2. Analysis 1 – Rihanna, Rated R Text: There is 2 pieces of text on this cover; the title at the bottom in faded text and simply a letter, which gives off an intriguing effect. The album is called ‘Rated R’ – hence the use of the letter ‘R’ in the right-hand corner. It appears to be written with lipstick, matching to the one she is wearing – again signifying her rebellion, as she didn’t bother to ‘use a pen.’ it seems to written in a haphazard manner, as if she was in an unstable state; connoting her unique, bold style. Colour: The entire cover is in black and white; connoting both darkness and danger, as well as peace and innocence. The use of black resembles her rebellious lifestyle and ‘I will do as I please’ attitude – representing her as a liability. The white signifies innocence, which is then contrasted with her ‘badass’ attitude, with the black; especially since the black overshadow the white. Image: The image is a mid shot of the artist and she is slightly slouched, portraying her rebellious attitude. She has one hand placed carelessly on the left side of her face, as if she is sick and tired with life – presenting her defiant personality. Only one eye is shown which looks intimidating – connoting her aggression.
3. Analysis 1 – Rihanna, Rated R Text & Colour: The back cover is simply black, with all the text written in white, matching her fur coat, in the image, and because it stands out against the dark background. Also, the colours black and white connote the ‘goodie &’baddie’ concept -representing her persona. The text on the left is all the tracks, with any featuring artists and the producers written in smaller font next to them. Underneath and in the right-hand corner is the addition copyright information and refers to who had input in the creation of this album. Also, the logo’s of the companies that were involved in the album and publicity are in small above the text and lastly the barcode in the corner. Image: the image is a long shot of Rihanna looking back at you, as she walks away. Her facial expression is very direct and eye-catching, as if she is eyeing you out of a crowd; presenting a strong connection. She is dressed in little clothing, in fact it looks as if all she is wearing is lingerie, with a fur coat to cover her body – reinforcing the sexualised stereotype that most female artists conform to in the music industry.
4. Analysis 2 – Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentlemen Text: The artists name, ‘Ne-yo’ is written in a basic, block letter font, portraying importance and the need to stand out on the page. However, the album title, ‘Year of the Gentleman’ is in very formal, elegant text, as if its been handwritten onto the page. Both pieces of text are in black, to be able to stand out against the page and catch people’s eye. Colour: The colours are not very bright, instead look vintage and classic. His suit if grey, with pinstripes, presenting his smart, sophisticated style. The setting of the image is an old house, wherein the colours are bold and neutral. The walls are a magnolia colour, with an old, Victorian, brown door. This reinforces how the album is called the ‘Year of the Gentleman’ – as in the Victorian era, men were given main prominence and power. Image: The image is a medium shot of the artist looking down, as he puts his hat on. Therefore, you are unable to see his face; creating mystery. The background is off a vintage room, presenting the classic effect of R’n’B music. This also links to his clothing, as he is dressed very smartly, topped off with the 1920s. Rat Pack hat – conveying his own personal style. This background is faded out to represent his importance to the target audience.
5. Analysis 2 – Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentlemen Text & Colour: the background is black, with another image on top of it. the text is in white, with the track numbers in a very dull baby blue colour; matching the inside of his jacket. The font is simple and not too flamboyant; representing his style of music and persona. The only other text is a list of the people who worked on the album, including producers. In the left-hand corner, the company logo’s are included, as well as the label that Ne-Yo is signed with in an elegant font; matching the font of the album title on the front. The main colours are black, white and grey – connoting danger and threat; as if he poses a threat to other recording artists, due to his immense fame, success and popularity within the music industry. Image: the image is a long shot of Ne-Yo walking along the street, looking to the side- presenting mystery. He is dressed smart casual, with his hands in his pockets and his bowtie undone, connoting his rebellion or even his laidback attitude to life. His signature look is not complete without the 1920s rat pack hat, the aspect os his costume that makes him who he is.
6. Analysis 3 – Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Text: The text is written along the bottom of the cover, in grey font. The only part of the text that is written in different font and colour is the word ‘pink’, reinforcing the whole purpose of the album concept; the ‘Barbie’ style – meaning a devotion to pink. The font looks like its written with pink lip gloss/lipstick, keeping with the girly theme. The rest of the text, ‘Nicki Minaj’ and ‘Friday’ is in thin, grey, capital font, on the white background, looking very serene – yet still stands out, as it’s the most ‘usual’ aspect of the entire cover. Colour: Pink takes prominence on this cover, reinforcing her ‘Barbie’ style. She has bright pink hair, on a baby pink organza material – all on the backdrop of a more neutral pink background. The bottom of the cover is white, so people are able to read and see the text clearly. Also, it’s a white background, so the word ‘pink’ was able to be in the colour pink, in the ‘lip-gloss/lipstick’ format. Image: The image is a long shot of the artist with a slight high angle; making her seem small – to contradict the deliberate long legs she ‘supposedly’ has. She is sat down on the backdrop of a solid pink background, linking to the album title and her ‘Barbie’ personality. The whole ideology of the Barbie doll is reinforced with her plastic, flawless appearance, the use of the colour pink, elongated legs and stagnant /strained posture. She is sat in front of some sort of baby pink, fluffy, large organza material – representing her infatuation with fashion, beauty and especially the colour pink; again reinforcing her ‘Barbie’ look and own personality and music.
