Video Review: Jermaine Stewart “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”

On a record player, the needle is placed on Jermaine Stewart’s first song on the album.

A red screen states “Picture Start.” Stewart and his band clap their hands  and on stage while the reel counts down to one.

The stage tilts to the left and darkens while a young woman, superimposed over the stage, flicks her scarf and jacket over her shoulder. With her back to the camera, she pulls down a strap of her dress. Stewart runs his finger along the front of his hat. Water is splashed on the young woman. She continues to smile.

The stage tilts again. The same young woman blows a kiss to him. The screen flips several times. While the camera circles, he sings on stage by himself underneath the spotlight, his outfits rotate from the original navy suit to an all-white ensemble and then an ocean blue vest and beret.

While Stewart and his band perform, the screen is slashed by a wine glass with a cherry bouncing in the bottom of it. Three women play the saxophone. A young woman in a faded red dress, superimposed on the screen, walks to the middle of the stage. Normal size, she whispers in his ear. She wears a graduation cap and applies lipstick. Another woman lets her dress fly up above her knees.

The wine glass slashes the screen two more times. Stewart dances on stage wearing a purple jacket and aqua blue pants. The young woman, superimposed on the screen, adjusts her bow tie.

Stewart, now superimposed on screen, resists the pull of the young woman. Her hands are over his chest and he sways, trying to avoid her. He laughs, though, once she gets him.

The record stops playing.

Rating: 3.5/5

Jermaine Stewart isn’t the type to sleep around. He’s a shy guy, afraid to talk to young women. The young women  superimposed on the screen, take over and become the aggressors. They harass him by taking their clothes off and showing off their bodies. Taken aback by it, he shrinks in order to dissuade them. But they won’t go away.

The screen tilts, suggesting a power imbalance. At certain points, it appears to be cut off. However, the young women playing the saxophones, seem to pop out from the darkened background, lengthening their bodies. Stewart stays within the lines of the stage and remains polite.

The women persist. Once he is superimposed on screen, a young woman won’t stop touching him. He tries to fight her off with a gentle smile but he doesn’t work. Finally, he laughs as she takes him away.

Director: David Fincher Year: 1986

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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 & 45 Magazine.

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