Sledgehammer by Fifth Harmony
Feeling in love as described in “Sledgehammer” isn’t precisely a positive frame of mind. If it’s not supported by a mutual feeling, love can turn into pieces, as shown by the smashing performed by the sledgehammer swung by a silhouetted man. Fifth Harmony describes this attitude through “Sledgehammer”, a song suggesting the effects of love as uncontrollable force, similarly to the sledgehammer itself.
“Sledgehammer” debuts with the silhouetted image of the band, followed by the silhouetted man swinging his sledgehammer to invisible targets. Once the sledgehammer performed its effect, the background is illuminated and the members of the band appear in white outfits, suggesting a sense of purity. The director of the video created a game of shadows, where light, dark or misty background mix, in order to suggest the evolution of the band’s attitudes.
Each member of the band is associated with a particular background element such as a carved unicorn, a ventilator or swing chairs. Once the intensity of their feelings increased, associated with the gradually smashing of the sledgehammer, their outfits change into blue and red tones, suggesting attitudes such as passion and hope issued by love. The feeling itself is represented by the wind produced by the ventilator or the action of the fans used by the band. Wind is the liberating element, drifting the band’s clothes as a sign of recovering personal freedom.
“Sledgehammer” is the second single promoting Fifth Harmony’s debut studio album “Reflection”. The song was released on 28 October 2014, marking a radical change of sound, comparing with the first successful hit “Bo$$”. “Sledgehammer” is a pop song with electronic dance influence, written by Meghan Trainor, Sean Douglas and Jonas Jeberg, previously creating songs for Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, Kylie Minogue or Jason Derulo. Jonas Jeberg also contributed to its production, next to Harvey Mason Jr, mastering songs for Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown or Britney Spears.
The video associated with “Sledgehammer” was launched one month later, on 25 November 2014, being directed and choreographed by Fatima Robinson. The American director is known for the videos created in the case of Michael Jackson (“Remember the Time”), Mary J. Blige (“Family Affair”) or The Black Eyed Peas (“Hey Mama”). In order to highlight the femininity of each member, she created elements suggesting fragility and purity such as the white carved unicorn or the swing chairs used by the band.