Thoughts on “Everybody Hurts” Song and Video

You know it’s funny, but since listening to David’s version of “Everybody Hurts,” I have had no desire to go back to the original R.E.M. version.

Nothing like a music video to make you check the original!

Sigh.  Unfortunately, I wish I could say the same about David’s video for the song.  As much as I appreciate the sentiment behind the new video, I can’t get past the sentimentality of it.

See, this is where I think we often get disconnected when hearing David the Ballad Boy and interpreting the “ballad boy.”

The original “Everybody Hurts” was a video created back in the heyday of music videos – when every video had a dramatic arc and strove to be unique and creative.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: David needs to get more creative when it comes to his videos!

Curiously, this was the week that some of us celebrated the anniversary of his first video for “Crush.” I love that video; it’s still my favorite of all David’s music videos.  It was a cute song with some gravity behind it, and the video fit like a glove in hand.

But what is it about the video behind “Everybody Hurts” that distracts me from contemplating the cry in David’s Voice? Could it be the very “Hallmark Card” gimmicky approach to the sentiment behind “Everybody Hurts?”

What starts with what seems to be a father grieving his little girl turns out to be a dad getting sentimental over his daughter on her wedding day.  How is that “hurt”? That’s just lump-in-your-throat stuff. Hardly the gravity of “loss” that I was anticipating.

The same with the young couple in the video: there is no “heartbreak,” just a couple getting ready to separate as one moves away (perhaps to college?).  The real “everybody hurts” will start when one of them calls off the relationship.

Of the different scenarios, the soldier mom had the most compelling story, but even then, she makes it back to her family. There is no momentary loss, as in being told she’s M.I.A.  only to later show up alive (that would have been a much better story IMO).

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I still like the video, and I’m hungry (yes, HUNGRY for more of the Voice and more of his image, which this video thankfully delivered).

But here’s the thing. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but when David sings, I don’t hear “Hallmark Card” sentimentality. Really, I don’t.

I hear a guy who’s at the precipice of despair who needs to be called back to the land of the living.

I hear loneliness, hurt, melancholy, all the things that were cleverly conveyed in the R.E.M. video: a collective wave of despondency in the most mundane of places: a traffic jam on a highway.

I guess that’s the kind of video I expect from a guy who can sing a verse like “when you think you’ve had toooooo muuuuuuuch of this l-i-i-i-i-i-fe” and make you bawl like a baby.

So, I excuse David and his team for not having enough time to get creative and original in the video concept, but I do hope he makes more of an effort when he returns.  A music video is designed to sell a song, and if the Voice does that much better than a video storyline, then maybe the video should just stick to the Voice (which is what I wanted more of in the video anyway) and call it a day.


Posted on August 24, 2012, in BEGIN., music. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. WOW!!! You did it again, fabulous review!! First of all I love the video, of course, I would because of the VOICE! yes I too would loved a lot more of David. I agree that his video need to match his voice. When David returns to his music, I would love for him to really push himself outside of that super clean-cut, and as you so correctly put,” Hallmark card” videos. His voice is so beyond that image.

  2. Thanks for the post, HG! Always enjoy reading other perspectives on all things David.

    I really like the video. I won’t repost my many (long-winded) thoughts again since I’m sure everyone read them on the last thread. One of the things I love about music — and I guess to some degree, the videos that go along with them — is how subjective they can be. The emotion that one person feels deeply from a song or image can be doubled by another and then nonexistent to a third person.

    I think the scenario I connected with the most in the video was the father/wedding. I just have such a deep feeling of aloneness from him, especially when he enters the reception hall and sits down at the table. As someone who does not have a family of “their own”, idk I felt a kinship with him as we watched his daughter going to start her own family and he was being left behind.
    As I said though, the beautify of art in any form is how differently we can interpret it.

  3. HG
    You have pulled me from lurkdom to say that i agree with every word you said. Looking at David’s face at the end of the video does Not match the situations depicted. Sacarin and shallow. Even the part with the soldier missed the mark. Sure, she misses her family, but what about the daily death and fear.
    The only parts of the video I liked were those with David in the studio. I think they missed a great opportunity to make something strong with a fantastic song and message.

