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Three Days Grace – Pain
The video begins with shot...
genre as usually in rock videos if the singer is shown the band is also, whereas in other
genres such as RnB this is not t...
rebelling (doing wrong) or that the characters are special for identifying with the song (X
marks the spot). The tattoos a...
Linkin Park – Papercut
The video begins with a long sho...
A band member begins singing/rapping. He is given power through the rule of thirds, direct
mode of address and depth of fi...
The video opens with a low angle shot of a billboard with Foo Fighters advertising. The
words “in concert tonight” allow a...
The fast shots between the different band members also matches the music. Both of these
match the video narrative to the m...
darkness and use of one screen previously in the song connotes how the song has
progressed and is now well into its durati...
Music video textual analysis
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Music video textual analysis


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Music video textual analysis

  1. 1. MUSIC VIDEO TEXTUAL ANALYSIS Three Days Grace – Pain The video begins with shots of 4 people 2 of which are female and 2 male. The 2 females are standing around almost lifelessly whereas the 2 males are listening to music through headphones and moving around more. This could connote that the music is bringing them to life as shown in sharp binary oppositions between the two genders. The females not listening to music could connote a stereotype that the rock genre is more appealing to males than females. However, the use of both genders in a rock music video could show that the artists have a wide audience of both males and females. Through both genders shown in the video both genders will be able to identify more closely and relate to the product (Uses and Gratification). On the other hand, if the video focused more on one gender the other may still find it appealing through escapism (U+G). During the opening shot there is a non diabetic sound of bird tweeting. The clarity of the sound highlights even further to the audience how lifeless the female is. The bird tweeting connotes the start of something (in this case the video) as birds often tweet in the morning at the beginning of the day. The shots between the 4 people are fast which could be to prevent audience boredom while still building suspense to the start of the music. The music starting almost acts as an equilibrium for the audience due to the blank negative sound after the bird tweets. As the music starts the lead singer is shown singing into a hand held microphone. The audience may identify with this on a more personal level compared to the standard microphone on a stand as it is more personalised (eg easier for singer to walk around with it). The microphone could also represent the band as unique. The singer has an indirect mode of address and is not centred in the rule of thirds, but despite this still holds power due to being the main thing on screen and through a blurred depth of field. The music at this point is calm however the singer makes some jagged movements as he sings. The camera starts at a mid shot but slowly moves into a close up as the singer sings which could be to build suspense for audiences. The singer has long hair and is wearing all black clothing so conforms to generic conventions of the rock genre. Audiences will be able to identify with this due to these conventions and fans of the rock genre may have increased appeal. Through Hypodermic Needle the clothing could connote straight away to audiences that this band is of the rock genre. In the rock genre the clothing may give the singer the role of hero due to being fashionable (Propps), whereas out of the rock genre the black clothing could make him seem evil and therefore the role of a villain. As the other instruments come in the rest of the band are seen wearing generic clothing of the rock genre (eg black clothing) and therefore this connotes further confirmation of the rock genre for fans and allows them to identify closer with the music (U+G). The camera rotates around the different band members and their instruments making the sound diagetic. This also conforms to the rock
  2. 2. genre as usually in rock videos if the singer is shown the band is also, whereas in other genres such as RnB this is not the case. During the singers first verse there is a flash of one of the males shown at the beginning standing in almost exactly the same way as the lead singer and shown in the same way through rule of thirds, mid shot. This similarity could give audiences pleasure through making them feel closer to the band on a personal level as it connotes how the singer and the male are relating. This also later happens with a female character so therefore widens the appeal to both genders and lessens and therefore widens the target audience and lessens male rock stereotypes. The characters are seen wearing less rock like clothes then the singer and therefore this could widen appeal and target audiences of the band further as it shows that things like this are not needed to identify with the product (U+G). The normal clothing of the male and female also lessens binary oppositions and creates a binary oppositions in clothing between the characters and the singer. The male is also later seen with a graffiti background connoting more urban and hip hop genres. This therefore further widens the product appeal and connotes how anyone can listen to the music. During the choruses the band and singer move have allot stronger and faster movements as appose to the verses. This helps make the choruses more powerful and hard hitting