notice with the now-infamous video for Last Nite, but had more or less no idea what was going on in terms of their greater impact. Hell, I was in the fifth grade – can you blame me? By the time I hit high school, I naively wondered into Room on Fire, their second studio album which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in October. I realise that it’s a very disregarded and marred album now, but because it was my first full-on Strokes moment, I treasure that record. I know every word to every song. Hell, I know every last melody – I even have harmonies for them. As I see those same fans that adored them around this time turn their collective backs to the band’s latest record, Comedown Machine, I’ve returned to this era to see what I could find.
Rather than go with the Tron-aping clip for 12:51, I’ve decided to take a look at the album’s second single – overlooked at the time, but has grown in recognition over the years thanks to Guitar Hero and the like. The video is an up-close-and-personal look at the band members – and that’s not a metaphor. These here are what Wayne and Garth would have described as “extreme close-ups” (WOAHHHHH!). I loved this, as it showed exactly what each member contributed. Watching both guitars and the bass at the same time in the “chorus” of the song is spellbinding stuff. I also love Albert Hammond, Jr. shaking violently before the second verse starts up; not to mention Julian Casablancas screaming and going all bug-eyed on us. Brilliantly edited and effortlessly cool – the latter of which has basically become a Strokes calling card.
“At your best, it’s a nightmare – so I’m joining the army…”
Gotta be honest – I’ve never picked The Strokes as a classy band. Rocking, yes; cool, undoubtedly. But classy? Surely they couldn’t be. Alas, I’ve very much been proven wrong with the band’s slick new video for the first single from their long-awaited comeback album, Angles.
For one thing, the boys scrub up considerably – especially the notoriously sexy Fab Moretti and the quiet guitarist Nick Valensi. H’oh-damn! The band are essentially performing in a very sleek looking old mansion, before moving on to centre stage of what appears to be a recital hall. It’s a very clean, very stylish video – definitely not what we’ve come to expect from these guys. Hell, the most rock thing that happens is Julian Casablancas hurling a mic stand – perhaps a tribute to the Last Nite video? – as he sings the line “everyone’s been singing the same song for ten years.” Hmm, what are they trying to say? That their work post-Is This It is ignored or underappreciated? Very interesting use of symbolism.
Regardless, it’s very nice – even if it basically a four minute perv session (tips hat, “lllladies”). See what you think!