Video Review: Aaliyah “Try Again”

A revolving crystal door opens and Jet Li enters the room of mirrors and does some karate.

On stage, the ivory light shines behind Aaliyah. Surrounded by mirrors, Timbaland raps facing the left side while his reflection in the center is turned towards him.

She and her dancers perform on a midnight black platform as small waves skim the pool in front of it. The spotlight creates the illusion of the moon above.

She and her dancers start the routine with a silver tiled background outlined in black.

In a tight split screen, Aaliyah’s face is shown in the mirror, swiveling to the center and circling back to the left, covering the stage. In her individual shot, she touches her lips in a hush gesture against a grainy brown wall behind her. Her image swivels again and returns the stage where the choreography is being performed by Aaliyah and the dancers.

She jumps over the platform to another, continuing with the routine.

In the hall of mirrors, she faces right and talks into it. The camera swivels once.

Jet Li performs more karate, his image extending his arms and body.

In the hall of mirrors, Aaliyah points to her self as her multiple images copy her.

Aaliyah walks over a metal bridge, where Jet Li is waiting. When he sees her, he smiles. He climbs the wall and reaches her, swinging her on the bridge.

Aaliyah, Timbaland and Jet Li are blended in the mirrors.

Against the mirrors, Jet Li punches the air.

Over a  minute or so of Aaliyah and her dancers performing.

In the room of mirrors, she hooks her thumb in her leather pants and bobs her shoulders.

More of the routine with Aaliyah and the dancers on stage.

With Jet Li guiding her, she is able to climb the wall. He’s impressed by her skill.

Underneath the metal bridge, she and her dancers use a black cane as part of their routine. She moves to the center as the other dancers move to the back.

Li and his rival face off as a burning fire borders them.

Rating: 2/5

The mirrors provide a great visual but are sacrificed for a prolonged dance routine that goes on longer than it should.

When the screen splits, it allows for different point of views and a break from the action on stage. However, it’s an underused element, rotating only a few times during the video. While the illusion of the moon is creative,  Wayne Isham seems to be head over heels in love with it and refuses to let it go.

Jet Li is worked into the video with no mention of the film, Romeo Must Die.  It gives the video the luxury of being a standalone, acknowledging the reality that most singles outlast the movies they were supposed to promote. It hints at the romance between Li and Aaliyah but lets the viewer decide to find out more why his appearance is relevant.

Director: Wayne Isham Year: 2000





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