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Monday, 18 July 2011

"Monster" music video analysis

If you don't like Paramore or an analytical perspective of music videos... well... this post just isn't for you.

For those of you who don't know already, Paramore have finally released their music video for "Monster", directed by the ever brilliant Shane Drake.

You can see the video here if you haven't seen it already.

By no means is this the "correct" interpretation of the video, but this is my views on the imagery and underlying messages of it!

(Warning: It's a long post... sorry about that.)

First off, we're shown a pool of water, in which the band are lying motionlessly in. I'd say that the water ties in with the lyrics:
"You were my conscience,So solid now you're like waterAnd we started drowningNot like we'd sink any further"
The band are surrounded by water, which suggests that the band are surrounded by "their conscience", meaning the Farro Brothers and the drama of their departure. The fact that they look almost dead could be a subtle hint towards our initial thoughts that the absence of the Farro's would end up resulting in the death of the band.

The shot of the band, huddled close together in the water, is an obvious display of unity, showing that the trio are very much stronger than ever and content in one-anothers company. If there was a shot that screams "Paramore is (still) a band" any louder than this one, I haven't seen it.

There's a quick concession of shots (fast cuts) which creates an atmosphere of chaos, throwing the viewer into a sense of confusion, much like Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor must have been experiencing once the Farro's posted THAT blog post.

Directly before the chorus, there is a series of explosions that is reminiscent to the sprinklers going off in the "Pressure" video, which is interesting because "Pressure" was the first music video that Shane Drake directed with Paramore. The explosions could therefore be a destructive reminder of what Paramore was, back before they were famous.

A hospital is usually associating with healing the sick and nursing people back to health, but the hospital that Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor are in is falling to bits, with the room Hayley is first found in full of flowers, which I guess were "sent" by us, Paramore's fans. Hayley looks at the flowers that were once so beautiful, now wilting, glumly, especially as she reads the messages written on them. She is alone and feels as if all she can do is check out her unfamiliar surroundings.
Jeremy is sitting on the floor of the corridor, debris surrounding him, he looks scared of the scene that lies before him, perhaps a way of saying that he was concerned with the state that Paramore had been left with after the Farro's departure.
Taylor is sitting on a couch, grabbing at the back of his head. In body language terms, this means that he is insecure, or contemplating something, possibly how the Farro's, his friends, could leave the band on such bad circumstances.

The contrast between Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor's white/cream clothing and their black instruments draws attention to their music playing capabilities.

When Hayley wanders from the light of the Hospital room into the darkness of the corridor, it is a subtle way of showing the viewer that she progressed alone from the safe sterility of the Hospital room (the state where us fans could only speculate to the fate of Paramore and where she could have called her time in the band quits) and wandered into the unknown of the darkened corridor (A possibly dangerous path, straight into the unknown of a Paramore with only three members. She is making herself vulnerable by stepping into this unknown.)

Any movements that the "instrumental Paramore" are making (kicking the walls, etc) is having a knock on effect on the "acting Paramore" world. The Instrumental Paramore represent Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor's public persona, the people we have become so desperately attached to, whereas the acting Paramore represent the "real" Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor, the people behind the instruments, photoshoots and twitter accounts. The instrumental members are forcing their acting counterparts into action. They desperately want to escape from the room that they have been confined to and get back to their fans, whereas the acting members are only wanting to collect their thoughts and survive (hence the running, they are trying to escape the collapse of the hospital).

The video has been cut so that the shot of the three band members, huddled close together in the water, is seen throughout the video. This shows that, despite being surrounded by rumours, inner turmoil and the Farro's drama, they are sticking together as a band.

To further emphasise the bands unity throughout this difficult time, the three run into eachother amidst the destruction unfolding around them. They protect and look out for eachother as the hospital falls to to pieces, signalling a start of not only a stronger band, but a band where the spotlight is shared equally amongst it's members.

They run through a chapel, typically a place of worship and tranquillity, shown here to be destroyed. Perhaps this is signalling that the band's faith was truly tested during this time in their life, but was always present, despite all the problems they had to face.

The part where instrumental paramore members turn around to look at one another has a very raw, honest feel to it. They all look at each-other, as if wanting for the others to speak first. It's as if their asking each-other "Now What?". Are they going to be the same band as before? Are they going to progress as a band, as people?

They never answer these questions. The acting paramore members run into the same room as their counterparts, only to realise that they have vanished, with only their instruments left. They are the same person. The individual member no longer feels as though they are separated from their public persona, this is shown by the band's sincerity about the Farro's departure and their thoughts and concerns on the matter. They weren't lying to the cameras during those interviews, they weren't typing lies. Everything they said came from their hearts and minds. There was no public persona. There was only Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor's real opinions.

The lingering shot of the water is a way of saying that, although the drama of the Farro's and the effect the brothers have had on them is still very much a presence in their lives, they no longer feel surrounded by it, the last shot is a message of hope:

Paramore is back, and they're stronger than ever.

1 comment:

  1. Where's the Like button when you need it - both for the video and your article, Lauren. And for OUR band of course! Well written...