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"Sweet Nothing" by Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch [yMusic]

"Sweet Nothing" cover.
Look at those trees.
Written by Chihuahua Zero (@chihuahuazero)

FOR MORE MUSIC REVIEWS LIKE THIS, check out the yMusic page!

Since homecoming is tonight, I'm reviving yMusic as an irregular series. I'll be doing most of my music blogging on the Dogtown Weekly, once I figure out how to do those.

Considering I created a steady stream of search traffic with one of my last music reviews, they're worth doing. It might not be the most ideal traffic, but people are coming, even if it's only about five a day or so.

So let's do another one, one that I've been waiting for the music video for: "Sweet Nothing"!

What Does "Sweet Nothing" Mean?

From the lyrics, the song is about the singer (Florence) being in an empty and harmful relationship while being unable to break away.
 You see, the verses and bridge refer to what can be verbal abuse. (“You took my heart, and you held it in your mouth/And with a word, all my love came rushing out”; “It isn't easy for me to let it go/Cause I swallow every single word”).
 For the “sweet nothing” itself, the subject that Florence is singing to basically disguises his abuse as love. It’s nothing (horrible), but it’s sweet.
 Generally, it’s hard for people to get out of abusive relationships because, despite the pain, their partner/spouse/parent still love them in a warped way, and that’s enough to make letting go difficult. “Sweet Nothing” reflects this pain.
 Funny thing is, the lyrics are dark yet the song is gravely upbeat. It’s classic Florence, and its obvious that she had her hand in writing this song with Mr. Harris.

I hope that's clear enough.

Meaning of the Video

This video is confusing, and it's likely some of you might not be able to put the pieces together the first viewing. I didn't.

So I'll do the interpretation...

The blonde man in the beginning is Florence's ex. They've broken up. The ex got angry because the cashier asked about her. Florence is performing at a cozy strip club, with Calvin Harris looking at her from the occupied audience, who is having time with the hookers.

Three men come out of the car and start beating up the ex. Florence starts getting uneasy on-stage.
This is when things become less straight-forward. Keep in mind there are two men in place: Calvin and the ex. In one scene, the ex and Florence are arguing. It's clear that they're in an abusive relationship.

Observe how the ex gets close to Florence at the end of the sequence--as if he's about to beat or rape her.
In the bathroom, Florence is recounting her pain to Calvin.

Calvin decides to do something about it. He pays the men with a wad of cash to beat the ex and to extract revenge.

Florence most likely knows this, since at the same time the ex is being beaten up, she's breaking down on stage. She rips off her jacket and shirt. She starts rolling on the ground. She's wrecking the stage.

And no one's caring. Especially not the old man dancing with a stripper.

She's "Breaking Down" again...although this video has no relationship with that song.

Review

To be honest, I think this should've been more intense.

To Explain

Florence was in different territory here. Instead of being in a fantastical macabre, she's in a more realistic and gritty setting.

Whoever directed the video could've made the assault bloodier, and nail the pain into the audience's eyes. Florence's performance could've used more energy. If not that, then the break down could've been more passionate, dragging the viewers down to her level.

And during the scene where Florence and the ex are arguing, I think a carefully crafted shot could've served as a sucker punch. Let us see them in that one position that distills chills.

Maybe that's one problem. The shots are too rapid. It's too confusing. There isn't enough time spent on one particular scene. And another problem is that the song had such energy, but it didn't transfer into the video.

On the Other Hand...

What stood out in this video the most is how Florence's and the ex's movements mirror each other.
For example, the first punch is probably the most powerful move in the entire piece. It's timed to the breakdown. But at that instant, when the ex is knocked to the side--Florence spins.

During the first viewing, I thought that Florence was feeling the assault.

This make sense. Florence becomes more ignited throughout the song, until she breaks down, and then she starts rolling to the ground just like him. His physical pain is her emotional pain.

At the very end, they both kneel down at the ground.

Florence looks up during the closing shot.

Is the ex doing the same?

I wished this angle was played up. If it was made explicit, it would've been both an awesome and mindblowing concept as the viewers realize what's happening. How better would the video be if he bled and then she starts bleeding and when the thugs break his neck--she dies?

The real question is though: What's the meaning of this?

Who knows? I care is about this interpretation. It's likely that it's wrong, but it's worth thinking about.

YOUR TURN: What do you think of "Sweet Nothing? Answer in the comments!

Also, don't forget to share this post with somebody else. Go color your Twitter with some Flo!