Sunday, June 30, 2019

Weekend Diversion: Videos with homages

There’s an endless number of ways to make music videos, which makes it kind of surprising that so many seem to similar and interchangeable. But there are also videos that step outside their box a bit, sometimes with great creativity, other times for the way the video reinforces or complements the song. And then sometimes a video will recall other music videos or movies. Like this week’s videos.

First up is “1999” by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan:

The song was released in August of 2018. The music video, released in October of 2018, features a series of visual homages to music videos, movies, and TV shows from the late 1990s. They’re very well done, and most of them are obvious enough that most people will get the references if they were aware of pop culture in that era.

The song reached Number 18 in Australia (Platinum), 10 in New Zealand, 13 in the UK (Silver), and 30 on the USA Billboard “Mainstream Top 40”.

Next up is “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande:

The song was released in November, 2018, and the music video was released at the end of that month. It features numerous references to the movies Mean GirlsLegally Blonde, and also Bring It On. I saw the first two, so I got those references, but since I never saw Bring It On I didn’t get those. Nevertheless, I thought it was fun.

The song was a huge success, hitting Number One in all the countries I write about: Australia (2x Platinum), Canada (5x Platinum), New Zealand (2x Platinum), the UK (Platinum), and on the USA’s Billboard “Hot 100” (Platinum).

• • • • •

As I’ve said several times, a lot of the pop songs I like are ones that I first encountered as music videos, so it’s not surprising that I’d notice music videos that pay homage to other music videos, or pop culture generally. I didn’t buy these two songs, and unless it was part of some sort of compilation it’s unlikely I would—not the first time that’s been true, either. Even so, pop culture paying homage to pop culture? That’s my kind of thing.

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