Something fishy is going on in the realm of female pop music videos. Just ask Rihanna, Lana Del Ray, and now, Taylor Swift. You might think the only thing all three really have in common is their genre of music, but there’s one enormous similarity connecting all three; their music videos.
October 2011: Rihanna debuted her “We Found Love” music video, displaying a tumultuous relationship filled with drugs, partying, and sex. Combined with a dramatic monologue setting the scene for the tone of the video, audiences were enthralled with the departure from Rihanna’s typical colorful, good-time visuals.
One year later: “Ride”, by Lana Del Rey is released, with a fairly similar solemn aesthetic and story line. There’s some melancholy shots of Lana, and a bunch of similar liquor store scenes and seemingly unrelated shots of random objects. Oh, and there’s also a monologue at the beginning, significantly longer, but it’s there.
Last week: The video for Taylor Swift’s second single, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, premeired on MTV, and we were greeted with yet another spiel about love, more joy rides, more tattoos, and more sad faces after realizing this relationship won’t work out.
What is it with this paradigm of grungy bad boys and girls? The display of the vicissitudes of love, the flashbacks of happy moments, coupled with the detrimental ones? Then, this long, drawn out talk of spiraling out of control, losing yourself, all in the name of love. And don’t forget the vintage cars and sketchy hotel scenes.
The worst part of this is that the concept of the broken girl, a quasi-diary entry with the monologue and the depressing mood are all incredibly relateable. Unfortunately, now its become a trite, almost expected plot line for these types of songs. Has all the creativity really been lost? Or maybe it’s a subconscious thing? Either way, we need some sort of refresher, a new slate in videos, because it’s not the greatest feeling to already know what it’s going to look like before we even view it.
Yet, there is some sort of explanation for this bazaar happenstance. Anthony Mandler directed both “Trouble” and “Ride” (and in case that name sounds familiar, it’s because his most popular videos are with, you guessed it, Rihanna). But why would Mandler willingly make both videos so similar? Maybe he wants to create a certain aesthetic for himself? Yet it’s only muddling that of Lana and Swift.
Are you fine with these videos? Or are you yearning for the day creativity makes its comeback?
Also, a promo for Swift’s “Trouble” serves as the background for Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video on YouTube. Irony at its finest!Anthony Mandler, Lana Del Rey, MTV, music, pop, Red, Rihanna, Taylor Swift