Because of my love for music, music videos have always intrigued me. One of the bands I used to listen to when I was younger was Linkin Park. I decided to analyze their music video, “What I’ve Done.” This band performs alternative rock music but this video is not like normal rock videos. The video is shot in a desert, however there are various clips of different areas in it as well. The viewer gets the sense of a sunny setting at the beginning, but as the video progresses, the faults of our society are shown. There are many transitions from the sunlight in the desert, to dark times like black and white clips of the KKK performing murders. One of the many inhumane actions shown was the pollution of wastes into a river as well as a starving child. Before the starving child was shown, there was an obese man eating a big cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant. There are several clips of war involved and even terrorism. This video is getting the viewer’s attention by showing many inhumanities of our world, showing us what we need to fix and improve on. In normal rock videos you would see the band jumping around, screaming their lyrics in a dark scenery.
I believe that the colors use in this video were too bright to get the message they wanted across. At the beginning colors like blue and green were used positively to show life and growth. If the video is showing clips of Hitler and him giving orders to his armies, flowers and a bright blue sky should not come right after that. If the band is trying to enforce the fixation of our environment and society, it should be done in a more powerful way. Darker and harsher colors should be used, or maybe a meaningful lyric listing some of the inhumane actions shown in the video to get it into the viewers mind even more. I also don’t think there should have been plants growing in the last few seconds of the video. Once again, I believe they are shooting themselves in the foot and confusing the viewer by not getting their true message across.
When listening to the lyrics, the viewer can get a sense that the band itself, or lead singer, feels like he has contributed to the current problems in the world. He sings, “So let mercy come, and wash away what I’ve done.” These lyrics are especially important because they make up the chorus, and the chorus is repeated several times in the song. He wants to forget about all the bad things he has done, but he knows that can’t be guaranteed. He later says, “Put to rest, What you thought of me, While I clean this slate, With the hands of uncertainty.” He does not know what he will do to fix the world’s problems, but he does know he will try and make himself a new and better person to create less of these problems. This leads into the idea that what we need in this world is forgiveness. In order to stop conflicts, we need to forgive not only each other, but ourselves and create peace. There are some slow motion parts in this video, and this could show that the world can change for the better but slowly. It cannot be accomplished right away because all the bad things that happen in the world happen too quickly. Clips of horrific events go by in fast motion in this video, which shows that they can happen when we least expect and in the blink of an eye, but they are not something we want to look at for a long time. Viewers are exposed to reality and can truly see what is going on in the world but in the form of a music video, and I think that was very creative of Linkin Park.