Reviewed by: Chris

British band Goldfrapp are well known for their visual theatrics. Some of their videos, like their music, achieve cult status with a seemingly effortless nonchalance. So I was pretty keyed up to see Happiness – a song that starts out as almost a hug-a-tree anthem and turns into a satirical comment on moneymaking.

“Join our group and you will find, Harmony and peace of mind... We're here to welcome you” elides into: “We can see you troubled soul, Give us all your money we'll - Make it better.” The song contrasts genuine feelgood vibes with the money-grubbing appropriation of such feelings by certain organised religions or any other groups (like politicians who promise to work for the common man). People who have ‘lost love’ are particularly targeted.

Copy picture

It sounds like the script for an awesome music video. Except it isn’t.

This video does have some good points. It is slick and entertaining and there is an inventive use of an original character – a man in a white suit who bunny-hops out of his house and along the street. He meets various people in common activities – a postman, police making an arrest, and characters waiting at a bus stop. (Band members are thus disguised as ‘ordinary folk’ and catch our passing interest.) He jumps past some Hare Krishnas and eventually gets quite a street following himself. At best, we could maybe see the white-suit-man as a sort of David Cameron figure, with a hollow purported ‘happiness’. A hug-a-hoodie campaign mark 2.

Quaint and amusing, very watchable. But it falls short of the straightforward shell-shock of earlier Goldfrapp videos such as Ride A White Horse. Sadly (as it is the main purpose of a music video), it wouldn’t make me buy the record. Even though I like Goldfrapp.

Reviewed on: 30 Jun 2008
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Award winning music video for Goldfrapp.

Director: Dougal Wilson

Starring: Goldfrapp

Year: 2008

Runtime: 3 minutes

Country: UK


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Goldfrapp: Strict Machine