Are we loving this music video?
We looked at Ocean and the Waves’ “Loving You” after we had seen some of her previous works like “You Are A Star”, ”Me Through Lovers Eyes” or ”Who Needs A Man When I Have This Face”. Our first impression was: this time it is not about a woman and the world, this time it is about love.
But do we really need another music video for another love song, and, if yes, is there any striking new aspect of the topic “love” covered in this one?
The video starts with water, flowers, women in a garden, white clothes on a washing line, and the singer entering the scenery. Then the women dance together in this garden (in the woods), on the nearby beach and in the lake. They eat fruits, take a break and afterwards continue slowly dancing into the night.
The lyrics of the song focus on reiterating and celebrating the statement, “I’m loving you”, which is remarkable in the sense that it suggests a deliberate decision behind the action of “loving” more than a random feeling of “love”.
The difference becomes clear when you compare this concept of love e.g. with Billie Eilish’s approach in “I Love You”, where she presents herself as a helpless victim of the strong emotion “love”, in contrast to Ocean and the Waves here, who decides to “be loving”.
The unique approach also becomes clear, when you compare it e.g. with You Ain't Got Me Waiting or Lose You to Love Me which both deal with developments in a relationship, while this song reflects on “loving” as a human capability.
Now the video goes beyond that. Since the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet and since Rapunzel we envision a man “down below” praising a woman “high above” when it comes to the confession of (adoring) love. And at the same time, we envision the woman “up there” waiting for the man and watching out for him.
Even in Minnie Riperton’s ”Loving You” from 1974 the man is sitting down there, playing the guitar, while she is standing upright and singing into the microphone.
In the Ocean and the Waves’ “Loving You” the loved one does not appear. But the reason behind that is not, that they are long gone, or that they are not there yet. The reason is that the whole story is not about them. This story is about the loving one, not the loved one.
We might think that there is no story at all in “Loving You”. But a closer look makes it clear: the protagonist’s decision to be loving has transformed her world, and now she explores, enjoys and lets us into this new world.
The director Julia Obst focused on a minimum of ingredients, mostly symbols like the fresh laundry, the flowers and the fruits, and we assume that the whole set design was based on a profound concept provided by Lisa Giese: “Research is, to me, the most important part of a creative project. It means choosing an ambiance, a concept, finding artistic references, determine the colours and the fabrics.”
Yes, the implementation of this philosophy has definitely left its traces in this music video. You can especially see that when you compare the fresh laundry here with e.g. ”Fresh Laundry” by Allie X, also released on the 27th of September 2019. Allie X’s video works with lights, faces, puppets, fire, darkness and surprise, while the Ocean and the Waves’ video works with fabrics.
Although rigorously selected fabrics, sending us back in time. Only by looking at this vintage laundry we remember our childhood. Suddenly, the world is simple, fresh, soft, peaceful – and full of love.
But the special fabrics and clothes play a bigger role in this video. Three woman standing in the water remind us of the three members of TLC performing “Waterfalls”. But they try to be sexy, cool and super-human: they walk on water.
Nothing of that is the intention here. The three women in “Loving You” do not try to be anything. The whole concept of “expectations” does not exist for them. The are how they are. And they wear the clothes they like.
Maybe it felt similar when the first author known by name, Enheduanna, wrote her poems as a high priestess in Sumer nearly 4300 years ago. She also celebrated her loving by composing artworks instead of seeking attention as a G.R.L. in an extravagant outfit, or as a naked “Wrecking Ball”.
The women in this video do not try to be “beautiful” in the eyes of their female competition or in the eyes of their male prey. They are loving, and that leads to everything else. That makes them warm, soft, mesmerizing and fascinating – instead of cold and ideal.
There is no doubt that this music video is a huge step forward in the Ocean and the Waves’ career. This time the artist has been working together with a larger team of specialists, and the result speaks for itself.
It might also be an important step for the director, Julia Obst, only known as an actor so far. Alone how she brings the main character into the play during the first 21 seconds of the video is purely impressive, and when the three women bite together into one of the fruits at 2:08, this director has totally won us over.
Now, what does this video tell us? First, it calms us down. Then it beams us into a fabricated memory of our childhood, and eventually we understand that we all have to make a choice: We can stop, turn around, and decide to be loving – and our world will become a calm, peaceful, and safe place.
Think about it.
Our verdict: The music video “Loving You” adds a beautiful story on its own to the lyrics of the song, focuses effortlessly on revealing its deeper meaning and reflects “love” in a truly new way, in slow motion. It is a masterpiece.
If you’re loving, tell us about it.