Let's get lyrical

Published May 25, 2013

Recently, Mr C played me a music video that showed nothing but the lyrics of the song in question. I was a bit disappointed, thinking it was just like Adele’s Skyfall video. Whilst that was quite Bond, and an interesting experiment, I thought a video of only the lyrics was a bit… lazy.

However, it turns out that there’s a craze for Official Lyrics Videos that run alongside their more traditional action-packed counterparts. For example, Pink’s Try video was very well received, with her contemporary dancing and beautiful imagery. Then there is the lyrics video which is stripped back, bare with just the words.

This is completely fascinating to me. I’ve always been one that likes to read and watch and listen all at the same time. Put the subtitles up on the TV, and grab the lyrics out of the CD album sleeve. I read better than I listen and this adds an extra dimension.

Some of the videos are also as much a work of art as their live-action friends. Browsing through some recent efforts, we spotted two, in particular, that must have had a huge amount of work gone into them.

First Katy Perry’s Wide Awake takes on a Facebook theme and looks back at her career so far.

And Taylor Swift’s Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together has a similar, but more handwritten effect.

Some are arty but then they are harder to read the words, some are quite simple and allow you to follow along nicely. Others have had no effort put into them whatsoever, and look like a cheap karaoke video. This One Direction attempt is pretty dull, and also notes it down as “meetcha.”  Kelly Clarkson just has words swirling in front of her face, whilst Demi Lovato has an interesting effect (hashtags ahoy!) but it makes it quite hard to read.

My final thought rests with the Linkin Park effort which is both good looking, pulses with the beat, and allows you to learn lyrics that would otherwise be quite hard to follow.

As a kid, I used to pore over lyrics to try and learn them as quick as possible so I could sing along with the radio, or my CDs. I wonder if this would have been a handy tool to make that process even easier.

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