Video Review: Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown “No Air”

Jordin Sparks plays a few notes on the piano. She checks her phone and begins searching for a phone number. She calls the person and leaves a voicemail. At home, she looks out her window, holding her arms to chest, watching the people walk down the street. With her finger, she traces a heart on the window. She puts her hands to her chest, eyes closed. The pain is too much for her to bear.

Chris Brown wipes the mist from his bathroom mirror. After getting ready, he puts his jacket on.

Against a pale blue background, she and Brown stand close together, reaching towards one another but not able to touch. She wants to put her hand on his lips like she used to but she can’t any longer.

Standing on the street, waiting for the signal to cross, he stares and is completely numb. He tucks his jacket to his body and walks, head down. He breathes into his hands and rubs them together, trying to heat them up.

Still looking out her window, she hopes to see Brown pass by.

Back home, in his red hoodie, he believes he can channel his heartbreak into a song. Meanwhile, she walks along the boardwalk and looks to the bridge. She stands against the rail, hands in her pockets, unsure of what to do. She drives home, about to burst into tears. Nothing is going to make her feel better.

At home, with her cosmetics around her, she reads a magazine on her bed. She hears a door and thinks it’s Brown. In her foyer, she imagines him coming over and leaning in close to her. He would hold onto her waist as they talk everything over. She would run her hands on his chest, telling him how much she missed him.

Brown gives the camera an irritated look. He wants to be left alone to deal with his pain. In his studio, he sits down at the keyboard. She runs her hand on the window.

He says goodbye to her in the hallway and leaves. He plays the keyboard. In the blue background, they distance themselves from each other. She sits in the foyer, depressed that the moment she wants will never come.


Rating: 5/5

Sparks and Brown are at a loss. She keeps hoping one day he will reach out to her. But she knows missing him is the new normal. Brown, on the other hand, can’t really feel. He’s heartbroken but can only process it through his music.

Sparks’ fantasy in the foyer really gives a sense of their need for each other and desire to communicate. Somehow, there is all the emotion inside of them and it’s going to explode in one huge moment. But it shows how necessary it is for both of them.

Also, the video needs to be commended for a) making Chris Brown seem like a decent human being and b) not having him dance. Vulnerability is required, which Brown is able to display. But at the same time, he fights it (in his own individual shot). By not relying on him to dance, he doesn’t become a caricature of himself.

Director: Chris Robinson  Year: 2008


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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