This stylish new video from Syndrome separates itself from the pack with a number of clever visual tricks. Split-screen is a common technique in video, but here it is used uniquely and with eye-catching pizazz. The hypnotically bright glow of Mr. Jones' hoody is perhaps the most memorable aspect, but the inclusion of the chorus of children is equally revelatory.
By now it's clear that Mike Jones primary theme is still the way in which people act differently towards him as he gains wealth and fame. This video attempts to convince us that though he loves the lifestyle, he will always be the same person on the inside. But the words in the song and the continued emphasis on the past in the video reveal that he is indeed feeling the pressure of increased stardom. The force that is truly hunting "Mr. Jones" is fame itself.
The majority of music videos are graded on their visual ingenuity, narrative structure and overall relationship to the actual song. What is rarely discussed is acting, which ironically is often the first point of interest in analyzing a full-length film. This is mainly because most videos tend to enlist the artists themselves as the principle players, while in other cases the acting is done by unknown talent who are nearly as inexperienced as the bands they represent. So our expectations have been significantly lowered.
But the child actor who stars in this video is a born thespian. He has a look that exudes emotion, and in his eyes he holds a mysterious quality that most actors only dream of. The director is well aware of this, and skillfully begins the video with the young boy's eyes closed. From the moment the music kicks in, and the kid opens his eyes, we are enthralled in the story. It is the rarest of music videos whose excellence hinges almost entirely on a single performance.
The story is simple enough, but it becomes profound in the hands of these children. A ho-hum afternoon exchange on the playground transforms into something symbolic for nearly the entire history of romance. The fence that separates the two is really just in the mind of the singer, but unfortunately it's an impossibly high fence to climb. The number of moods the kids display here in such a short time - wonder, confidence, pride, fear - are astounding. The video is also shot on a single DV camera, and still manages to look beautiful. One of our favorites of the year so far.