  4. Interesting thoughts, as always—why I keep reading here.

    I always imagine the cry in David’s voice to be more about the “hold on” and the “hang on” than about the hurt, regardless of the source of pain. I love the video as is. The so-called “Hallmark” approach is effective for me, but it doesn’t mean I miss the deeper application. It is sometimes easier to connect personally to sentiment than to abject crises; and I’m not sure how heart-tugging sentiment is less persuasive than a massive traffic jam video from R.E.M.

  5. Some good points about the music video, hg. I could not agree more that when David returns that I hope he makes more of an effort not just with music videos but with his career in general. I would like to see him do more than just ballads, sign with a first rate music label, and have a professional team behind him. I was not a big fan of R.E.M.’s MV of Everybody Hurts ( it is just a traffic jam to me but I do get it has more meaning) but I like their original version of the song as much as David’s version. They are just different versions. I loved REM’s Losing My Religion MV. I actually do like David’s MV of this song but maybe my expectations are kind of low as he is on a mission.

  6. I still love that Crush MV too.

  7. David’s record and video were put out by Deseret Book so it’s not surprising that it has a Hallmark feel to it. I am very happy that a video was made at all because I wasn’t expecting it since he’s out of the country. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at all that Deseret has done for the album. Because music videos are very subjective I’m sure that whatever David puts out some will like and some won’t. I will say that the feedback on this one that I’ve read has be overwhelmingly positive. I would put this one right up there with Crush and ALTNOY as my favorites.

  8. I love the video. I was not expecting anything this professional. If this is Hallmark, then I guess I like Hallmark.

    I like the storyline about the young couple, especially the part where she goes back for a moment to how her life used to be and will never be again. I can see why she is feeling a strong sense of loss, and I can see why the father in the wedding day storyline is feeling a strong sense of loss.

    IMO, five minutes of close-ups of David’s face would have been awkward, if not a little creepy.

    • Yes, I agree Peter.

    • Yeah, I agree with Peter also, though I can see the merit to everyone’s points. 🙂 Everyone’s going to have their own perspective based on their own life experiences with hurt and pain. What can be trivial to one person can be crushing to another.

      The young couple storyline also resonated with me because at that age the slightest change can feel like it’s the end of the world, even if it’s not. Been there, ha.

      I think David himself could be considered another dimension of “hurt” in the vid. He had to have been hurting inside. Sitting there, recording this video for us and knowing he was on the eve of walking away from the life he knew and those he loves. When I watch the vid I think about the storyline yes, but I can’t help but get caught up in the emotion on David’s face and I wonder what he was thinking as it was being recorded; was he sad, was he scared, was he excited for this new adventure?

      Sorry, that was kinda rambling, LOL. I’m just delighted to see all the comments on Youtube who have been touched by the song.

  9. I appreciate your writing HG, lots of reality in your words!

    I think that there could be 100 different, well known scenarios every day that would be examples of hurt in our lives. They are always there every step of the way. Knowing that, an accuratel depiction of ‘hurt’ would have been to watch those feelings come from David as he sang the song. Hopefully we will have a complete song from the studio.

    If it isn’t going to greatly complement David’s voice, then the next best is always David


  10. Peter…I have watched David’s face hour after hour, concert after concert not missing a single note and even with his headphones on, there is absolutely nothing creepy about it. They are among the most pleasurable hours of my life.
    There are other shots of the orchestra and the conductor that could fit in quite nicely.

    The video “Forevermore” is all about David, a window, a chair etc. etc. with his face nearly in every shot. Sure he looks tired and worn out in that video compared to how he looks right now but no creepy thoughts from his fans.


  11. It’s not that this isn’t a nice little video–the problem is the mismatch between the artistry of the song and ordinariness of the video. David’s voice just makes you weep–but I just couldn’t relate to the stories as the deep pain he conveys.

    Maybe if the dad was coming home from a wedding celebration with a grown child who will never be able to marry–or if a child receives a folded flag from his soldier-parent’s coffin. Or a person in a wheelchair sees a lovely young couple dancing. You know–things that are really hard and painful–something that would match the emotion in the song.

    • P.S I’m not saying that anything I could suggest would make a better video. Far from it, just a little more in sync with the pain in the song.

      I agree with HG, that in the future, David needs really creative videos, like we haven’t seen yet with him.

