There have been a lot of videos that have been able to carry the song they accompany over the mystical line from “good” to “genius”. Chief amongst these are “All You Good People” by Embrace or “Weapon of Choice” by Fat Boy Slim.
There are also a few where the video became more famous than the actual song itself. With “Lost Buoys” by Clock Opera, it’s probably more likely to be part of the latter category than the first. That isn’t because it’s not a good song, it’s certainly a competent and modern piece of “emotive pop”. But the song, in isolation to its superb video, is just that; competent and modern.
Sounding a little bit like “Elbow” or “Muse”, Lost Buoys have a decent melodic sound with big sweeping choruses and a nice line in vocals. The actual music itself is a tiny bit generic, lots of light guitar and electronica.
However the video is a beauty. Featuring the great Alan Armstrong of “Old Dogs” and many many better things, Alan’s weather beaten face and deep acting carry the video into poetry. It recalls videos like “Hurt” by Johnny Cash and movies like “Iris” with its themes of memory and loss.
Watching the video and listening to the song, suddenly the song seems much stronger as the images on screen push at the eye and tug at the heart. But listened to in isolation and “Lost Buoys” remains just a decent, competent song.
That there was the artistry in this band to play some major role in the video gives hope that there future work will be stronger.