Music Video Analysis: Usher Climax

So, this song was just named Time magazine’s number one song of 2012, so it has to have a great music video, right?

The song and video are centred around one consistent and clear concept, which is something that the director did very well, Climax. The narrative for this video is quite vague, either on purpose, or more likely, from a failing of the director. My reading of this text is that Usher comes home to find that his girlfriend is seeing another man and sits in his car going through the various options he can take. Option one is to have sex with her, option two is to go in and shoot the man, option three is to take the girl and drive head on into the man’s SUV. In the end Usher decides to just drive away, ending the music video. The video also features a large amount of close-ups of Usher’s face so we concentrate on the artist.
One of the conventions of an R&B music is that the video is in sepia or greyscale, which is something that this video has. The reason this is done is to give the slow song more emotion through the colours. Another effect this has is that it brings a hint of realism to the video, enticing the audience more.
Another convention of an R&B music video that this song possesses is the scene in which Usher is topless.  This is an almost certainty for male artists in R&B videos. This is because the audience for an R&B song is usually females and so they will generally enjoy Usher being topless. As well as Usher being topless there are numerous scene where Usher’s girlfriend is also topless which will generally appeal to the rest of the male audience.

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