Dream – "He Loves U Not" – Music Video Discussion

I might be wrong about a lot of things but one thing I definitely know I’m right about is that the late 90’s and early 2000’s were some of the best times for pop music, especially when it comes to the subgenre of teen pop (don’t fight me on that one). After the resurrection of teen pop thanks to the likes of boy bands, choreography heavy music videos and crop tops, we were lucky to have gotten some of the best hits of the two decades. And when it comes to teen pop, some of it is so bad that it’s actually really great. This was simpler time, where being corny was seemingly praised and where cohesion and consistency were taken so far to the point where the artists and their work was almost identical to their competitors. Matching outfits and backup dancers galore, it was absolutely a time to be alive.

Now, being labeled as “corny” or “just like everyone else” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Quite the opposite is true, actually; sometimes sticking with the trend will get you far and after all, it’s a snapshot of the times. That’s why I’m not even mad about Dream’s video for their breakthrough single “He Loves U Not”, despite how re-done the project may seem at times. The group took their own spin on pop music video techniques at the time and even twenty years later, it’s remarkable to look back and see how much better it is than pop music now (and I know everyone says that type of thing, but really, pop music isn’t the best anymore).

In regards to the actual video, I can’t say that there’s an actual concept. It’s more just a three minute clip of some sassy moves and hair flips. Nonetheless, it’s a video I enjoy specifically because of those things. In the video, the girls are all donning matching pink latex looking outfits and dancing in an empty room with their logo flashing behind them. Their choreography is immaculate, with all four of them being completely synchronized together. After that we’re moved to a scene in the desert where they’re dancing again, and riding four wheelers while it looks like a party is going on around them. Then, we’re taken to a scene of them in what appears to be a zero gravity room and they’re climbing on walls, hanging upside down, and all that zero gravity jazz. It’s quite the experience.

This was released in September of 2000, and one video that it reminds me of in particular is Nsync’s “Bye Bye Bye” with the funny no gravity room thing, which was a video released earlier that year. The latex outfits are also reminiscent of the times, with most artists wearing similar things and going for a futuristic vibe. And the desert scene feels a little random but there are a few similar videos that stick out in my mind with the same scenery. That begs the question, couldn’t someone have thought of a better concept? Probably. But does it actually matter? Heck no. The best part of this music video isn’t any of those things. It’s the enthusiasm and energy they bring to it for the entire duration of the song. Their dancing is spot on (and I have to admit, I tried to learn part of the choreography while I was re-watching the video ten times) and their facial expressions are so cheeky that at times it’s almost comical. It reminds me of what it was like to be a teenager in the absolute best way possible, and makes me nostalgic for my flared jeans and blue eye shadow. Even thought the song is just about some other girl trying to steal her boyfriend, the vibe of the song is perfectly conveyed through the clip, which most artists struggle with. It’s also a visual representation of what it was like for a teenager/young adult back then, making this music video like a perfect little time capsule of the early 2000’s.

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