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The music video chosen for the analysis is “Return to Innocence” by Enigma. It belongs to the dance and electronic music genre. This song was popular more than a decade ago; nevertheless, its meaning is fundamental and relevant for people living at any time and epoch. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and interpret this song.
Movement and Narrative
The first aspect that the viewer can notice when watching this music video is the movement. In particular, all movements in the video are done in the reverse order starting from the end to the beginning of the action. Using this approach, the authors of the video were able to transform the narrative structure and bring to the forefront the meaning of the song. It can be argued that by showing the video in the reverse order, the authors wanted to create a series of images of human life in which destructive actions were turned into positive ones. It can be observed when the hand returns the torn apple back to the tree, the scythe raises rye, and the dying man becomes young and meets his bride.
The use of the reverse movement provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the song and the lyrics. The movement in the frame also has an inverse chronological order, which represents a person’s life starting with the death of the elderly man and ending with the birth of the baby. Consequently, when utilizing this method, the authors intended to state that people could be returned to innocence since each individual was born a sinless being with pure thoughts. The main aim of the music video is to encourage people to turn to their souls and core, which are good-natured. Therefore, people should behold the beauty that exists in them since birth.
The text begins together with the music to create the mood immediately. It is rather simple and clear so that the listener does not have to interpret or analyze its content. Nonetheless, the tonal system assists greatly in understanding what the authors intended to achieve when singing the lyrics. In the beginning, the text is pronounced in a soft but clear voice to allow the viewer to reflect on the setting without distraction. The first chorus differs from the next ones. Some parts of the lyrics are whispered but, gradually, the voice becomes stronger and louder as if the singer switches from a reflective mood and intends to make a statement. The text is repeated while the tone becomes more intense. It is possible to assume that through the use of this technique, the singer wanted to persuade the listener to accept his advice, which was to return to innocence.
All the colors in the music video are soft and natural and no artificial or unnaturally bright hues are exhibited. The color scheme contributes to the mood created by the lyrics, music, and movement, and it allows the audience to reflect on their personal thoughts without distractions. The transitions between scenes and settings are also smooth, which has been achieved through the use of semitones and shades. Therefore, the combination of such colors as soft grey, brown, black, and white harmoniously accompanied by smooth red, green, and blue ensured that the important elements of the visual imagery were noticed, but they would not distract the viewer from the reflective mood.
Thus, it can be concluded that the elements of the music video “Return to Innocence” by Enigma work together perfectly. They complement each other so that if one of the elements is left out, it will affect the entire composition. The skillful use of different artistic devices allowed the authors to create a reflective mood, which gradually transformed into encouragement for people to believe that they will inevitably return to their good nature.