What’s the point of a music video ? Boosting the appeal and reach of the song, yes ? By shock, by scale, by comedy, by dance move, by stunning artistic vision… Low have released the video for “Just Make It Stop” and it doesn’t really tick any of those boxes – but then I suppose it was never going to, and they were never expecting this single to beat Psy up the charts (even if “Gentleman” isn’t a patch on “Gangnam Style”).
It opens with those delicious chords over a flickering dial then, as the guitar gently introduces us to the song, we are delivered into a bewildering flash of studio equipments before finding land as the vocals begin, homing in on lips and microphone.
From there it’s as though we are being reminded of how the song is brought to life: intimate close-ups of the mixing desk, the hand that strums the chords, the brush that gives us the soft and steady beat, the hammering keys, the mouths that pierce our hearts with such sweet harmonies. We’re so used to videos where the band, the personality, the celebrity (or the setting) dominate the picture: this stopped me in my tracks and showed me the detail, the fingers, the breath, the instruments of delight.
In the middle of this open-mouthed wonder something happens. I won’t tell you what because that itself has some power of surprise. What i can say is that I think it delivers the truth at the heart of the song, namely that for all the wishing, you can’t make it stop. You can’t make it stop by force, because it, life, is so much more powerful than you. You can’t make it stop by refusal to engage, because you can’t escape it, and it will engulf you if you don’t try something, do something.