Monday, 9 September 2013

9. Theory Two- Andrew Goodwin: Dancing in the Distraction Factory (1992)

Andrew Goodwin had a theory that pop music videos were either one of three possible types. Illustration, amplification or disjuncture.


Music: Always cut on the beat.

Lyrics: Images illustrate the literal meaning or feelings of the lyrics, often the band sings and dances.

Image: The band will often sing, dance, play instruments and wear costume that is expected of them.

For example: The Way (Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller):

  • The artist sings (lip syncs), gestures and dances during the video
  • The video is cut to the beat. 
  • The artists are dressed just as we expect them to be dressed.


Music: Film cuts on the beat but also off to emphasise specific features.

Lyrics: Images amplify the lyrics, a specific narrative may be used that wouldn't be picked up from the lyrics only.

Image: The band will probably take on fictional roles/characters that adhere to the concept or narrative.

For example: Last Friday Night (Katy Perry):

  • Fictional characters are taken on in the video
  • The actions in the video amplify the lyrics that they are lip syncing too. 
  • The concept/narrative that runs through could be interpreted in different ways. 


Music: Film cuts off the beat. Sometimes the sign of a bad music video.

Lyrics: Images which do not relate to the lyrics used, this is sometimes used by bands who are well established and can afford to take risks within their work.

Image: An image that is completely unrelated is taken on by the band/artist.

For example: Da Funk (Daft Punk):

  • The video is not cut to the beat. 
  • The artists do not appear in the video (and if they do, this is not made clear).
  • There is only dialogue throughout the video, no singing or lip syncing. 

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