Usually when we talk about a singer’s performance in a music video we’re talking about their dancing or what they do with their body, or we ain’t talking about much at all.
But can we just give Gwen Stefani a lifetime achievement award for facial acting in a music video? Like, seriously just watch about any Gwen or No Doubt video and see what she does with her face and then compare to any random pop chick’s video (except Nicki Minaj, obviously, who is one of the few who come close).
If it’s a silly video her face is in constant motion. Her neck and shoulders bobbing about while she pulls all sorts of expression. About a 1/3rd of “Just A Girl” video is close-ups of Gwen mean-mugging for the camera. There’s an entire section of the “Sunday Morning” video devoted to goofy expressions. In “Hey Baby” she repeatedly runs full speed at the camera, face first, only to contort her face in something Lucile Ballian.
But! If it’s a serious video she sells the emotions. Watch “Its My Life.” The best is when she runs over tony and peers up over the steering wheel with a perfect “I just killed someone …and I liked it” look. In “Cool” there’s a smile she gives to her ex’s Fiance that says “I am genuinely happy for them but it took a long time to get here and I am proud of myself for being so mature.” Elsewhere in the flashback portions she perfectly captures a teen girl who is giddy to see her boyfriend look.
I mean, there’s a few singers out there who kind of always look dead behind the eyes in the music videos, and their labels really need to be like “Go watch some Gwen videos and try to do that.”