The most interesting quality of Green Day’s newest music video, “Still Breathing,” comes in the form of Billie Joe Armstrong’s fluffy pompadour blowing in the wind.
Not a band known to shy away from punk rock angst, Green Day wholeheartedly delivers in making sure “Still Breathing” packs an emotional punch, but it fails to bring anything else to the table. While the song is originally appealing in its vulnerability, it begins to lose its charm as the minutes tick by. Through lyrics stockpiled with repetitive clichés and a heaviness that drags the entire song down, “Still Breathing” strives for an emotional connection but falls flat.
This flatness is reflected in the music video. It’s uniform and predictable, with scenes detailing exactly what the corresponding lyrics describe, interjected with several random forest scenes. These interludes only serve to add a layer of confusion to a monotonous series of images, like glossy paint over cracking wood.
The most frustrating thing is that the music video itself is beautifully shot. Opening on a picturesque sunrise overlooking a set of mountains in the distance, “Still Breathing” establishes its vivid imagery and then continues to build intricate stories through layers of muted tones and prolonged shots of Armstrong looking dramatically over one shoulder (eyeliner as strong as ever).
However, while the way scenes are shot adds a much-needed level of depth to the music video, the actual scenes themselves are mundane enough to slip across the screen with an unremarkable finality. After viewing “Still Breathing,” one is left feeling strangely empty, irrevocably trying to search for a complexity that just isn’t there.