This is a perfectly good example of great songs getting a video treatment that not only highlights the song’s weakness but makes the band seem a little bit on the desperate. “Emily” has all the morose grandeur of a Psychedelic Furs song with a fair amount of Jesus and Mary Chain sonic smudging around the edges. Not that the band doesn’t ad some elements of their own, it’s just that this particular song has enough 80s immediacy to make you think that you’ve heard it all before.
But the video only makes the song seem entirely too long and, with its unsparing use of cliched image, entirely unoriginal. This is the video a stupid ex would send you as evidence of their undying devotion to your idealization. It’s if to tell someone, “I’m still getting over you, that’s why I’m having all of this anonymous sex with different women”. Granted, he seems disconnected from all the half-clothed women, but the entire concept seems like an excuse for the band to place a dirty craig’s list ad soliciting video babes. It seems wholly out of a genre, a mopey little piece of drone pop being given the poolside hip hop/hair band metal video treatment of boobs, boobs, boobs. The Michael Jackson “Black or White” morphig of all the other women into each other seems as disturbing as Edina (from Absolutely Fabulous)telling her daughter Saffron that she was born she named her “thing-it”. The fact that it’s an attempt to tastefully render this kind of interchangeable-laws-of-booty video only makes it seem more farcical.
It’s a shame too because the song has the kind of woozy, blurred undercurrent that sets it up for visual play. But the time lapsed walking and thing-it “not Emily” girl are all you get. Of course, the video shouldn’t taint your experience of a song, but with images this inept, there is the somewhat comical conclusion that Emily isn’t all that special. Incidentally, according to the research cited by Rob Horning, this is close to the perfect pop song length.
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