      • So true … There are so many shots that can take one out of the studio and back again but actually blend with the intensity of his singing. We may have to wait for a couple of years for a video like that …the phenom is away til then.


  12. again i have to agree with peter,

  13. HG,

    Don’t know if you read my comment in the previous thread but it’s pretty much in sync with your thoughts…

    Jus’ sayin’ as I’m known to do on occasion. 😀

  14. David is always full of surprises which is part of the reason I am still fascinated with him. Who knows what kind of music videos he will do in the future. I do know that he has done more videos now as an independent artist than he did with Jive. Granted the budgets are much smaller, but I wasn’t expecting them. He did the one for “Wait”, two for the “Forevermore” album, EH for BEGIN and you could count the “Nandito Ako” one for the T.V. show. A video for “Rainbow” is coming. Hey, there could even be another one for BEGIN.

    • Yes, full of surprises which is so fascinating to me also.
      I just hope that the Rainbow video is upbeat and FUN, FUN, FUN. After all these beautiful, but serious videos, I’m ready for a lighter mood, imo. I want to feel happy and lighthearted and feel his swagger instead of being teary.

      • Lol, cq. I agree! Unlike almost everyone else in a poll recently, my favorite video was “Something ‘Bout Love”–because he’s just so darn cute in it.

      • I’m looking forward to seeing the video for Rainbow too. He’s going to be dancing! I’ve always wished that David would do more dancing. I know he has the moves in him. I loved David in SBL too. Okay, I love him in everything. I have just too much David ODD.

  15. There’s an excellent post at Snowangelz right now. The posts are usually funny there but this is a serious one. I thought the people that read here would like it.

  16. HG I appreciate your honesty, that’s why I read your blogs. Your right, this is more of a Hallmark card than a display of devastating heartbreak. I guess I’m just trying to Do-A-David and focus on the good points of the video. I’m glad that there are teenagers in the vid, representing a major part of his fan base. I think that a teenager’s suffering sometimes is more intense on certain things that we see as small stuff. But you’re right, if they broke up the heartbreak would be more real. The father seems to be a widower since there is no mother in the vid, so I guess he’s alone now. 😦 No she didn’t die, and he wasn’t at her funeral, but I know there is true hurt in a father’s heart when his daughter leaves to start a new life with another MAN. I saw it with my father when I got married, but when by brother’s daughter got married I watched him in anguish over losing his daughter. I guess I saw it more with my brother because I am more on his level, and am older now. Of course my brother was happy (for her) too, but I felt him truly hurting. As far as the soldier, I’m sure it would have been more intense if the mother had died or went missing.

    So if the worse scenarios happened to show more hurt… to make David’s voice grind the sadness of these stories deep in our hearts, then of course there would be no smiles at the end. I mean how do you show how they all “held on” and finally got past the “everybody hurts sometimes” in just a 5 min vid. I wonder if David gave instructions to his team to make the video with an uplifting vib… to make people feel inspired to get past their pain.

    Let me just say again that I agree that the heartache is a little tame, but when I consider where he is right now, then maybe Hallmark is more appropriate than doom and gloom. That child’s face at the end showing pure love gives me an uplifting vib… and I like it!

    HG, just wait until David comes back and sings this song live!!!!

  17. I have never been in a war, but I think it is safe to assume it is not exactly a picnic, even if you survive. It must be an experience after which your life will never be the same.

  18. I love the video. What I believe: David’s video start where the R.E.M. video ends. That is, people can find freedom from their despair. David uses this freedom to interpret the human struggle against despair. David’s voice in the video is very emotional in conveying his feelings. I think that David is very aware that love and hope can be used to fight despair, loss, depression, etc. And, he uses his voice to emphasis how he wants to help those suffering despair by sharing love and offering hope. Also, the video shows the importance of touch. His video explains and shows how friends, lover, children and parents can help each other. In the end, David’s singing is very uplifting for me…..”Hang on”.

  19. Thing one thing people may be forgetting is that the video was made AFTER David left. He may have had, no, he MOST LIKELY had no input on the video. He trrusted others, as he has been doing since he left, to do right by him. He can’t & doesn’t even do his own tweeting! Some fans think if they don’t like everything about the video they are somehow being disloyal to David.

    Jus’ sayin’.

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