|More of the same, but it's still pretty cool.|
Now that Mine Smell Like Honey has finally graced the shores of our good friends in America, it only seems right that a new single should have a video to match. But Warner Bros. have decided not to involve R.E.M. in its music video creation, instead opting for... wait for it... another lyric video!
I'm not a big fan of these videos, but the first two (namely Discoverer and It Happened Today) had a fresh, unique feel to them. The concept seems simple enough - take the words to a song, mix them in with the themes employed by the album artwork, and there you have it: something cool to look at while you listen to the song, and you don't even have to Google the lyrics. While the Discoverer lyric video seemed more like an autocue to an expensive karaoke machine, It Happened Today's video was interesting to boot. There was something hypnotic about watching all those orange lines flying around while Stipe, Mills, Gibb and Vedder initiated their triumphant vocal celebration. Despite this, however, the video was still a novelty.
As an R.E.M. fan, I was disappointed with Around the Sun (who wasn't, eh?), but at least they put out some good music videos - Leaving New York was never a stand out track in my book, but I liked it a little more after seeing my favourite musicians sing it. So, I'd be lying if I said I was ecstatic about the new video, although at least the people who make them are still putting a lot of effort into it:
Like pretty much every song, I like it better when there's a video. Mine Smell Like Honey is a lot catchier when there's a visual aid to help you 'get' the music and lyrics, but there's still something missing. It won't take you long to guess what it is:
You got it - R.E.M.
The Collapse Into Now trailer was fun to watch, because even though the band were only pretending to play (or at least the studio tracks were dubbed over them), we fans could be comforted by the fact that R.E.M. were still there, and still rocking out. There's a strange familiar sensation that comes with seeing your favourite group, as I said before. So that's why I'm a little uneasy after seeing four new videos, and none of the guys whose music we've come to love.
It throws up a lot of questions in my mind, such as "Why are they not appearing? Are they tired of making music videos?", which then leads on to "Does this mean that they're tired of trying to boost publicity? Will this mean they won't tour?", and so on and so forth until I get to the unthinkable: "Will this be their last album?".
On that last question, we still don't know. Nor have we had any confirmation that the band will tour. Scott McCaughey says they won't, Peter Buck says they might, and the rest of us are just left rather bemused. It does seem, however, that there will be a schedule clash if they decide to tour this year - I recall reading that Mike Mills and The Baseball Project are going to be touring soon, and Scott always keeps himself busy with The Minus 5 and his many side-projects. Therefore, to that end we have no definitive answer.
Anyway, if you haven't seen the other videos, they're fairly decent. I'm sure they're on this blog somewhere! :) I'd love to hear your comments on these lyric videos in general, as I don't know if I'm the only one who's not completely endeared to them, or if you, like me, just want to see R.E.M. doing what they do best.
While you think about that, here's something I really enjoy:
Now that's how I like my music videos!
UPDATE: Okay, from now on I promise not to find information just after I finish posting. I've got an interesting new piece of information, straight from Murmurs.com:
Firstly, it appears that there will be a music video for Mine Smell Like Honey! Michael has posted onto his Tumblr site three images of the not-yet-released video. There's been no word of an air date, but according to Ethan, Murmurs' administrator, it's "BANANAS". Sounds promising - at least they're not wandering aimlessly round a farm, like they did in Left of Reckoning!
Oh yes, and while you're on Stipe's Tumblr site, be sure to check out his award for the best ever tap. Truth be told, I kinda agree with him.
And that smiley-faced necklace thing he posted today is cool, too. :)