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Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Video Without Music Isn’t So Happy

Vaguely unwholesome-looking clip strips away 'G I R L' hit's buoyant production

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // April 18, 2014

It might seem crazy what we’re ’bout to say, but Pharrell’s ebullient “Happy” video looks a lot less so when stripped of music. Much as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” without music was just some goofball terrorizing a store, a music-free take on the G I R L standout leaves the sight of people dancing and half-singing for no apparent reason; it starts with the behatted one lounging in a dark alley that suddenly takes on a previously unnoticed sinister aspect. Pharrell recently teamed up with Johnny Marr, and also Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar, for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. He brought happiness to Saturday Night Live. Taking away his groove is just cruel.

Speaking of Pharrell’s “Happy” video, see how it has a lot in common with 2011 indie film Girl Walk // All Day.