7. Analysis 3 – Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Text & Colour: the background colour is a light shade of pink which fades into white; giving the image a more sophisticated look, than just block colours. The track numbers are in a dark grey colour and the track titles are in white – to make it clear for readers. This is a deluxe edition, therefore there are two extra tracks, written in grey text underneath the others. Along the bottom on the cover is all the additional information, including all the producers and technical workers who helped create the album, company logos and an Anti-Piracy warning. Lastly, on the sides, there are 2 strips of a darker pink colour, with the artist name and album title. Image: It is a long shot of Nicki Minaj crouched down on the floor, in a flamboyant, organza pink dress with 8 inch, platform bubblegum pink stilettos and her bright pink hair – represented the typical Barbie girl look, with a twist of her own personality. Her posture is straight, she is pouting and has placed her hand in graceful, yet snooty way, to mimic upper-class, elite people. this presents her to be a very humorous person, depicted through her facial expressions, body language, outgoing costumes and lastly her music.
8. ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS
9. Analysis 1 – Cee Lo Green, ‘Forget You’ http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v = bKxodgpyGec <ul><li>This video is set in a 1960s diner, matching the style and persona of Cee LO Green himself. The video also utilises the effects of green screen, an element which allowed the video to have certain images and text to pop up, according to the lyrics. </li></ul><ul><li>This is an element described By Andrew Goodwin, in his theory of music videos. He says that there is a relationship between the lyrics and visuals, whether they are being illustrated to represent the narrative or being amplified to present his style and personality. For example, at the start of the video, a little boy enters the diner and the video briefly pauses to allow an image of a green truck and text reading young Cee Lo Green in different shades of blue and green to pop up – as an introduction of his character. </li></ul><ul><li>These colours are used to present the masculinity of the character, reinforcing the male stereotype. This is seen for the female stereotype, when the introduction of his love interest is created. She is known as the heartbreaker, in fancy pink text, with a red sports car. His truck represents his unequal status and poor background, in comparison top her powerful stature as the ‘rich girl’; hence why she breaks his heart – according to Marxists. </li></ul><ul><li>Goodwin's next argument that the music is related to the visuals is also correct as its set in the 1960s, an atmosphere of trying to please a lady and to have fun. Their hair is very big and outgoing, as well as their unique outfits, matching to the upbeat, funky tune to the song. </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, the video is an episodic narrative, as the song is portrayed through Cee Lo Green’s flashbacks of his life from a little boy till adulthood, with him directly singing the song in another scene in the diner </li></ul>
10. <ul><li>This is done through the introduction of characters, to the ‘high school years’, where he now works at the diner and again tries to impress the ‘heartbreaker.’ </li></ul><ul><li>The video continues to do this, presenting the audience with the enigma code of whether they end up together or not. The video moves at a fast pace to show these flashbacks and transition, there are quick pans and tracks of the characters that play all the Cee Lo Green’s, presenting his journey to get the girl. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, as Goodwin argues, there are many close-ups of Cee Lo Green when he is singing outside of the flashbacks, presenting th Marxist perspective of power and dominance of screen time. </li></ul><ul><li>Then the flashback to the college years arrive; the text written in jock style font, in red colour to match his jacket and to connote love and passion as he may be lucky in love this time; the point of the narrative where the resolution begins to take effect. </li></ul><ul><li>After this humiliation, the green screen takes complete effect, as several cartoon versions of him with different emotions are pictured with him evolving in a circle; completing that relationship with the lyrics of, ‘Why…I love you, I still love you’ in screeching tone, with the visuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, the video returns to present day, where a role reversal ahs occurred, he is rich and powerful and her status as the ‘heartbreaker’ has been given to Cee Lo Green, as the ‘Lady Killer.’ therefore, the narrative ends with a new equilibrium of the binary opposition of success v. failure and power v. weak. </li></ul>Analysis 1 – Cee Lo Green, ‘Forget You’
