March 2011: Lydia Cole, Massad, Mel Parsons, Opshop, PNC, Ruby Frost, Shotgun Alley

A leisurely jog, the suit case, down on the boardwalk, an interrupted video, skeletons and birds, glitter at the beach, and a pool pash.

Lydia Cole “Blind Boy”

“Blind Boy” is a woman’s lament of her departed lover and the video is clever with how it depicts this. It focuses on an animated figure. She starts out running with a guy, but he soon disappears. But that’s not the end of the road for her. She keeps running through a rugged, rainy terrain and it seems like a journey of personal discover for her. Eventually she ends up back in the city. Still by herself, but a changed woman.

Director: Ralph Matthews
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Massad “Waiting”

Another Massad video that is so frustrating because it doesn’t quite get it right. It starts with a lip sync that doesn’t quite match. While it’s in time, Massad seems to be doing more with his mouth than what matches the actual vocal. It’s odd. Then there’s the issue of the suitcase. He finds a suitcase in the sand, carries it for a while, then opens it and takes out… a jacket. Yes, there’s a suit in the suitcase. It takes the power of a potential MacGuffin and fritters it away (Bic Runga knew what to do with her suitcase). The climax of the video is Massad rocking out… on an acoustic guitar. There’s a strangely mismatched energy — the visuals are in a different universe to the song. But it’s Massad and he’s always improving.

Director: Mikee Carpinter

Mel Parsons “I Won’t Let You Down”

The “I Won’t Let You Down” video sees Mel enjoying the sights of Santa Cruz, California. It’s another video that doesn’t go over the top in depicting its overseas location. It’s just a girl, her guitar and a sweet country song in a charming coastal town.

Director: Logan McMillan
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Opshop “Love Will Always Win”

“Love Will Always Win” starts off looking like a generic Opshop video. Then it gets weird. After a slick minute-long opening shot, the power goes out in the studio and it becomes obvious that some sort of demon/monster is on the loose. The fancy music video style is replaced with frantic handheld shots. Mixed up in all this is a young woman and her fiancé, whose engagement is shown in flashback. So it seems like she’s abducted by the monster which in turn makes her a target by the military. But her bae is there because, you know, love will always win. It’s a nice twist to a standard rock video concept.

Director: Anthony Plant

PNC “That Kinda Guy”

Nostalgia fan PNC throws back to a mid ’90s style, with the very Death Row-sounding “That Kinda Guy”. The video is a fun animated project, involving singing skeletons, a hypno-eyed girl (and her hypno-eyes have girly lashes, just in case anyone thought she was a boy without them) and a no-frills PNC.

There’s a cute part where PNC raps about “a 40 of rum”. That’s 1.183 litres, rum doesn’t come in that size in either New Zealand or the United States — just a standard litre bottle. So I don’t know what he’s imagining — maybe an old malt liquor bottle emptied out and filled with Bacardi? Anyway, the booze bottle gets a special animation.

Director: Askew One, Mukpuddy

Ruby Frost “Odyssey”

Looking back, the whole Ruby Frost experience seems peak Gaga — that time in the early 2010s when every young female pop singer was getting outrageous with hair, makeup and wardrobe. But there’s more to Ruby Frost than just that. Beyond the on-trend weird ‘n’ arty video, there’s a good song lurking. But the video muffles it somewhat behind all the glitter.

Director: Veronica Crockford-Pound

Shotgun Alley “Eventually”

Shotgun Alley have shifted forward a decade, from the glam rock of “Give It All Up For Rock” to the grungier style of “Eventually”. The song is an emotional rock ballad and the video is a highly dramatic, nicely shot extravaganza. It’s on a knife edge of rock video cliches, but it just owns it so it all works. There’s even a scene where the two lovers fall into a pool and kiss during a guerrilla night swim — it’s good, but it’s no season three of Skam. The only bad point — and it’s really bad — is at the end, when the arsehole ex-boyfriend shows up at his ex’s house with a gun, presumedly intending to murder her. That’s not the sort of thing that a band should be using to promote their song.

Director: Anthony Plant

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