A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "The Writing's on the Wall" is a catchy alt-rock song by OK Go, a band known in large part for fantastic music videos. The song is about an unhappy relationship coming to an end; there are a few mildly sexually suggestive lyrics, such as the metaphorical "I just want to get you high" and "I just want to see some pleasure in your eyes." The official music video, shot in a single take and made without any post-production or digital editing, is a highly complex series of amusing and elaborate optical illusions that unfold one after the other. Although the song has some mature references to sex and relationships, the video is kid-friendly and has no iffy content.
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What's the story?
THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL is a catchy alt-rock track about two people in an unhappy relationship. The singer wishes to fix the relationship and admits that both sides are equally responsible but still wants to "get you high" (used as a metaphor for happiness) and see "some pleasure in your eyes" one last time. The music video features a colorful series of handmade optical illusions that involve different members of the band as they move throughout a warehouse. The video was shot in a single take, and the camera angles adjust to reveal one illusion after another to incredible effect.
Is it any good?
"The Writing's on the Wall" explores unhappiness in a relationship in somewhat sentimental terms, as it becomes clear both parties are to blame and a breakup is imminent. It's a catchy but nostalgic track, as the singer's melancholy tone conveys a feeling of lament as he remembers the good times and strives to make things better one last time. The kid-safe video is great fun and worthy of repeat views to see the optical tricks unfold.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the music video. Are you surprised the optical illusions were created without using a computer? What do you think about the collaboration that was revealed at the end of the video?
What do you think about the message in the song? Does it make you feel sad, relieved, angry, or something else?
Do you think the band is making a statement about perception through the trickery used in the music video? What do you think about the fact that they didn't rely on digital editing to create the illusions? How may have the video been different if they'd opted to use more post-production?