Country Song Mash-up
True, this is not a video essay in that it doesn’t tackle a movie or even an audiovisual work. But you’d be hard pressed to find a better use of the mash-up format as art criticism than this one. Well, art: this piece lays bare the lack of creativity in modern country music.
The aptly named Sir Mashalot examines six country pop songs that all hit the charts in 2014. These half a dozen of hit songs are so formulaic (and all use the exact same formula) that they suspiciously sound alike. So much so that Sir Mashalot didn’t have a lot of trouble in creating a mash-up of these tunes that sounds like a perfectly coherent song: even the generic lyrics blend into a seemingly comprehensible text. This is what audiovisual criticism does best: prove a point by executing it, not just writing about it. We all know pop songs are bereft of originality, but this track really drives the point home.
If you need more audiovisual proof of the dearth of creativity in pop music, check out this great piece on the Millennial Whoop.