Post Malone is insanely popular and famous now, and he does make (a) great music and (b) music videos that look like Hollywood movies.
His latest music video, CIRCLES, has been watched 5.92 trillion times and is all over the radios. Here, take a look, then we’ll compare it to a heavy metal video from the ’80s with a similar medieval theme.
Weird, right? Here’s why I think this video vexes us.
The song is catchy, and the video is interesting and slick–but they don’t match up. The two don’t mesh to make something new that’s greater than the sum of its parts, like peanut butter and jelly or Kirk and Spock.
The tune is pure, upbeat pop. Professional music critic types have thrown down by calling it the best Katy Perry song of the summer. The video, though, is trying to be dark and tough, bloody and gritty. It’s like peanut butter and broccoli. Do not want.
Put a different video with this song and it would work just fine. Throw a different, darker track on this video and it would fly.
This just doesn’t.
You can see a great example of a beautiful match between song and video by this obscure new artist called Post Malone, who chose his stage name via a rap generator and recorded did this little track called SUNFLOWER for some cartoon superhero movie that nobody watched.
Nailed it. Cannot be improved.
Now comes our contender from the ’80s, a totally different take on medieval music video goodness, with Dio making the video for HOLY DIVER on what looks like a budget of $39.84 and a case of Bud Light after binge-watching Conan the Barbarian and Highlander movies.
Here, take a look and listen to grainy archival footage of long ago, when MTV actually played music videos instead of reality shows:
We’ve got the opposite problems here compared to Post Malone, especially when it comes to production values, sets, costumes and all the trimmings.
HOWEVER: The tone of the song matches the tone of the video. That’s huge. Kind of the first job of any music video: match the song.
There’s one storytelling edit I’d make, and that’s moving the sword fight with the bad guy to the end, so they’re circling each other until the climax. I’d make the same kind of storytelling fix to the Post Malone video and change the end, because the Rapunzel angle didn’t work at all.
VERDICT: I have to give it to Dio here. All the money and talent in the world can’t fix a bad marriage between song and music video.