Sometimes the meaning of art is as nebulous as a Lacanian theorum. Whether it’s Twin Peaks, the work of Ingmar Bergman, or a searing short by Stan Brakhage, we turn to outside sources of knowledge to help inform our own limited understanding. Those are the moments when we look to rigorous interpretation from critics, to the churning maelstrom of intellectual debate among friends and colleagues, and to our disparate inner selves, in order to decipher the hidden codes and symbolic logic of the text.
This is not one of those times.
“Boys,” the new music video from British pop star Charlie XCX (if you’re unfamiliar, she wrote that “Boom Clap” song that was in The Fault In Our Stars and was seemingly inescapable a few years ago) finds the singer enlisting a bunch of her famous (and semi-famous) male friends to pose provocatively, act ridiculous, and generally do “all the sexy things that girls usually do in music videos,” as she explains in an interview.
If you’re susceptible to contemporary, mid-tempo, R&B-derived bubblegum pop, you might find the song worth listening to as you see appearances by men like Joe Jonas, Riz Ahmed, Fun’s Jack Antonoff, Joey Bada$$, Khalid, Mac DeMarco, Panic! At The Disco’s Brendan Urie, and Wiz Khalifa. Sure, there’s also guys like electro-bro Diplo, the Chromeo duo, and reprehensible joke thief The Fat Jew in the mix, but that’s the price of admission if you want to watch Joe Jonas lick his lips seductively. And really, if there’s one thing The A.V. Club commenters are known for, it’s their fierce and uncompromising fandom of Joe Jonas.