In his 1992 book, Dancing in the Distraction Factory, Andrew Goodwin laid out five points that are often commonplace features found in music videos.
There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics are represented with images. There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone and atmosphere of the visuals reflect those of the music. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics The demands of the record label will include the need for close ups of the artist, who may develop a personal visual style There is frequent reference to the notion of looking (screens within screens, mirrors) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body There are often intertextual references to films, other music videos, TV shows
Goodwin stated in his theory that there are three ways in which the visuals can respond to the music in a video. Music can illustrate, amplify, or ignore the meaning of the song completely (disjuncture). Music videos can use a set of images to illustrate the meaning of the lyrics and genre, and was very common in older music videos. Music videos can amplify the meaning of the song, where the visuals add another depth to the song Or, the meaning of the song can be completely ignored creating a disjuncture
Anna Molly – Incubus http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/353082 2107858639553/ I will be applying the framework of this theory to American indie rock group Incubus‟ 2006 track, Anna Molly.
There are various examples of where lyrics are represented with images. For example: Lyric: “A cloud hangs over this city by the sea,” Represented by: Paralinguistic feature of Brandon Boyd portraying a cloud, as well as alluding to a seemingly dead girl Lyric: “Anna molly,” Represented by/interpretation: Anna Molly is sung as „anomaly‟, which connotes a sense of something strange or out of the ordinary. The scene of the dead girl is different as it could be seen as though a forensic officer is called to deal with a possibly unique case.
Further relationships between visuals and lyrics include: Lyric: 1 “Wait, there is a light, there is a fire defragmenting the attic. Fate? Or something better? I couldnt care less, just stay with me for a while,” 2 Represented by/interpretation: The lyric „there is a light, there is a fire‟ connote that the 3 apparently „dead‟ girl who is shown in the mortuary (1) is actually alive. This is shown with a fire that self-ignites (3) immediately after one of the girl‟s fingers moves (2).
The music video simply illustrates the music in how a narrative is provided in the music video as well as a performance from Incubus. The video could fall under a hybrid performa-narrative category, as the balance of narrative and performance scenes in the video is balanced fairly equally.
Incubus fits into the alternative rock genre, and follows the genre‟s typical music video conventions. These music videos of this genre tend to be of the performance variety; often featuring a narrative with darker overtones (in this video, the preternatural). In music videos it is commonplace for the artist(s) or band to be shown prominently, and this video achieves that with many shots showing the band. The sense of place gives Incubus a rough, alternative visual style which matches up well with their musical genre.
The music video does feature a female character who is shown in a variety of places. She is shown as almost powerless as she lies on the mortuary table, but the video does not make a stereotypical subjection of her. The video doesn‟t contain any particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
There are often intertextual references to films, TV programmes, other music videos and other forms of media in music videos however it seems that Incubus‟ video has lacked in these features, which could add a sense of entropy to the video. There is a sense of narrative with a beginning, middle and end structure but no intertextual references to other media.