11. Analysis 2 – Black Eyed Peas, ‘Where is the Love?’ <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the love is the enigma code of the video; that one unanswered question on the minds of both adults and children today; what has happened to the world we live in? What is the reason for so much corruption? </li></ul><ul><li>The beginning part of the video focuses on the dishevelled poster of a red question mark on a black background – connoting danger and death, relating to the main themes of the video, as well as corruption and unequal powers, according to Marxists. </li></ul><ul><li>Both adults and children are running around the streets of what looks like to be set in the Bronx; a poorer, crime-ridden area stereotypically described as the home to working-class, black families. They are sticking the question mark posters all over town to try and reach out to people to change their world and get back the love. </li></ul><ul><li>This question mark is the proairetic code of those living in what could be suggested to be the ‘slums of America’ – covering issues of racism, class divisions and age corruption (as seen when the children are consistently playing violent video games) – on its way to redemption through the preaching of the Black Eyed Peas. </li></ul><ul><li>As they preach to their society, they are travelling in an old black minivan, with speakers on the top, so people can hear their views and follow them in their campaign to get rid of the hate in the world. Goodwin's theory comes into play here, with the use of constant close-ups of the artists as they sing into the microphones. </li></ul><ul><li>The video is a circular narrative, wherein the video begins with the disruption of exploitation in society and a resolution is trying to be made by the artists. They do this using the repetition of question mark throughout the video; their symbol of peace and unity that will leave an unforgettable impression on people. </li></ul>
12. Analysis 2 – Black Eyed Peas, ‘Where is the Love?’ <ul><li>The video is split between the actual narrative, with the running around putting posters up and preaching in the van, and the artists singing the song to the audience directly in a backyard of houses in the poor area. </li></ul><ul><li>For the actual narrative, they are all dressed in dark colours, signifying death, danger, pain and depression – all aspects of their lives due to their pain and suffering of discrimination and corruption. </li></ul><ul><li>For the other part of the video, they are dressed in iconic clothing you would expect R’n’B artists to wear – baggy trousers, hoodies, sunglasses, hats for the boys and tight tops and jeans for the girls. These outfits create the sexualised female stereotype and voyeuristic treatment of the female body, to which feminist oppose – a part of Goodwin's ‘Dancing in the distraction factory’ theory. </li></ul><ul><li>The binary opposition of love and hate is interlinked with the lyrics of ‘people killing, people dying…’ - hence why the deliberate use of children in the video, to portray the sense of realism and innocence towards the terror, that is today’s society, from many different perspectives. This is another part of Goodwin’s music video theory; that the lyrics match the visuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Music videos are said to be partly characterized by the typology, Conceptual, according to Firth. He argues that they re very artistic and therefore rely heavily on metaphorical representation, as in this video, as ‘love’ is a metaphor for peace, unity, bonds and being together in all battles. The lyrics of ‘Father, Father helps us, we need some guidance from above’ relates to the image of an old man looking up to the skies with the bible in his hand praying to god to bring harmony onto out world. </li></ul><ul><li>The video ends with the lyrics ‘one world…we only got one world, that’s all we got’, which acts as the ultimate trigger to peoples hearts to reform their world, otherwise you will have no peace or unity. </li></ul>
13. Analysis 3 – Willow Smith, ‘Whip my Hair’ <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh9XgGGh4L4 </li></ul><ul><li>The video begins with a white room, full of children who are almost robotic; they are not individuals. The white connotes peace; contradicting the fact that they are definitely not at peace with themselves, in fact they are fighting to break out from the social codes they are trapped in. </li></ul><ul><li>The appearance of the artists, Willow smith acts as a reality shock to the audience, due to her flamboyant, outgoing costume, make-up and hair. She is wearing an electric blue jacket, her hair is in the shape of love heart and she has a full face of make-up, with lots of ‘Bling’ – key iconography of an R’n’B artist. </li></ul><ul><li>Her appearance acts as an indexical signifier for what these ‘robots’ need in their life, love, fire, colour and most importantly individualism – this is the videos Linear Narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>As she walks into the room, everything is quiet and its videoed in slow-motion, but when the music starts, everything livens up, leading to an upbeat, fast melody – depicting the relationship between the music and visuals. </li></ul><ul><li>This reinforces why the name of the song is called ‘Whip my Hair’ – linking to that idiom of letting you hair down; meaning let go and have fun. Therefore, this links to Goodwin's theory of the relationship between lyrics and visuals, when she whips her hair and out come different coloured, bright paints; bringing colour and excitement into their lives. </li></ul>
