Artist: Elliott Smith
Album: Figure 8
With all this talk of balloons lately, I figured the video for "Son of Sam" would probably be appropriate here.
It's interesting how eerily Elliott Smith's video, which has nothing to do with the "Son of Sam" killer, David Berkowitz, seems to reflect the end of his life. Throughout the entire video, Smith simply chases a red balloon, which in this case can be seen as symbolism for a dream or goal. From the moment he spots it in the first few seconds, he's intent on following it in the awkward stop-motion chosen for the video. In the end, when it pops, it feels as if the dream has died with the balloon's demise.
Though not necessarily about death, one can't help but see some creepy similarities to Smith's own life. After chasing a dream for so long, it just ended, abruptly. However, unlike the balloon's existence, Smith's continues past his demise. We've seen two complete posthumous albums from him, as well as countless appearances by his songs in film. Add in other singles and tribute albums, and it's evident the man has gained a cult following through the years. It may have never been intended to be this way, but unlike the video, Smith has outlasted his own destruction.
[Previously on Animal Noises: This Week's Top 10: Albums of 1998]