Do you remember when “lyric videos” would be uploaded to an artist’s official VEVO account by their label, mainly when the song was from a new artist that might not have been big yet to secure funding for an actual music video? Either that, or the label was simply following the trend of just having a cheap video of floating text set to the song, just to have it up for people to know the lyrics?
Except now, more and more lyric videos are being made by full production companies and even have directors – the same kind of treatment actual music videos get. All of which, most importantly, can be a testament to the power of the internet and how it’s changing the music industry
On a similar note, Ke$ha recently released her brand new single, “Die Young”, which is off her sophomore album, Warrior (out December 4th via RCA Records), and has released a rather sleek-looking lyric video for the song as well.
The lyric video, below, was apparently produced by The Uprising Creative and it was directed by Darren Craig, according to The Examiner, and features the singer walking out of a Japanese subway station and a myriad of shiny graphic effects transitioning over clips of the lyrics written on some woman’s body (assumed to be Ke$ha) and clips of the singer, herself, singing the words.
Now, even just a video meant to promote the song’s release, and act as tool to know the lyrics for fans, is a huge social media and marketing tool, which makes it seem that, due to the internet, people run through songs quicker than ever, shortening the lifespan of any Top 40 hit. Society, itself, is consuming media at a very quick rate, as seen with how many heavily anticipated songs released now will reach their sales peak in iTunes months before hitting their radio peak and, in many cases, weeks before the music video is even released.
To maximize success, quicker means of an accompanying video could be used to keep interest in the song and to make it as though there’s some kind of visual out there to keep the public entertained. For a record label, this prospect is definitely appealing, especially with how costly and time-consuming even just setting up and preparing a music video shoot is.
Meanwhile, the song itself is Ke$ha by-the-numbers in the best possible way. It’s a bit of a grower, and takes a little time to warm up on you like anything just a little too sugary sweet for its own good, but will lead you into chanting the anthemic chorus along with everyone who is just a bit too wasted at the bar or club or party and feel like scream-chanting such lyrics as:
“I feel your heart beat to the beat of the drums / Oh what a shame that you came here with someone / So, while you’re here in my arms / Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young”.
The promo campaign for such an important comeback single, such as “Die Young”, is also proving to be extremely interesting, and telling of how the web has changed how songs perform, like how RCA Records is taking advantage of online mediums and video.
Even before the song premiered, Ke$ha’s team uploaded two previews that went viral. Both were set on a Japanese subway and featured Ke$ha both whistling the melody to the song’s chorus, and also (very loudly) singing the song’s chorus to an uncomfortable group of subway passengers. The latter can be seen below.
In fact, these two videos created, arguably, more buzz about the new single than when Ke$ha made the official announcement on the red carpet of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. It seems like you can no longer simply tell people – you must ‘show’ them news.
Also, more than ever, the music industry has to deal with the way technology and globalization has revolutionized (some would say it’s for the worse, but ‘eh’) and connected people to new music. Some complain about the problems of illegal downloading, but could an increased rate at which people consume media be also influencing that?
Many young people feel that purchasing music can be difficult with how quickly they consume songs and just how much they consume. Why buy a song you’re going to have overplayed in a couple of days and will be “old news” in just five days?
It’s like trying to understand a musical economy. By switching to mp3s, the overall value of music, to many, has been decreased. Even Lady Gaga has said an album’s worth of mp3s shouldn’t cost a music listener more than a couple of cents..
This trend has, ultimately, led to some amazing and creative lyric videos though. One personal favorite is the lyric video for Neon Hitch’s latest single, “Gold”, which features rapper Tyga, but only a bored Neon, in the video, getting creative with the art of finger-painting, which you can watch below.
Realistically, it seems now that the music industry must make our purchases worth it. Give us more with the song, even in terms of just what we can consume: remixes, lyric videos, music video, acoustic performances, etc.
We’re in the age of the musical value meal, and these lyric videos feel much like the ‘free’ bag of chips thrown in with our meal, but when every place is giving away free chips, you have to make sure your chips are essentially the best and most appealing chips people could get. Soon, there’s more effort going into the chips than the actual meal
What are your thoughts? Do you find that music videos often premiere far past when a song interested you? Do you watch lyric videos? Do you think they’re as important as music videos for the current music industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section.