Textual Analysis of a Music Video - Just by Radiohead
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Textual Analysis of a Music Video Just by Radiohead
In this shot, we can see a typical rock style setup. There is an electric and bass guitar with pieces of the drum kit located in the background. Thom Yorke, the lead singer of the band can also be seen wearing a leather jacket which is a style typically associated with rock music.
Towards the end of the video, the streetwalkers ask the man why he is laying down after some persuasion. When they eventually discover the reason, they too lie down on the street for reasons that remain unknown to the audience as shown in this image. It represents the lyrics of the song, You do it to yourself the lyrics highlight the flaws in human curiosity and this final image conveys the songs message in a memorable visual form. The people are all so desperate as to why the man is
lying down because they are unable to control their curious nature; the actual reason is overshadowed by the curiosity. Radiohead appear to be onlookers of the event.
In addition to the final visual, there is a distinct relationship between what we hear and what kind of sound the band makes at the same time. A guitar solo concludes the song which is made apparent by a close up and allows the audience to understand the tone behind the sound which is quite moody, angry and powerful in relation to the heavy sound. Immediately after we establish that the guitar is being played, we cut to and overhead, high angle shot which symbolises the power that human nature has over humans themselves and based on the loud solo that accompanies the shot, we can assume that this idea is a negative one.
As well as a story arc that runs through the video, there is a heavy focus on the band and what they look like to establish artist motifs and styles. This focus includes close ups of Thom Yorke who becomes heavily invested in the sound of the song judging by his erratic body language and facial expresses. We as an audience are prompted to establish his mannerisms as an artist as to allow a stronger bond to occur between the audience and the artist. This is required so that the record label can understand target audience response and how they can improve the relationship between the fans and the artist for next time.
In terms of similarities with Coldplay, Coldplay took major inspiration from Radiohead especially their style. In the music video for God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, Chris Martin sings directly to the camera while the video cuts between the band and the story arc who finds himself disappearing body part by body part. This allows for audience familiarity with the band to occur and is a popular convention in early, alternative music videos.