as it helps audiences identify that this is the main bit of the song, and conforms to generic conventions of the rock genre is which the choruses are usually the loudest, most impacting. The male and female characters are also shown singing and nodding/dancing to the chorus which shows how they are relating to the product and find it appealing. Through Hypodermic Needle this could make audiences find the product appealing. The singers hero role is strengthened through this and he is also given power through it. There is a close up of the male characters face as he sings along to the chorus. This shows the angry emotions of the characters which further show how he is relating to the song. The female is shown with a hood up which could connote negative stereotypes of young people and rebellion. The lead singer is shown singing in many different locations/times/situations yet is still holding the same body language and emotion which makes the product seem more true and genuine and therefore audiences may relate to it on a more serious level. The band are located in a decilet, large, dimly lit house. This conforms to generic conventions of the rock genre through lighting etc whilst the size of the house does represent success and dominance of the band. This is similar with the bands expensive instruments as they to represent the rock genre whilst representing success and power. Through the windows it is evident that it is daytime and therefore daylight should be lighting up the setting, however it is still dull and dim which could connote the darkness of the emotion and lyrics etc in the song. Near the end of the video all characters and members of the band are shown with the same tattoo on the back of their neck. The tattoo is a red cross X and therefore holds negative and powerful connotations. Red represents the anger in the song and X could represent
  3. 3. rebelling (doing wrong) or that the characters are special for identifying with the song (X marks the spot). The tattoos act as a logo and therefore help create a brand identity for the band. This could increase audience appeal as audiences can make associations with the red x and the band and therefore the band can achieve more audience awareness. As soon as the music stops the band members all begin to act more calmly and normally which could connote how the product is unique and bringing life to those who listen or relate. It could also allow audiences escapism(U+G), due to the video making it seem as if the song placed people in a state different to normal life.
  4. 4. Linkin Park – Papercut The video begins with a long shot of a well lighted room, with one of the band members opening a door into the room. The door being opened connotes the start of the song, and could relate to audiences by connoting that audiences are opening a door by consuming the product (opening the door has positive connotations). The band enter in slow motion and jump cuts which appeals to audiences as it is at a clear medium for them to identify with through slow motion highlighting each member of the band and jump cuts not making the process boring. Band members are also seen preparing and picking up instruments which connotes that music will soon be heard and rises suspense to the start of the song. The instruments could highlight a near start of the song to audiences through Uses and Gratification (identify) and Hypodermic needle. The music begins acting as an equilibrium to the previous silence. Band members are now seen dancing to the music and using instruments, allowing audiences to identify them as the band and possibly the heroes of the video (Propps). Fans may also identify with the video concept of being in a room with the band through escapism (U+G). The camera travels around the room and zooms into each member of the band, which could connote they all have the same amount of power dominance. This is also shown through the rule of thirds. However, it could also be argued that the first two band members shown once the music had began were the most powerful due to being shown first. Equal band dominance is a generic convention of the rock genre as appose to other genres such as RnB in which often the main singer/artist is given more dominance and power in videos. There is a close up of a lamp turning off/getting darker by itself along with a similar yet possibly non diagetic sound. This could connote Disequilibrium. The camera then pans to another much more scary/negative looking room which also connotes disequilibrium and binary oppositions due to the difference between this room and the room the band members are in. The darkness of the room connotes enigma and conforms to the rock genre through generic darkness and black colours. This could appeal to fans of the rock genre as a clear generic convention could allow them to identify more clearly with the product (U+G). Despite the rooms negative connotations, when it is first seen there is a “powering up sound” which contrasts the sound heard during the shot of the lamp (binary oppositions). This sound has positive connotations and could build suspense for audiences to the “drop” of the song. The song then “drops” and seems to begin fully which along with the powering up noise acts as an equilibrium. This confirms to the rock genre as despite there being a negative and dark room being shown the music drops here which connotes equilibrium and therefore making darkness etc less of a disequilibrium like many rock products do. There are many generic conventions in this room such as chains and blood. The blood could relate to the title of the song and therefore appeal to the audiences through a relation in the video narrative to the music being heard.
