Video Review: James Bay “Let It Go”

James Bay sits alone in his room, looking out the window, in a curved chair, as color is gradually added. Downcast, he rests his hands on his legs and stares at the floor and then to the side of him, trying to process his feelings.

Through the foggy window, he watches people mow their lawn and walk down the street. He thinks he needs to water the plants, which are dying, on the windowsill. The camera pans away, fading to black-and-white again.

He folds his hands together, his face now a grayish pale. Solemn, he closes his eyes, the fire unable to warm him.

Back in a faded color, he continues to look out the window. The sky has become black and he can only see the reflection of himself. He turns around in his chair, thinking he heard something.

A smell crosses his nose and he finally gets up. When he does, he sees crackling flames crawling up the stairs. He takes another way out of his house and gazes at his burning house. There was not much left in the house anyhow. What mattered was the person who used to live with him and now she’s gone.

The flame flies to the garage and he turns around, knocked out by the violent sounds. He sees the flames engulf the garage as he stops at the waiting car. Inside, his girlfriend says nothing as they drive off. She rests her hand on the window, a frown on her face during their silent drive. Finally, she speaks and it’s what he feared for a long time.


Rating: 5/5

James Bay is broken and lost. There is no way to reach him right now. Seeing the house burn was somehow a relief. Knowing the memories can’t physically follow him in every room. He may never recover from the pain of not having the love of the woman he always wanted.

Bay’s searching expressions long for answers but can’t break through the dejection inside of him, undoing his self-worth and pulverizing the last of his self-esteem.

The faded color emphasizes how dark it has gotten for him. Whatever little light that is used reveals how ghostlike his face has become. Whoever he was before is gone. The details; foggy window, empty house, fire, externalize the introspective lyrics, giving the emotion an relatable physical form.

Director: Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen  Year: 2015

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