texual analysis of if i ain't got you by alicia keys
Post on 14-Apr-2017
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If I Aint Got You
By Alicia Keys
Textual Analysis I have chosen to analyse this text because it is similar to the music video I am hoping to create. Analysing this text has helped me understand the typical features which occur in music videos staring solo female vocalists. It has also given me ideas which I will be able to add in my own music videos..
There are a lot of close up shots used especially when she is singing. This is something which is commonly used in music videos featuring female solo artists. Andrew Goodwin recognized this feature and states it in his theories that it is done to promote the artist by making them feel familiar to the audience. They are used to show the mood, attitude or feelings of the singer through facial expressions. There are extreme close up shots used on the singers facial features there is one on her eyes and one on her lips. Having the extreme close up on her eyes shows the audience her emotion. There is a high angle used looking down on her playing the piano this could suggest she feels weak or upset. There are long shots used which allows the audience to see the whole of the singer and her clothing and acting codes. The camera angle tilts when he is looking at her this could suggest he is confused by her not wanting all the gifts he is buying her. Tracking is used following the singer which makes the audience feel more involved as if they are walking with the artist.
There are many different editing techniques used in music videos, the footage is usually always edited to match the musics beat or style. The editing used in this music video is continuity editing. This type of editing is used because it is a narrative video, it is telling a story to the audience. There sound in this music video is just the track which has been added whilst editing.
This music video features various different locations through-out, this gives the audience the idea that the song isnt about a place/location. It is about the artists wants, expectations and feelings. However the different locations have a connection with the lyrics of the song. The locations arent anything special they are just basic simple places which connect with the meaning of the song that she doesnt want/need nothing apart from the guy who she is in love with.
There are 2 different pianos which feature in this music video one which is old and looks cheap and the other which is a new white grand, this shows the connection between the artist and her love for music and playing the piano. This could suggest that the song is interpreting that she doesnt need or want nothing but music. There is a small flat in the Bronx, with nothing inside but a piano, this also shows her love for music. It is a simple basic flat with no furniture, but because the piano is there shes over the moon. The broken light in the flat suggests that it needs fixing and the apartment may be cheap, but this doesnt bother her because she has a piano. There is a wall phone outside and she is also on her mobile phone, this suggests she is trying to communicate with someone, which she is. She is trying to tell him she doesnt want anything but him. Also the mobile phone suggests the music video is contemporary. There is a double bed which she is laid on alone, which suggests she is lonely and because of it being a double bed it suggests that she shouldnt be laid alone and he should be with her. There are 2 cars which are featured at the end which gives the video a contemporary vibe. One of the cars is a Mercedes, it looks new and expensive which connotes wealth. Whereas the other car is a cheap old looking car. Both owners of the cars are just as happy as each other, this is suggesting that you dont need expensive goods to be happy or that they dont make you any happier. This message connects with the whole meaning of the song.
Clothing and appearance of the female artist is an important feature of the video, her image can not contrast with the representations her fans are familiar with. The clothing in the music video shows the audience that its not about having a lot of money and materialistic items/ clothing. A lot of the clothing in the music video are things you could expect people to be wearing in Bronx or Harlem, they are casual urban street clothes. Alicia does appear to be wearing a long fur coat when singing and playing the grand piano. A fur coat connotes wealth as well and the grand piano. But when she is playing the old cheaper piano she is wearing casual clothes. Her tight jeans and heels are worn to make her figure stand out, which makes her appear more attractive to viewers, especially male viewers. She wears jewellery in the music video, big gold earrings and a necklace this shows her feminine side, but the gold jewellery especially the gold hooped earrings along with the tight jeans are portraying a stereotypical black female you would see in contemporary R&B music videos. This all fits the theory (male gaze) made by Laura Mulvey in 1975,the highlights of her theory where the superficiality of women and their looks, which are giving pleasure to the viewer rather than focusing on what they are saying or doing in the narrative. Hats, scarfs and gloves are worn which suggests its winter time. She appears to be wearing knee high boots which suggests she is fashionable. When she is laid on the bed he puts a new fur coat around her shoulders as a gift, she is quick to throw it off and down on the floor. Which connotes she isnt interested or bothered in the finer expensive materialistic things in life, this is somethings which links and connects with the lyrics and the whole meaning of the song.
The music video features a lot of the colour red, this connotes that the song is about love, especially with them both wearing the colour at some point. She is wearing black fingerless gloves when she is playing the piano. Black connotes power, this might be suggesting that she feels powerful when playing the piano and singing. She is wearing gold earrings. The colour gold connotes wealth, however the song isnt about wealth. Sometimes the colour gold is associated with love, compassion, courage, passion and wisdom. These are all things which connect and have a link with the song and the artist. She is wearing a black leather jacket when she is singing this could suggest she has a powerful voice. Her makeup is simple and natural, there a no bright bold colours, this could suggest she has a pure and real personality also it shows she is naturally beautiful. The colour white stands out a lot in the music video especially from all the snow and the white grand piano. The colour white connotes clarity and pureness this could suggest something about the artists character and personality.
The lighting through-out the music video is mostly natural day light, this is due to the fact that a lot of the music video has been filmed outside. It is very bright this is probably because it was filmed early in the day in winter, the snow makes it appear even brighter. The natural bright lighting gives the video a realistic feel also it goes with it being quite a soft gentle song. The only parts which arent bright are when she is with him and they are arguing, this has obviously been done to connote the mood of the characters.
There are a lot of different acting codes used in this music video by different people. Alicias facial expressions when he is showering her with gifts shows she isnt happy, and that she is frustrated with him because she feels like he doesnt know the real her as she doesnt want the gifts she just wants him to be there. However when he buys her the piano she shows happiness and shows him love and affection, this is showing the audience how much she loves music. Through-out his facial expressions and acting codes seem to be very laid back and he doesnt seem to understand or realise what she is trying to tell him. There is a guy who is stood on the street, he shrugs his shoulders and leans back against the wall as he looks hopelessly around himself. It is showing that he doesnt have much and he is on the streets. Them when he meets other people who dont have much he is happy because he has someone, this links back to the song which is clearly about not having much, and that sometimes even when you have everything it means nothing if you dont have someone to be with.
The framing of this music video is well thought out and follows the rules of the third. You can always see the artist in the framing. This is because she is singing the song about herself, this is so the audience knows who the song is about.