Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Winner (Official Video)

So, in the latest development the video for Winner has now been released. Honestly, I thought Winner was a let-down, but nothing could have prepared me for this one. In fairness, I like the message that the video is trying to convey, it very much reminds of the core theme for Red Letter Day, how ultimately we all want the same things in life. At the very least also, the video is about as far from the conventional Olympics montage (which I personally very much feared the video may be) which you could get. It depicts the story of Dirty Diana, a transgender who is part of a female roller derby team. The team eventually succeed but moreover this particular member also succeeds in being accepted. I can't argue with the fact that not only is that a stark, risky even, angle to take on the theme of victory, but also a very positive message, so kudos for that. Having said that, I have a couple of grievances that really spoils the video and leaves me with an overall feeling of disappointment. First of all, the video is very similar in basic tone to that of She's Madonna, the Robbie Williams collaboration which featured Pet Shop Boys. In She's Madonna, Robbie takes on the role of a man in drag so there's obviously strong links between the two videos. Another link is that Pet Shop Boys didn't feature in that video and here, they are not in the video for a single frame, the first video they've ever made which hasn't featured them at all in some form or another. That's the killer blow for me here; a lead single for their new album, yet they didn't even feature in their own video. I can't help but wonder why that was the case. I have read some things that suggest that Winner wasn't even meant to be the lead single and was changed last minute, having said that there's nothing official confirming that did happen, but if that's the case it may justify the lack of them actually appearing in their own video. Maybe not appearing in the video was some form of retaliation if such a conflict did arise, who knows? This is pure speculation on my part though, so I could be completely wrong. Another big downside is that there are parts of the video were various members of the team talk, but these overdub Neil's actual singing, so you can't actually hear the track properly, which is always a downside for me. It doesn't allow the song to be properly heard, which isn't exactly good promotion, and essential music video's are just a promotion tool really. The video seems to be getting slated by fans even more so than Winner, which wasn't exactly met with the warmest reception either. Its sad to see them get slated so much, but I think the criticism (of the more constructive and rational kind at least) is somewhat justified, its a tame lead single/video by their standards. Now, maybe more so than ever, the B-sides really need to deliver. As for the second single, if it isn't a major return to form (and I really think they need an uptempo track) then I will seriously be worried for Elysium, as much as I hate to say it.

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