K’Lee “1+1+1 (It Ain’t Two)”

2001-klee-1-plus-1This is a magnificent track. First, the Matty J-penned lyrics. These are the top five lines from the song:

  1. “These ain’t my panties and that ain’t my skanky bra!”
  2. “While you’re getting your sex education, I’ll be smashing your new PlayStation!”
  3. “Treating our love like some twisted menage a trois!”
  4. “Playtime is over and your ass is history!”
  5. “Clean out your locker!”

The video of this angry tirade against an unfaithful lover focuses on K’Lee and her posse of six backing dancers. They go through different looks in different settings – there’s edgy street K’Lee, fun K’Lee, blonde Britney-style K’Lee and a J-Lo-style DJ K’Lee.

The backing dancers do a lot of formation dancing behind K’Lee. They’re good, but seem to be in need of a few more rehearsals to get to world-class music-video-dancer quality. But then, K’Lee’s dance moves are retricted to the waist up, which makes me think she wasn’t skilled enough to join in with the formation dancing. Instead she gets a few arm movements and some clever editing and camera angles.

Directed by fancy Australian director Mark Hartley, it’s comes across like an attempt at a modern pop video, but it doesn’t quite get there. There’s not an obvious point of failure, it’s just a bit weak all over. But if you tone down your expectations, the video ends up being highly enjoyable camp fun. The wardrobe changes are entertaining, particularly the frequent bra-as-a-top aesthetic. And it’s strangely refreshing to see bra-wearing women in a music video that doesn’t also involve male performers asserting their desirabilty.

K’Lee ends up as a master of disguise, predating Britney’s wigtastic “Toxic” video. And even though K’Lee’s different looks are done more minimally than Britney, somehow K’Lee ends up looking quite different with each look. Her sassy DJ seems staunch and mature, while the blonde fedora character is too cool for any relationship drama.

This is the most unashamedly pop video I’ve come across so far. It has set its sights high, hasn’t quite got there, but is still a wonderfully entertaining video.

Best bit: K’Lee’s sneering turntablism.

Director: Mark Hartley

Next… an unexpected journey.

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