Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rants on Madonna's "4 Minutes" Music Video

I know I don't usually dabble in the music video artform, because I honestly know very little about them, but I just have to say something about The Madonna's video for her newest single "4 Minutes."

The Madonna is my favorite artist of all time, bar none. I've loved her music for years, even before I knew anything about her and her shifting celebrity. After years of worship, I've come to realize that anywhere she goes with her music and persona, I'm willing to follow. If she decides to become a Muslim and releases a recording of chants used during prayer, I'd put on a burka and love every minute of it.

So when The Madonna's latest single, "4 Minutes," came out a few weeks ago, I lunged on to the first horrible copy I could get online and immediately fell in love. Once again, The Madonna has transformed herself, this time into "the hot young thang singer with a killer hook in her corner" and is doing it 10 times better than any other artist on the radio. It doesn't hurt either that she has the best male pop singer of the decade (Justin Timberlake) and my favorite producer of the moment (Timbaland) in her court lending support. With a song this hot, all The Madonna needed was a killer video to seal the deal. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.

I was really excited for the video, mostly because I had heard rumors that there was going to be a superhero theme and, in my mind, I immediately constructed the images of Justin Timberlake in a tight spandex outfit and The Madonna whipping him (don't ask, it's just what I imagined). With this in mind the first time I watched the video, I was, needless to say, sorely disappointed and ready to completely write it off. However, I decided to give it a couple of days, watch it again and see what I thought then before I actually sat down to write anything.

I wish I could say I loved it more, but I still have some major reservations with it. I love the central theme of the video- time is running out and it's coming quicker than we think- but I just wish it had been integrated better. The massive countdown clock is ingenious, but what the hell is up with the cheesy CGI "darkness" that The Madonna and JT are running away from? It looks like something that could have been made on any Apple computer by any amateur filmmaker.

Basically, the video amounts to a bunch of shots of The Madonna and JT sliding on cars, strutting in supermarkets and staring into mirrors. If you have dancers like these two, why don't you develop some kind of intricate choreography for them to do during the course of the whole video, not just for 15 seconds at the end. Don't get me wrong, those few seconds are amazing, but it just makes me wish this was more of it.

I don't know if this me being superficial, but I could not get over just how skanky JT looks in this video. But that's the kind of relationship we have; he goes from so sexy to where I just can't stand looking at him. If The Madonna was willing to put in the effort to look as good as ever, why couldn't JT? And just how many layers was he wearing in that video? He should have been saving the world shirtless for at least 2 minutes.

My Ratings:
"4 Minutes" Song: *****
"4 Minutes" Video: *** 1/2

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