Sunday, June 5, 2011
Backup Dancers From Hell: Maroon 5 - “Harder To Breathe”
We start out with some rapid-fire video gimmickry where the band and all their instruments appear in this really dark room with no windows. They jump right into the song with great intensity, which is nice when compared to “event” videos with other artists where we spend 8 minutes with boring cinematography before anybody sings a single word. On the down side, the jump-cutting is already on my nerves and we’re only 10 seconds into the video. Fasten your seatbelts.
Okay, I’m guessing the frenetic overload of images in this dank cavern is meant to convey an air of claustrophobia, an artistic head-nod to the “harder to breathe” theme of the song title. But really, it’s a bit much. And why is lead singer Adam intent on doing that jerky thing with his leg? Did he not pee before they started the shoot?
But I guess nobody has any interest in my concerns, and we rampage forward with no scene lasting longer than one second. We finally slow down, and get to peruse more video tricks with the individual band members popping up on screen in mid-strumming of whatever instrument they are playing, then disappearing just as quickly. Interestingly enough, Adam is the only one who gets any substantial screen time. Is he planning to go solo?
Speaking of Adam, again, what’s up with your mouth attacking that microphone like you haven’t had a decent chili dog since the tour stop in Chicago? Settle down, buddy. It’s all good.
Then we have a sequence where it seems that at least 12 different members of the band are playing a guitar. Surely this isn’t the case. Then again, I’m not in a band, so maybe that’s the trend these days. And I suppose it’s very morale-building for one to see himself with something large jutting out of his crotch area, so maybe this bit is about group therapy.
Quick image of lots of candles appearing and then disappearing from a table. For some reason, this part unsettles me more than anything we’ve seen so far. No idea why. Maybe it’s the fact that we really need some light in this closed-in room. Is that too much to hope for?
I guess so, because it seems to be getting even darker in here. (The “harder to breathe” theme again, with people crammed together and forced to make music in the tiniest, dimmest space possible?) Of course, Adam doesn’t seem to have any issues with this arrangement, because the tight cropping means that the cameras are right there in his face as his exquisitely-chiseled jaw continues to make dominant love to the randy microphone.
Speaking of Adam, we now see him wandering down an unexplained hallway, where the pictures on the side walls keep appearing and disappearing, and the end of the hallway is a solid wall. Adam and the guitar that he is carelessly dragging behind him are not appreciative that there is no way out of this traffic route, so Adam starts singing to the wall. Not sure what he hopes to accomplish with that, but I’m thinking a fire axe or some well-placed explosives might prove more satisfying.
This stand-off goes on for longer than necessary, then Adam heads back into the cramped quarters where the rest of the band is playing. Oh wait, we seem to have a few more lights on back in this hood and we can see a little better. (Note to self: When unsatisfied with the wattage in a rudely restrictive room, try warbling some lyrics at an otherwise unresponsive wall. Redemption could be forthcoming.)
The improved visibility in the main performance area inspires the remaining band members to go at their instruments like they’ve had a bad rash since last Tuesday and are ready for the itch to be gone. And that’s basically how we wind down the video, with the A.D.D.-camera whirling about madly while the guys pogo and boing with almost orgasmic release. (Adam does a catch-and-release thing with his microphone that is actually quite interesting, but probably won’t look all that great on a job application.)
Then the music abruptly stops and everybody piles out of the room. I’m guessing the Chinese takeout is here…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.