Without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous videos I’ve ever seen, it piqued my interest in photography and was easily one of my first encounters with pure beauty. “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” was a simple video, very little fanfare and no over elaborate dance breaks. It’s a video as simple as love itself.
Though not Ms. Jackson’s first show of maturity and depth, it was certainly the first peek into her budding confidence as a sexual woman. She explored the physical warmth of love, washing the listener in rhythmic sounds of understated grandeur. It wouldn’t be her most provocative step on the sensual side; however, it was one that was as well articulated as some of her more sensual work.
It’s easy to understand how one could be so easily enticed with the photographic nature of the video. After all, world renowned photographer Herb Ritts was the video’s director. He suggested that Janet wear nothing more than the black tube top and ripped jeans that she sported in the video, minimal makeup, and an up-do to keep the focus on the song and not grandiose shows of cinematography – though I doubt anyone would call anything Herb Ritts imagines “simple”.
If nothing else, the video was a definite indication of my understanding of beauty. It doesn’t have to be all bright colours and grand spectacles of emotion. It could be the feather-light touch of your lover’s lips on your fingertips, the soft, warm breeze of the world enveloping you in its embrace. “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” is most likely the first time I actually understood how honest and unassuming love really is.
Have you ever had those moments right before you wake up when the mind is still jogging to keep up with the rest of the body? That detached moment in time before waking that suspends your reality and keeps your senses hyperaware, poised for any sort of stimulation? That’s exactly the physical and mental reverie that Van Hunt’s music throws me in.
Though I hate admitting when I come late to something, it wasn’t until four years ago that I discovered the sensual ease of Van Hunt, a musician that is so in tune with his intimate self that it’s almost astonishing. He’s managed to create music that’s both enigmatic yet so full of the same material that builds the sexual innateness in each and every one of us. He’s more than just an artist; he’s a remedy for the emotional apathy that wraps humanity in a gauzy and tenuous barrier from what’s so incredibly stitched in each and every one of us.
By now it’s no secret I consider Jamiroquai my favourite band of all time. The music that mercurial front man Jay Kay manages to create and the ease with which the band takes in his vision is almost unparalleled, at least as far as modern funk bands are concerned. Their ode to the destruction of humanity depending on the sterility of technological advances is a shocking revelation of the group’s inherent understanding of the earth and how humans actually depend on it.
The video is a testament to the creativity rampant in the 90s. While very stylized, it was incredibly clean, sharp, the idea focused where many MVs from artists of the 90s could and would include anything that captured their imagination. “Virtual Insanity” was one of those videos that changed the scope of MVs, focusing more on message and metaphor instead of simply putting together random, albeit creative, elements. Jay’s cosmic movement meshed ingeniously with the band’s musical precision and indomitable groove. It’s methodical, clinical, a perfect opposing trope for the overarching message of the song.
Jonathan Glazer took his penchant for the eerily meticulous and created a video as enigmatic as the band itself.