Saturday, May 18, 2013



What is this? It's a new weekly feature on The Film Tome wherein I will briefly analyze a music video. This year I've started doing the Movie Music Moment, which I hope to continue doing each Monday until the Internet is shut down. In similar fashion I will attempt to bring a new (though not necessarily new) music video to the observation table each Saturday where I can share a thought or three about it. 

Part of me views music videos as short films (that's the plain and simple answer to anyone wondering what business this has doing here on The Film Tome) and I am therefore drawn to those doing something artful, narrative-based, or in PSY's case, different. I will hopefully avoid discussing music videos where a bunch of young and nasty things shake their various things while dancing on things... And if I do there better be a damn good reason.

Back in the days of AllMoPs, the mothership from whence The Film Tome emerged, I used to do a Music Video of the Week. Essentially this (MV to Me) is the same thing. I didn't like that title because it could be interpreted that I watch a lot of music videos (which I don't) and I plucked the best of them to share with you (which I didn't). Instead, MV to Me simply means it's my impressions on the music video at hand. Because of my previous series I have plenty in the bank to recall and update for for future MV to Me posts.

PSY - Gentlemen

Much like "Gangnam Style" this one came out of nowhere when it appeared on the officialpsy YouTube channel just over a month ago. This is remarkable as "Gangnam Style," over the span of several months, became the single most-played song of 2012. The fact that PSY could unleash another hit single out of the blue was unthought of - he was regarded and dismissed (the world put PSY down as quickly as they picked him up) as a "one hit wonder." Well, it's arguable if he has "done it again."

The song itself has hardly the earworm factor of a "Gangnam Style" and it will likely never receive the coverage - over radio, TV and interweb waves - that it's predecessor achieved, but this is a good thing. It was overplaying that killed "Gangnam Style" like so many other pop hits. The song itself is an melodic electronic loop, the type that's probably best played in a car whilst driving down the freeway. The lyrics are just as redundant and even less worth your time. PSY makes Justin Timberlake seem like Coldplay by comparison. "I'm a mother-father gentleman," makes no sense in any language.

The video itself also lives in the shadow of "Gangnam Style." PSY and crew have devised a new dance that is hardly as entertaining to watch or do yourself, though I remember now that a middle-aged European man suffered a fatal heart attack while doing the "Gangnam Style". The line-dancing (a common staple in K-Pop performances), the sun lounging and the outrageous indoor staging all feel like they're trying to capture the lightning in a bottle that has long-since disappeared. Nothing about this music video is better conceived or carried out than what came before. The conceit here is that PSY is the furtherest thing from a "gentleman" (get it?!) and goes around mistreating public property and women alike. Pranksters can be funny, gangsters can be cool, but what we have here is a man-child acting a complete fool. That rhymed, and it was better than the songwriting on display here.

I had fun when I first watched "Gentleman" five Saturdays ago. I believe I even felt it surpassed the music video of "Gangnam Style." However, as I re-watched it tonight for my analysis I realized that it would be nothing without that first hit, tries to match it, but ends up being one saddening miss.

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