I’ve been obsessing over the three* Feist albums recently, and they’re a big hit with my ears, as well as the ears of my girls. They’re a good mix of songwriting and orchestration, and to be perfectly frank, I’m kinda stupid crazy for anything that captures that 70’s disco sound so well.
Here’s the video for the track ‘Inside & Out’ (right, or at El Tube), which is easily one of my favorite tracks on Let it Die (which might have a lot to do with it being a Bee Gees cover, but a lot of Feist’s charm is her ability to interpret a song).
Which brings me to the next point: I love these albums, but for the most part all of the Feist videos leave me exceedingly cold. You’re probably at least passingly familiar with the video for ‘1234‘, as it’s the showcase clip in the latest batch of iPod Nano commercials, and it’s one of four (I believe) videos directed by Patrick Daughters.
So far, all of the Daughters clips involve some degree of choreography, which is either deliberately corny for irony’s sake, or simply to mask a less than professional ability on Feist’s part. That in and of itself doesn’t bother me, though it does feel stylistically lazy now that it’s in 4 videos, but what does bother me is the trend in these clips to shove the song itself into the background. I’m a firm believer in the ‘it’s the song, stupid’ theory of music videos, so when a clip distorts or otherwise marginalizes the music in favor of the visual, I just get annoyed. “1234” does the worst job of this, buy giving us only a ‘live’ track version of the song that’s hideously distorted by the reverb of the space, while the clip for Mushaboom actually obliterates the tune for the first verse or so by only giving you Feist singing over a cheap alarm clock audible track, (which is further obscured by keeping the incidental sounds like footprints and noisy bread bags). One Evening keeps the song intact, but still manages to throw the focus on the (in my opinion kitchsy) choreography. My Moon, My Man seems to be the only clip that really avoids these pitfalls, but in that case the video still fails to grab me.
Were it not for the fact that I’d heard these tracks before catching any of the clips, I don’t know that I would have spent the money to have ’em, so I ask: What’s more important to you, the video or the song?
Now, our pal Andy might take a different tack to this, as he’s on the other side of the video production line (and indeed we’ve disagreed on a number of clips, not the least of which being the Softlightes’ ‘Heart Made of Sound‘), so I’ll leave it to him to voice his thought on the ‘song versus video’ equation.
*I’m not counting Open Season, as it’s mostly re-mixes.