The Emotional Pain of the Empathic Alien

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In 1984 a science fiction music video by British singer Nik Kershaw received heavy rotation on MTV, but despite the great visuals the song only reached No. 46 in the US charts. In Britain the single peaked at number four in the charts, and in Germany and Ireland the song got as far as number two. The song was Kershaw’s second ever single, the song was “Wouldn’t It Be Good.”


The setting of the video might even lead some to describe this music video as Dieselpunk given the distinct 1930’s or 40’s style to clothing and cars in the establishing shot. The video begins like a feature film and quickly builds a tone of suspense with the sound of heavy breathing before the music even begins. Kershaw walks down the street carrying a briefcase and awkwardly standing out from the crowd with his glowing white suit and glaringly 80’s hairstyle. Onlookers eye Kershaw with suspicion, but he escapes their gaze by running to his apartment; it is there that he relaxes, drops his disguise, and transforms into his outer space clothing . . .

The song itself has nothing essentially science fiction about it, but the video does do an excellent job of capturing the sense of despair and isolation from the lyrics. The circumstances for the alien Kershaw being there are never made clear, however, it is clear that he is alone and is seeking a means of getting home.

Nik KershawThe main visual of the video is Kershaw’s suit using chromakey effects to project various images that appear to radiate from within him as he picks up on the emotional signals of people around him. The theme of the song is empathy, the chorus employing the metaphor of walking in someone else’s shoes, but clearly the alien Kershaw suffers from being too empathic. This combined with the threatening nature of the humans and the mob mentality creates a danger from which Kershaw must run, and thankfully for him he escapes into a signal shot into space, but us poor angst ridden homo sapiens must remain on this cold uninviting planet . . . or something like that 🙂

Listen to more Outer Space Music HERE and see what happens when you get stuck between rock and dork place.

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