Hardware’s “Popdown Melody” video – featuring a cornucopia of social media comics (Jah Reddis, Trey Breezy, Biggest, Sheriann Norris and Chris RK) – is entertaining, but mostly for all of the wrong reasons. With the intro’s oddly intense visual contrast, the wandering plot, and the barely-synced lip dubs, I don’t even know where to start.
Bajan comedy has a history of being ridiculously over the top, and this music video found a way to incorporate that excessiveness into every element. When it first popped up on my feed, I excitedly jumped right in, but became too overwhelmed to finish it on the first go.
Initial video cues drew my eye to the background which featured an over-saturation of pinks and greens, and I soon discovered that these served no purpose to furthering the storyline. Add the ambling quality of Trey Breezy’s comedic setup, and I was pretty much lost before the music started. Once it eventually did, the themes kept changing unnaturally fast. Instead of being a coordinated collection of jokes and music, it felt more like the writer tried to squeeze in too many topics: haters; horning; a hasty acknowledgement of last year’s “somebody man gine replace it” craze; lickin’ down sain; and the male body type found most attractive nowadays. Speaking of which, the refrain “Bones! Fat!” went on for 3 solid bars, with no musical or lyrical variation. Interestingly enough, it was also the section where I was most entertained.
After reaching the end of the four minute video, I was left with the impression that this team met in the early planning stages and decided on a direction. But upon separating, they scrapped it all. The haphazard quality is most obvious when looking at the amount, and quality, of mistakes that should have been easily picked up by an editor. This lack of attention to detail is quite common with most locally-produced art. With its poorly-matched lip-syncing, numerous uncomfortable cuts and continuity errors, one could ask, where (or who) is the production team? Was there any at all? This work definitely has potential, but it needed someone to step in and give it an overall direction.
However, outside of all of these mishaps and negatives, credit must be given where it is due. The video’s merit can be clearly seen by gauging the reaction of the intended demographic’s response. Youtube comments mostly consist of fire emojis and exclamation points. They seem to be content with the quality and the comedy, and there’s no doubt some of the catchphrases used will find their way into everyday lingo. But after observing it with a critical eye, “Popdown Harmony” felt a bit, well… I guess the name says it all.
Tarla Morris is a young Barbadian performer and arts enthusiast currently pursing a Bachelors in Media Communications.Follow her on Twitter
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