Daily Archives: March 18, 2013

Check? (HUM415/ HUM425)

Muse’s Madness:

Let’s approach this video as a totality: sound, lyrics, images. The second of these elements, lyrics, are fairly unremarkable.* Whatever power they have can be linked to the sound. (Something pop excels at: if the music is good enough you could recite the ingredients of a breakfast cereal and they’d seem profound). Sound: as my informant remarks, this is a long track, one that builds by layering. Then the layers are stripped away and begin to build again. There’s tension here, then: a slow progression and a reversal. But what about the visuals? The lyrics indicate a song about conflicted desire, which is classic pop content. Why then are what appear to be black bloc affinity groups battling LAPD SWAT? What does it mean that in the final shots the two lover-protagonists are smoking inside the subway car, their backs to each other, while a brawl between the RSA and its antagonists unfolds? Any thoughts about this? What are the politics of this morsel of pop? I’d love to hear your responses.

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