  5. 5. A band member begins singing/rapping. He is given power through the rule of thirds, direct mode of address and depth of field. Although he is rapping the rock genre is still connoted strongly through things such as rock background music, guitars being shown, and generic rock clothing and style such as all black, red and Mohawks. The contrast between rap and rock creates a binary oppositions yet still fits which allows audience appeal and escapism (U+G) as many rock songs would not contain rap. The chorus begins and the lead singer is singing. It is now clear to the audience through the lyrics and emotion being shown through things such as close ups of the band that the dark room being shown is a visual interpretation of a negative/darker side of the band that they are talking about. This makes the narrative clearer and therefore easier for audiences to identify with (U+g). A visual interpretation of band emotions could appeal to fans as it could make them feel as if they know the band on a more personal level. Audiences may also have increased appeal through relating with what the band are saying, and those who don’t may have increased appeal through escapism (U+G). At one point a light turns on in the dark room, which could connote that this side of the artists has been activated/come to life. The light shows words scribbled onto the wall which through the scratches and capital letters connote anger and conform to the pace and emotion of the song. Soon after this a member of the band addresses the audience as “you” through lyrics. This could appeal to audiences through possible social interaction with the band (U+G) and relating more strongly to the product. Eventually a person is seen in the darker room acting manically. This connotes further that the room has been brought to life and therefore also the emotion and feelings of the band lyrics. The person is acting manically and this is highlighted through jump cuts and through pace being sped up. Band members such as the first one that rapped also act manically which shows a relation between the person in the room and the band members, and makes the narrative clearer and easier to identify with (U+G). Things begin happening in both rooms that are way out of the ordinary and allow audience escapism, through the idea that the video is a different reality (such as moving owl statue, paintings, walls). A possible member of the band sitting on a sofa who has been previously still and calm is seen noticing these changes through close up shots. The shots show importance to this character and that actually he is important to the narrative. These hallucinogenic aspects could connote drug use or that this character is experiencing a darker side to himself as connoted in the lyrics. Throughout all the changes in the room the camera movement is fast and therefore matches the pace of the song. The speeding up of characters such as the person in the room also matches the music with the narrative. The person in the dark room is seen opening his eyes, connoting life and power. Whereas the calm character in the lit room is seen to be melting away. This could connote that this darker side has taken over, and could connote a change in roles from hero to villain (Propps), along with disequilibrium. Foo Fighters – All my life
  6. 6. The video opens with a low angle shot of a billboard with Foo Fighters advertising. The words “in concert tonight” allow audiences to identify a possible narrative that may take place for the video. The low angle shot connotes power and dominance to the Foo Fighters as it is as if we are looking up to them as the audience. Some audiences may therefore see them as hero roles (Propps). The black typography connotes the rock genre, and against a white background offers binary oppositions. The typography is in capital letters, further connoting dominance. However, the advertising looks unprofessional for a band of that scale so it could be a reference to when the band was previously less popular. It could also be on a smaller scale to help appeal to audiences on a more personal level. It could also appeal to audiences as it connotes that the band may wish to be modest and not boast of their success, therefore strengthening them being seen as heroes and idols. This contrasts other genres such as Rap in which artists may use expensive items such as Jewellery to boast success. The camera then pans to a stadium, which due to the branding on the advertising audiences are able to identify as the place of the performance (U+G). The stadium looks large, modern and even dominant so actually does connote the band as successful, wealthy, powerful and popular (this creates a binary oppositions to the billboard advertisement). The first shot of the band is a low angle shot, making them seem dominant and powerful. The first two band members are arguably being connoted as the most important due to them being equal in the rule of thirds, and in front and more clear to the audience. By this point the music has begun acting as an equilibrium to the previous silence. It is also repetitive creating suspense to the “drop” of the song. The band are holding guitars so it is as if they are about to go on stage and perform. The clothes of the band are not particular generic to the rock genre, however the genre is still connoted through guitars, long hair and tattoos. The band goes on stage and the lead singer begins singing. It is dark (connoting enigma) and there is a bright light shining only on a lead singer as he sings. The light makes him seem as if he is the most important, and makes him stand out through the binary oppositions of light and dark. There is a high angle shot of the singer however he is still connoted as powerful through the light. The high angle shows audiences that the other band members are there, however are not shown due to darkness as therefore connoting further the lead singers power and importance. This could represent the lead singer being the front man who often in bands is the face of the music. The camera eventually goes down to an slight low angle close up of the singers face. The slight low angle shows dominance, and the close up shows the passion and emotion in his face while singing. This can make the product more appealing to audiences. As the “drop” kicks in their is a sting from the guitar which gives the start even more power and impact. The stage is lit up connoting the energy of the song. Audiences can clearly identify the band members, which could connote how the music has brought them to life (now that they are using the instruments, they are visible) making the product more appealing to audiences and even connoting escapism for audiences. The band are playing seriously and passionately, and are nodding/moving at the pace of the music.
