Music Video analysis
CLICK HERE TO WATCH: Miley
Cyrus ‘We Can’t Stop’ Video
I have chosen Miley Cyrus’s music video ‘We Can’t
Stop’ to analyze due to the results collected in the
questionnaire my group and I created. She seemed
to be popular to the public and her music fits into
the genre (pop) my group and I are using for our
own music video.
My perception on the music video is that she is a
young female who is living her life as she wants. You
can’t ‘stop her’, she does what she wants.
Camera: Movements, shots and angles.
The we cant stop music video is quite sexual
throughout, This is depicted through the camera angles.
Through the music video there are many mid shots. In
one of the establishing shots it highlights the top half of
her body and slides over her slightly. This angle is used to
show off her body. Through the video she wears minimal
amounts of clothes. The use of the mid shots are used to
flaunt her body and depict that she can do what ever she
wants. She can be seductive if she wants? She can wear
what she wants? The angles draw close attention to her
body which is what she aims to do, she wants to look
desirable to the audience.
When Miley is dancing in the music video the
camera angle converts to a long shot. This is to
highlight her body once again. Miley is seen dancing
with her friends in a seductive manner. This adds to
the fact that she wants to be seen as a sexual
character to her audience. The lyrics say “shaking it
like we at a strip club” this highlights that she is
trying to be seductive and sexual by the movements
shown with her body. The long shot allows the
camera to depict this well as you get a full view of
her body and what she is trying to come across as.
While watching this music video I have detected a
slight hand held shot. In the scene miley and her
friends are having a party and having a good time.
The visual is everyone causing chaos at the ‘house
party’. The use of the hand held shot is to highlight
that they don’t care what there doing. You cannot
stop them, which is the ordeal of the song. the shot
is commonly used to make the scene look realistic
and for the audience to feel involved. This camera
angle has been used effectively as it makes the
chaos look real as if you were there at the party
Editing: transitions and special effects
The idea of the music video is for it to match the song. with
the use of editing it puts everything together in the right
place. In the we cant stop video there are many quick cuts.
The use of the quick cuts draw attention to different scenes
and situations as they move swiftly. She uses the visuals as a
montage to get through as much as she can. I think the use of
the quick cuts is to show small snippets of her being ‘crazy’. In
the examples of the quick cuts she has seductive/funny faces
to highlight the different sides to her. In the series of clips she
sings “we can do what we want” which is exactly what she
shows with the edits/visuals.
Through many scenes within the music video there are
jump cuts used in certain scenes. For example:
The jump cuts are used to show different scenes. I think
the jump cuts are used to highlight that they are using
drugs in the music video and that’s why there are a lot
random irrelevant scenes. The jump cuts aid the fact
there is drugs used as it makes the scene look like a
hallucination. As you can see in the example it changes
from innocent dancing to a sexual nature.
The music video consists of quick editing. Some of this
is to match the visuals with the music. As you can see in
the music video a lot of scenes match the words of the
song. In this scene she sings “So la da di da di, we like
to party” and the visuals are her in a pool having a
dance party with her friends. The quick edits also give
the idea that time is going fast, they are having a good
time so it is going quick, where as if they were bored
the edits/scene would be slower.
In the establishing shot you are introduced to a pink
pair of scissors. Other pink items throughout the
music video are the EOS Lip Balm, Beats speakers
and the pink gunk as replacement blood. There are
also pink lights lit dimly in some scenes. I think this
has been used to depict the idea of being ‘young
and free’ and not having to worry about anything.
Pink is commonly associated with young girls and
this supports the idea by using the colour
metaphorically for herself.
Miley’s facial expressions throughout the video
are commonly her smiling and being happy. This
generates the idea that she is having a good
time, she is young and doesn't’t care what
anyone thinks of her. Her smiling creates a fun
aura to audience and it makes you feel more
included into her ‘party’ as if you were a guest
There are many mid-shots that depict Mileys
outfits. Through the video she wears two colours:
white and black. I think that this has been used to
contrast with the other features of the video. As
most of the video is ‘crazy’ and ‘fun’ it makes her
stand out as she is dressed so simple. This is not a
common feature within most pop videos as the
artist will look more extravagant. But by her being
different it shows that she is the main focus rather
than everyone else.
The protagonist is the dominant ideology
throughout the video as she is the main focus.
For example: she is in the middle of the scene in
front of everyone else. Your eyes are drawn to
Miley aims to be the center of attention
throughout the video. In this screenshot you can
see that her audience is looking at her and
reacting to what she is doing. She wants
everyone to focus on her and her body. Her use
of sexual movements gains her the attention she
wants. She is the dominant figure.
