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Great Songs, Wrong Music Videos: "Watching You Watch Him"

I've recently fallen in love with Eric Hutchinson's single "Watching You Watch Him." With its deceptively bouncy acoustics but melancholy lyrics, it works as a theme song for anyone who's ever had an unrequited love. Much like Robyn's "Dancing On My Own," it moves along, soaking in its sad, woe-is-me sensibility.

So, the music video for a song about a guy pining for (I presume) a girl who won't give him the time of day should reflect such heartachy sentiments, right? Wrong.

Mr. Hutchinson opens the song with, "I love you from the bottom of my heart. And that's not gonna change, but things look grim"...and from what we can see, the dude is smiling while he bops along on stage with his guitar -- in front of a group of cheery line dancers. WTF? Okay, maybe he's just happy to star in a major music video that'll garner enough attention and get him some extra fans. But where's the stark cinematography? Where's the raw emotion of a handheld, observational camera capturing this poor guy's desire to be with someone who has eyes for someone else?

Take a gander:



He tells the object of his affection that "he hates to see you cry" (1:23), but where is this teary-eyed crush? All I see is a trio of tramps practicing their stripper moves in a poorly lit bathroom in need of repair.

Finally, at the 2:48 mark, things settle down as we see our performer sing to the camera (are "we" the one he wants to be with?), and he does his best to play the sad puppy eyes, but something tells me he can't hide his excitement of sitting next to a hot, featured extra.

Cut to: more unnecessary choreography!

That all said, don't let this misguided attempt at a music video keep you from enjoying this relatively pleasant single. Press play on your iPod (it's the Free Single of the Week on iTunes!), close your eyes, and visualize your own personal narrative. That's what I'll be doing.

H.P.M.

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