Music Video Deconstruction: The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Music VideoDeconstructionThe Middle – Jimmy Eat World (2001, InterscopeRecords)
Goodwin‟s Features Of MusicVideos Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (eg. Stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band). There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying or contradicting). There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying or contradicting). The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close-ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). There is frequently reference to the notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. There is often intertextual reference (to films, TV programmes, other music videos etc).
Feature One The whole video features around the band playing at a house party, which fits the generic idea of punk-rock focusing on the performance side of a band video, rather than the narrative or conceptual aspects. There is a storyline running parallel to the video, but it is not focused on in an entirely narrative way, seen almost as irrelevant to the lyrics or music at first.
Feature Two The lyrics talk of independence, and being yourself: “don‟t write yourself off yet, you know you‟re doing better on your own”. This relates to the narrative in the video as the teenage boy who is made into the main character is trying to resist the peer pressure of joining in the party in his underwear. Alone even when in a crowd!
Feature Three There is a slight relationship between the music and visuals, but it is not very defined. There is a bit of on-beat editing where the camera cuts on beat to the track, which denotes the power of the beat somewhat. The crowd are jumping in time to the drum beat which creates a connotation of them listening and enjoying the music, even if it was actually silent when the video was being filmed. When the camera is underwater in the swimming pool, the track sounds muffled to reflect this. The camera underwater >
Feature Four There are lots of close-ups of the band, which promote them as a group. Also, the close-ups always seem to heavily feature the lead singer, which is similar to lots of punk-rock videos, such as The Ramones‟ “Poison Heart” (deconstructed below). The idea of the band playing at a high school type party is connoted by the young adults and the fact that it is in a house as most typical student parties were. This relates to the album cover nicely which is of high school trophies, and the whole album “Bleed American” featured along the same lines.
Feature Five The idea of looking is presented through the main character, who watches the crowds of people, whether when he checks the fridge, looks through the window or just watches in general. The treatment of a female‟s body is shown as quite voyeuristic because of the nature of the party; everyone is in their underwear. The girls are all presented as being quite attractive and shown in bras and underwear, being „checked out‟ by the other guys and girls present.
Feature Six There is intertextuality within this clip in the idea that the whole video focuses around knowing what is happening; a house party with what are connoted as young students, possibly at college or university. This can only be worked out if one has been to or seen on television a generic American house party. They are shown in television shows very often which would mean that lots of people would understand the reference.
Overall... The video contrasts slightly with The Ramones‟ video, in that the narrative is integrated with the performance rather than flicking between the two. The comparison of close-ups and ideas of music/lyric/visuals relationships are all pretty similar, especially the promotion of a logo or image relating to an album cover.