I’m not always one to do reviews, but on the odd occasion something will catch my eye and get my thoughts motivated, whether it’s good or bad today it’s Within Temptation’s latest music video.
Featuring the American rapper Xzibit, the song And We Run has been the marmite of the symphonic metal band’s latest album Hydra. So when it was announced that And We Run would become the fourth the single, fans everywhere pricked their ears up in anticipation. Would it be a success or would it fall flat and make the band rethink a few things when it comes to singles and the music videos? At the moment it’s 50/50 but fans are thankful that it’s not another lyric video which many other bands seem to be doing at the moment. Anyway back to the music video itself, honestly I was more skeptical of it than I was excited because Within Temptation have fallen in to the symphonic metal cycle of cheesy video plot-lines and cheap CGI to make you want to have a sick bucket passed over just incase it becomes too much. So when I finally sat down to watch the video for And We Run, I was left on the fence.
Starting with the overall tone of the video, it’s clearly a tribute to one of their more infamous video Ice Queen with the similar backgrounds of a futuristic space and the band standing on what looks like an asteroid and Sharon dressed beautifully in a white Jan Boelo custom-made dress. The only difference between this and Ice Queen is of course Xzibit’s part in the video, to which I was thoroughly surprised at because it seems like he was in it more than Within Temptation themselves. I applaud him for actually fully committing himself and going with the idea of him trying to break free from darkness and run in to the light but this is where I feel the video is also a let down. It felt like it was Xzibit featuring Within Temptation, when it should have been the other way around. Maybe it would have worked better if Sharon and Xzibit had swapped roles or even had some more interaction, as by the time the song ends it’s just been cuts between two stories again. To me this is what made Paradise (What About Us) featuring Tarja Turunen an epic video because of the interaction between singers, not only in the performance but in the story telling of two women creating a better world.
This not to say I didn’t enjoy And We Run at all, because that would be a lie, I actually think the quality of the CGI has vastly improved and Xzibit running through the rain in slow motion is visually great. Even the space scenes behind Sharon and the rest of the band is great along with the contrast of dark and light but I don’t always want to see a band just perform in a video, thats what the concerts are for. I like to see them tested a little more in the way of their acting skills, even if it’s just something small, it would have vastly improved the finished product. The plot overall felt like it was climbing to something great but come the end I felt like it never quite got there and finished on an anti-climax. There was no resolution and I felt it was incomplete. This may have something to do with the song itself as it’s the shortest one (running time) from the album and to me if the song had been a minute longer it could have become one of the standouts from Hydra. Either way, if your a fan of this song your going to love the video and if your not, your probably going to despise it. Where the video fails in places however, the live version of And We Run makes up for it. No matter what you’ll be pumping your fist in the air and belting out the chorus with Sharon as the song has something inside of it that you just can’t quite get out of your head. Whether you love or hate it, it’s here to stay and become a part of Within Temptation’s history.