After spending years analyzing music videos and the music industry, Andrew
Goodwin put together a set of key features which apply to all music videos.
Of course not all of the features are featured in each video, however at least
one feature is complimentary, contradicting or amplified.
These key features were illustrated in his book ‘Dancing in the Distraction
Lyrics and Visuals
The first feature of a music video, Goodwin, claimed was that there is a
relationship between the lyrics and the visuals on screen.
This can either be:
For example in the music video ‘America’s Suite hearts’
by Fall Out Boy the concept of the video doesn't really
match up with what they are trying to portray in their
Music and Visuals
The second key feature of a music video he identified was that there is also a
relationship between the music and the visuals.
This could be either of the following:
- Cutting visuals in time to music
For example in the music video ‘Walks like Rhianna’ by
The Wanted, at one point the beat of the song
coordinates with the flashing of the strobe lighting on
The next key feature of a music video which Goodwin discovered was that
music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.
- Stadium Performance
- Studio Performance
- Narrative based
- Concept based
For example in the music video ‘Livin’ on a prayer’ by
Bon Jovi follows the generic characteristics of a
performance style music video as the visuals are of the
band/artist performing in a stadium.
Goodwin expressed that a key feature of music videos is several close ups of
the artist. This is due to the record companies requirement that the artist is
strongly featured within the music video.
This is includes:
- Artistic Branding
- Celebrity Culture
- Artistic Portrayal
- Implications on looking good.
For example in the music video ‘Home Run’ by Misha B
there are several close up shots of her face.
Following on from Artist Close ups, a feature linked to this is star iconography
which each artist will develop in their music videos.
This could be through either of the following:
- Brand values/unique selling points
For example in the music videos by Michael Jackson
there are repeated dance moves that have become his
signature look and part of his branding as an artist.
Goodwin also identified that within music videos that there is the concept of
This basically means the audience see’s something that they would or should
not usually see.
This could be in the form of:
- Nudity/near nudity/revealing clothes
- An intimate location e.g. bedroom
- Frame within a frame
For example in the music video ‘Stay’ by Rihanna, the
artist is featured naked in a bathtub. Not only an
intimate location but voyeuristic in term of the nudity.
Lastly Andrew Goodwin noticed when studying music videos that there are
often intertextual references to:
- Other music videos
- TV Programs
For example in the music video ‘It’s Raining Men’ by
Geri Halliwell there is intertextual references to the film
‘Fame’ such as the clothing and the Performative style.