Zedd and Alessia Cara have been making waves with their new song Stay. Now, good luck trying to find this generically named song because there were hundreds of other songs that we had to sift through to find it. If you are a fan of Zedd then power to you, but those who hate high pitch noises better be aware. But before we can even start on the musical appeal, we have a music video to get through. Which just like its lyrics leaves much to interpretation due to a lack of depth, but find out what we mean below.
On the Surface
Before we begin to discuss the video, know that I am just as much of a fan of wordless storytelling as someone else but this music video commits too many errors to tell a coherent story. But first, here is my interpretation of what happened in this video.
We start with two different people waking up and starting their particular day. You see these hallways? That is where half the plot happens so get used to it. Anyways these two shuffle along with their day with some nice pool imagery, lazy reversing of scenes to save money, and mirror symbolism followed by a lot of hectic hallway running. It is after the mirror shatters that so does the brain of the editor because it is frantic from here on out as we are taken to a driving scene that is out of place? The lyrics imply they are arguing or breaking up (despite no relationship was ever shown) but nope. Fast editing of previously seen scenes, an enormous amount of wasted sugar, and boom! The guy is dead, and the police sirens you have been randomly seeing makes sense?
You notice all of the question marks in my interpretation? Yeah, try to interpret the video for yourself and see if your eyebrow isn’t furrowed the entire time. The error that they made was that there was no sense of time passing beside scenes that you have already seen the couple waking up but reverse. The production ruined this video as it was evident that they were on a budget because of this tactic and sheer reliance on imagery to show… something? You spend so much time disconnected with the plot of the story that when the big reveal does happen, that it is not a surprise. The lyrics do not help either.
So let’s dissect the lyrics in the order that we see them, shall we? The songs open up with talking about the sands of time and change. I wanted to add a question mark, but I wore that joke down already. I feel as if she was going somewhere, but before she could expound on her thoughts, she got distracted as shown in the first pre-chorus which could either cleverly be talking about a peter pan complex or the modern living conditions of a millennial. Once again, as with every part of her song, it feels as if she is going to discuss something profound before forgetting what her previous lyrics were talking about as the common thread of time is throughout the entire song but nothing ever comes from it.
The chorus and post-chorus (I see no point in the division of the two) are well… here is a taste: “All you have to do is stay a minute. Just take your time. The clock is ticking, so stay. All you have to do is wait a second. Your hands on mine.”
Now please try to tell me what is the meaning of these words. Perhaps you can take Alessa literally, which I will do, but the problem lies in that she hasn’t decided between the two that she wanted to say. So instead, we have lyrics that don’t really say anything at all. Verse and Pre-Chorus 2, to which is just a minimal alternative on the Pre-Chorus 1, have this same issue as well.
Now if you are thinking, hey, that bridge must be unique, then here you go: “All you have to do is stay. So stay, yeah.”
Now a smart person would notice a trend going on today with modern music. Why are all these artist songs sound catchy with empty lyrics? As many songs will prove, that is all you need. After I had listened to this song, I went to find the instrument which was stellar! The humming, the snapping, and all of the other background things that this artist’s horrible lyrics drown out are good. Even with some of the musical cliche (such as that drum roll you hear everywhere nowadays), it was still enjoyable.
So what does this song earns out of the good old five-star rating? 2.5. The artist tried to do something meaningful with the music video which told a story that I could appreciate to a degree. There is a lot of musical appeals, but the presentation didn’t work– Zedd never had any lines, Alessia’s lyrics were god awful, and it all came off as pretentious. If she would have just been more direct with her words instead of trying to be as general as possible to attract more people, then I could have seen this easily getting four stars, but that requires effort, doesn’t it?