Throughout the video there are several close
ups of Miley. This connotes that she is the main
focus, you will remember her face and no one
else’s which is why she has more than 1 close up
in a row. Her wanting to be the center of
attention is highlighted when she sings ‘we cant
stop, no we wont stop’ she means herself. The
video is about HER.
Miley is conveyed as a sexual character through the
video. This is highlighted by her outfits. The clothing
she wears is minimal/revealing. For example:
• A see-through swimsuit
• Crop tops, shorts, leggings
This is common within pop music videos as the
artist is trying to gain the audience attention. Her
wearing minimal clothing is trying to highlight that
‘you can look but you cant touch’ as do many other
artists within the genre.
The video also represents the pop genre by
using a lot of dancing scenes and close ups of
the star. This connotes that there having a good
time and supports the up tempo beat of the
Miley uses intertextuality in her music video. Beats
by Dre speakers are used to ‘play’ her song
throughout the video. This depicts that they are
loud enough to be used at a party. By showing the
speakers it will encourage people to buy them as it
highlights that they are a good product to use if you
want loud music. This is a good advertisement
scheme for the Beats company as fans of Miley
Cyrus will be encouraged to buy the product as she
EOS (evolution of smooth) Lip balm is also used
as a source of intertexuality within the video.
EOS is a company known for there good skin
care products. Miley uses the product in the
music video as well as just showing the
packaging. This depicts to the audience that it’s
a good product as she is ‘famous’ and she is
using it. As the products are affordable to the
audience they will be encouraged to buy the
product as well.
I think the audience will respond to the music video with
a negotiated reading. Through out the video you can
clearly see that lyrics match the visuals. The message is
‘you cant stop her’ she is going to have fun and doesn’t
care what any one thinks. The video is meant to be fun. I
have also found that by watching there could be a hidden
meaning behind concept of the song/video. Some people
may believe that she has taken illegal substances and that
is why there are random/ wierd scenes. Everything is her
illusion. I think that audiences will have a negotiated
reading towards the song as there are two ways you
could take the song.
Why might the audience watch/enjoy
An audience might enjoy this
video as Miley is seductive which
will lure in people. Her dance
moves and general movements
are sexual throughout the video
which aims to make her look
desirable. As you can see in the
example she is biting her lip and
moving her body to the music.
This could be deemed sexual to
Mileys audience may enjoy the fun aspect of the
song. You can see in the video she is having a
good time with her friends, parting and dancing.
People may enjoy this as it can be relatable to
the audience as it’s a general thing people do.
It’s not unrealistic and unbelievable.
Andrew has 6 theories of a music video that he
believes are true.
1. Mileys video demonstrates the features of the
pop genre. Her video consists of party's and
dancing and young people having a good time.
She also uses fun bright colours, such as pink to
highlight the theme of the song. Pop.
2. Some of Mileys lyrics are represented with
visuals. When she sings ‘Cause we came to have so
much fun now’ people emerge from the bushes.
The means that people are arriving to her party and
are prepared to have a good night. When she sings
the word ‘fun’ there are people roasting
marshmallows. People do this at party's when they
are younger to have FUN.
3. There is also a connection between the music
and the visual of the video. The song is quiet
upbeat but there is a slower aspect to the song
which represents why she is acts sexual. Her
movements follow the rhythm of the song and
work in time together.
4. There are many close ups used in the video to
show her facial expressions towards the lyrics
and so she can lip sync to the song. This is to
fully get across the message to the audience
which is why the record label she works with
would demand them. She is a brand that needs
to be advertised. If there was no close ups of her
it would be hard to determine who is the
5. The camera is voyeuristic over Mileys body. As
she dances sexually mid shots / wide shots are
used to get closer to her body and make her
look more irresistible by filling the screen. This
will drawn in a certain type of audience and
make it more appealing.
6. There are intertexual
references through the video.
She uses the intertexuality at the
beginning of the video to
highlight that its not the main
aspect of her message. She uses
EOS Lipbalm and Beats by Dre
Headphones. Which are well
known, high quality products.
This highlights that she only uses
the best and will encourage
others to buy them.
Laura Mulveys theory is
contradicted in the ‘We Cant Stop’
video as she isn't dominated by a
male figure. The video consists of
her having fun and being with
friends. There aren't any ‘lovers’
introduced into the song. Near
the end she kisses a mans chest.
His face is not shown in the
shot, this depicts that he isn't that
important that he needs to be
shown. She is dominant over
everyone else in the song.
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