  7. 7. The fast shots between the different band members also matches the music. Both of these match the video narrative to the music, making it a more effective watch for audiences. Therefore conforming to audience expectations and allowing them to identify more enjoyably (U+g). There is a large heart logo behind them on stage, which is a logo of an album from the band. This being shown in the video offers the band a more clear brand identity and promotes the product. Audiences can now make associations between the logo and product through Hypodermic Needle. The heart is red, conforming to the rock genre. It looks hand drawn so therefore makes the product seem more personal from the band and therefore appealing to audiences. The heart connotes love so in this case could connote the band and fans love for music. The heart later changes to what looks like a puddle of blood. The blood conforms to the rock genre. Heartbreak is also connoted and some may make this interpretation through lyrics. However, some may not due to the explosive and powerful nature of the song. Later in the song there is a break in the powerful verses and choruses, leaving the same suspense building repetitive guitar sound heard at the beginning. This break makes the song more unique, less appealing and includes more suspense building, so therefore would appeal to audiences. During this period the band are shown in slow motion, which matches the music as although the guitar is not slow paced, it has a less powerful sound to the verses and choruses. The band members are still seen jumping wildly (generic convention of rock genre) so the passion and emotion of the song is not lost. This could appeal to audiences as they still feel a clear identity and relation to the product. The heart logo returns and is now yellow coloured, connoting energy (however there is still switches between red and yellow). The stage darkens again and only members of the band are lit. Once again, the lead singer is the main focus so his importance is still connoted. There are flashes of light and dark which conform to the rock genre through unpredictable and wild connotations. As the music kicks in again the stage is completely darkened and is given a red background. The red colour connotes the rock genre further, and through the heart brand audiences may make associations between this colour and the band. The band are now unable to be seen properly which gives them even more wild connotations, this also makes the band seem unique. The singer then begins singing again more emotionally and powerfully and his movements match the music, connoting to audiences the passion and therefore allowing them to more strongly identify with the product (U+g). The lead singer is clearly visible through lighting whereas the others aren’t which once again connotes him as more important represents him as the front man for the band. However, the band are still visible and it is still clear they play an important role in the music due to the clear activity behind the lead singer. The stage is relit as the chorus comes in and three banners drop behind the band with the bands logo. These banners completely dominate the rule of thirds and are clear for the audience to identify with. The FF makes it obvious for audiences that it is a logo for the band, and once again the red connotes the rock genre. There are also flashes of the heart and blood on separate screens. The use of many backdrops/screens as apposed to the
  8. 8. darkness and use of one screen previously in the song connotes how the song has progressed and is now well into its duration. The many screens also connote a finale. At the end of the song lyrics of the song are shown on the screens. This offers audiences a chance to identify with the product even more (U+G) and experience social interaction through singing with the singer (U+G). The typography is clear through size, and binary oppositions of black and white. The text used conforms to the rock genre as it is not plain and rough around the edges of the letters (connoting wildness and rebellion which are common rock themes). After the music stops the camera zooms out and it is made obvious to the audience that nobody has watched the performance in the narrative. This connotes the band as passionate and dedicated as it shows how they put everything into the music even in times of practice or when other bands would not see the point of performing. This connotes a love for the music and fans will identify with this (U+g). The last shot is of the stadium and a now dark sky, contrasting the stadium in daytime when first seen. Despite the 4-5 minute length of the song it is now dark connoting that time has gone due to having fun. This makes the product seem more enjoyable and even connotes escapism into a trance when listening to the song (U+G).