Video Review: James Bay “Best Fake Smile”

Sitting on the recliner, leaning into a table, a little boy works on his homework. The sounds of guitars tuning causes him to lift his head. Outside, his dad mows the lawn.

He writes down the answer and hears the guitar tuning again. He sits up, wondering who is playing the music.

In the garage, James Bay plays with his band.

The little boy, irritated that the music keeps playing, gets out of his seat. On the porch, he passes by his dad, snoring in a chair. He gives a high-five to his neighbor as he turns the corner.

The little boy marches up the driveway, passing by someone working on a car. He opens the garage door and watches Bay. The little boy grabs a tennis racket and begins to play along. With two spoons, he bangs on the drum set and plays underneath some lit sparklers.

The men he passed by move the curtain in the garage and start to play with the band. Someone tosses a pillow. The little boy jumps on the couch as he jams along beside Bay.

During a few star cutouts, Bay plays underneath an aqua light. The little boy moves his arms, causing a rainbow of colors to swirl around him.

Back in the garage, the little boy pops open a container, letting glitter fly in the air. Confetti falls. Someone turns on the fan and confetti moves in a different direction. The little boy pulls a tightrope and a showerhead springs up, covering everyone in water. The neighbor swings his wet hair back and forth.

Someone breaks open a pillow and the feathers go everywhere. Bras are thrown at the little boy. He takes one of his face, his glasses sliding down to his chin.

Bay plays one last chord and looks straight at the camera.

Rating: 3/5

 Everyone in the video represents how music can be an outlet. James Bay is a rock star now. However, he had to start somewhere, like in a garage practicing. He had to write song after song, trying to learn phrasing, learning by trial and error. He’s plugging away until the big break happens. In the meantime, it keeps his stress away from his daily life.

For the studious little boy, he may have discovered he wants to be a guitarist someday. Music got him out of his shell. It’s a level excitement that’s new to him. However, the little boy’s family members and neighbor may have had rock star dreams but life has taken the choice away. But in the garage, they get that piece of life given back to them, even if it’s just for three minutes.

While the video is cutesy on the surface, it does attempt to parallel storylines and celebrate the clichés in the sense of seizing the day.

Director: Emil Nava Year: 2016

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