During my period of enforced sleeplessness a couple of nights ago I caught OK Go's latest music video, (embedding disabled).
I think it's an absolutely incredible video, but it's a bit of a nothingy song, isn't it? In fact, I didn't think much to Here It Goes Again, either. I'm definitely in the camp that says the only reason that song got into the US Top 40 was the video, which admittedly was freaking awesome.
I'm wondering whether this is a conscious choice, and how often this has happened before. How many bands have realised they're never going to rediscover their creative sparkle (whether they were once genuinely brilliant, or just got lucky, and OK Go's former status as pretty much one hit wonders perhaps implies the second), so attempt to keep themselves afloat with a string of brilliant videos? Working on this theory, I dug out the video of the single OK Go released in-between the two above.
We're certainly some way past the point that videos can be considered simple accessories to songs. I remember way back in 2001 Peter Buck lamenting that a video can never do anything but make you dislike a song. Even back then (oh so many years ago!) he sounded hopelessly outdated (to say nothing of ungrateful, since I doubt either Imitation Of Life or its parent album Reveal would have done nearly so well were it not for the awesome video to the former; I don't think the correlation is perfect, but I also don't think it's entirely coincidental that the most highly regarded lead single REM had had in four albums came attached to probably their best video throughout their career).
On one level, it feels kinda cheating to use other people's bright ideas to punch above your weight (this, by the way, is why I find it hard to be impressed by groups like Girls Aloud; I can appreciate their songs, but they'd have to be much, much better singers before I could genuinely appreciate them). Then again, ain't no-one getting conned, and I'm sure there are of plenty of talented directors out there who could do with the work. And it definitely beats the alternative methods by which people try to artificially keep themselves in the game; tepid covers and novelty songs (this is particularly obvious and depressing when someone's first hit was a novelty song, and they rapidly disappear in a storm of increasingly desperate attempts to seem amusing and whimsical; three and a half minutes of begging for the laugh).
Plus, I just got to watch a parade marching to the tune of a brass section in camo gear. What else can a man ask for?