Nameless – “Angelina” video

In light of ‘the leg seen around the world’ at the Oscars, an overview of “Angelina” and its accompanying video by Paris-based pop-rock band, Nameless, seems opportune.  Whether or not this song is about Angelina Jolie (It’s more fun to imagine it is), it’s a supremely kicky, sticky piece of ear candy that deserves mention.  “Angelina” starts off with a quick run through the unadorned chorus lyrics, then immediately dives into a romping rhythm with short chops of angular guitar and up-tempo beat.  On the first verse, lead singer Alexandre Many sing-talks plaintively in a rakish, mid-range tone, shadowed by lower male vocals and punctuated by sharp, earnest yelps of “I want her.” and “I love her.”

Nameless takes a page from Franz Ferdinand’s playbook with its crisp, peppy sonics and suave, playboy attitude.  The extroverted chorus kicks “Angelina” into high dance-pop gear, with Alexandre exclaiming in a smoothly pleading tone “Please / you should be dancing with me / …Angelina.”  To be clear, this is not a romantic song of melancholic longing, as evidenced by Alexandre presumptuously strutting through the admonishment “You should be touching me…”, as if he was shocked that ‘his’ Angelina could be dancing with another… Sure, the chorus is repetitive, but it’s oh-so-catchy, upbeat, and fun.

The video for “Angelina”, directed by Agathe Riedinger, is the type that will rile, amuse, or bore (or maybe all three?), depending upon the sensibilities of the viewer.  It features all four band members and French actress Deborah Grall, daughter of actor Philippe Noiret, in a forest clearing milieu.  Deborah takes on the titular role, sharing some attributes with Angelina Jolie, like longer, dark brown hair, a statuesque figure, an impenetrable gaze, and a penchant for wearing sheath dresses.

The dandified band members are attired in a variety of dress shirts, tailored jackets, narrow pants, and laced-up shoes.  Their object of affection remains unfazed by their attentions as they stumble towards her in slow motion, bumbling over each other, fumbling as they touch her arm or her hair, then taking a tumble as they tug each other away from their muse.   This ‘one woman versus four man’ dynamic would normally convey an overt sense of danger, but as depicted here, the band members seem so inept and focused on in-fighting that they don’t really pose a threat.  They sully themselves as they rough each other up, mussing their hair, clutching at shirtsleeves, pinching an opponent’s nose, and rolling in the dirt.  Certain up-close, slo-mo images of the band members fighting come across more like shots of them embracing or almost kissing.  Those scenes (Intentional or not?) end up being more entertaining than the rest of the video.

Official Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAmMx7lr-bE

Official Site: http://www.nameless.fr/

“Angelina” is available (the song, that is) on Nameless’ EP and also on the record label Kitsuné’s Parisien II compilation album: http://www.kitsune.fr/journal/2012/02/downloads/new-compilation-kitsune-parisien-ii-out-now/