14. Analysis 3 – Willow Smith, ‘Whip my Hair’ <ul><li>These paints literally bring colour into their lives, as the white changes to bright colours – connoting happiness and individualism. </li></ul><ul><li>It is typical of R’n’B music videos to have a stage performance and dance routine, which is included in this video, at the point of the lyrics, ‘shake ‘em off…’, where she is referring to ‘haters.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Firth argues that music videos are characterized by typologies, Conceptual being one of them. He argues that they are very artistic and tend to rely on metaphorical representation – as in this video, because whipping you hair can represent letting go and having fun. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, the mood - enjoyment of life - is clearly evoked during the viewing of the video. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many close-ups of not only Willow Smith, but all the ‘robots’ ,who now have let go and are having fun, as its one of the demands made by record labels; according to Goodwin’s theory. </li></ul><ul><li>This has then created the motif of whipping you hair back and fourth, whenever Willow Smith comes to mind; creating her own visual style. </li></ul><ul><li>These close –ups have proven to be beneficial with feminist ,as the camera shots have not been used for the effect of voyeuristic treatment of female bodies; instead they are used to establish how much fun they are all having. They are also in favour of how the lyrics and music relates to the visuals, instead of a song solely based on female sexualisation. </li></ul>
15. ANALYSIS OF MAGAZINE ADVERTS
16. Analysis 1 – Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3 Image: There is one main image in the centre of the page on a light grey background. The grey background presents a theme of old age and vintage style. The image is of several different music instruments, old antique record players and an old tape player. This gives the image an aspect of authenticity; a trip down memory lane. They are stacked up into a large pile and almost pushed into a corner. The image acts as a symbolic signifier of how technology has evolved since then and, as a society we have moved on to bigger, better means of creating and listening to music. Overlaid on the image is 3 thick, red transparent rectangles, acting as symbols for the new age, hence why they are on top of the ‘old’; portraying the binary opposition of old v. new. The rectangles are red to represent passion, how new technology has entered the world with a bang. Text: The idea of an ‘evolving age’ is reinforced through the title of the album; ‘The Blueprint 3’ – as blueprints are plans to make a new machine or technology. Also, the ‘3’ links back to the 3 rectangles; ongoing franchise of Jay-Z’s music. The text is written in large, capital, black font – suggesting importance and its duty of attracting people to it. The artists name is written in a different font and is large and bold, to stand out against the light background; catching the readers' attention. Finally, the date for the album release is underneath the title, in bigger, bolder font; a remembrance of this date, so people will buy it, increasing their profits and popularity.
17. Analysis 2 – Beyonce, I Am…Sasha Fierce Image: The image is a mid shot of Beyonce, with a direct connection between the audience and her. This is an aesthetic image, due to her piercing eye contact and memorable facial expression. The image is in black and white, giving main prominence to this unusual item of adornment around her neck and shoulders, as it’s a gold colour. This reinforces why the background is also grey. Her lips are slightly parted and are pouting, conforming to the sexualised stereotypes of female artists. Her face looks flawless from make-up, unlike her eyes, where she is heavily ‘done up’ with eye-shadow. This links to how the most eye-catching aspect of the image are her eyes – presenting her passion for music. It also links to the title of her album, ‘I am…Sasha Fierce’, her eye-contact presents her fierce personality and music, as well as her alter ego, Sasha, the reason why the album is named this. Text: besides the brief line of who created the advert along the side of the page, the only piece of text is half the name of the album, ‘Sasha Fierce.’ the fact that there is only half the title acts as an… signifier that Sasha is her outgoing, fierce alter ego, hence the reason for such an aesthetic, unique image and appearance. Its written in black capitals, in white with a thin black outline; giving it an authentic look of a unique antique – conveying her personality and musical style.
18. Analysis 3 –Tinie Tempah, Written in the Stars Image: this is a medium shot of the artist folding his arms and looking in the other direction, from a low angle, presenting authority and power. He is wearing iconic clothing for an R’n’B artist; the blue bomber jacket, with the thick-rimmed, large black glasses. Many other R’n’B artists wear these glasses or their own style of glasses; proving to be a popular trait. Also, he has his ‘bling’ – the expensive jewellery that R’n’B artists are known for, as he’s wearing a two bracelets, stud earrings and a ring. This signifies his wealth due to his renowned fame I the music industry, hence why he’s an increasingly popular recording artist. Lastly, his power and importance is again depicted through the outline of shining light around his image. The background of the image is a starry night sky, with a gushing of bright colour shooting down – linking to how the song this advert is for is called ‘Written in the Stars.’ The clouds of the night overlap his image, presenting that mesmerising mood of the brightness of the stars – reinforcing the concept of the song to be about fate and destiny. Text: the only piece of text on this advert is the name of the artist, the song and the artists that featured in it. its all written in thick, bold, large white font, attracting people’s eye when they turn the page. Also, the font is unique to the artist, again conveying his power and significance in the music industry, portraying his popularity among his audience.