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Music Video Review: "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5 (2013)

I'm once again reminded as to why I care about music videos so much.

Image Retrieved from Google Images

I've been rather mixed on Maroon 5 as a band in the last few years. While they've released hit after hit in their earlier days, the 2010s seem to be their dark age, with occasional sparks of light that don't seem to guide them out of the proverbial tunnel. 

"Love Somebody" is an example of their better songs in said dark age. While I feel its emotions are genuine and its composition can be comparable to that of a Coldplay song, it's still not deep enough lyrically for me to call it anything more than a "good" song when you consider what the band is truly capable of writing-wise.

That is, until I saw the artsy music video. It's not just the fact that everyone's covered in paint, but the raw passion shared between frontman Adam Levine and model Emily Ratajkowski as well as Levine's subtle, pained expressions also add more layers to the story the song is likely trying to tell.

It's unclear as to whether Ratajkowski is supposed to embody a fantasy girl or an actual girl Levine's character is in love with. I'd like to think it's the latter to give the song more credibility; either way, I personally found their chemistry believable in how they were searching for and connecting with each other through paint. It also helps that Levine is singing the song directly to her—whether she's there or not.

I like how it seems as though he knows that this dream scenario is only temporary and that he has to let her go at some point (which can explain why he inevitably does), judging by how he stops making eye contact with her despite her attempts to get his attention. He accepts the truth regardless of how he feels, though he always has her in his heart. 

To me, their half-painted, half-invisible bodies and him being able to control when she appears and disappears probably represent the idea that there will always be a part of him missing from his life that can't be his no matter how much he wants it to be and how much he tries to make it a reality. 

This idea of "the unattainable" and appreciating what you're able to have in the moment works well for a music video. That being said, I think the band members and the dancer had no real reason to be in the video other than to take attention away from the story. They should've been cut.

In their place, more time should have been allocated to developing other aspects of the pair's relationship that could fit the fantasy setting. Pretty much all of it revolves around intimacy; it would've been nice to see them, for example, be playful with each other in one scene, and perhaps more wistful in another. 

At the same time, their desperation for one another makes a lot of sense. After all, they only get a short time to spend together, and witnessing how badly they want this dream to last makes their parting sadder. 

There's quite a bit of interesting trivia surrounding the making of this video. It uses chroma keying, which is related to green screening except the difference is that the bodies are greyscale so as to make them appear invisible with blue paint on them, while the instruments were filmed and edited separately. As for how Levine erased all the paint near the end, the video was simply played in reverse. 

But it doesn't matter how easy it is to create an effect. I find it impressive that they incorporated it and put thought into an original concept, especially considering that this is for a music video in the pop music genre. 

When you look at most videos made in the 2010s, there was no need for this much effort to be put toward being distinct and actually making use of visual storytelling, but they did it anyway. And I always give kudos where it's due.

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Music Video Review: "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5 (2013)
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