Everybody who saw Bridgerton – and, honestly, everybody saw Bridgerton – had the same desire. We all wanted to fall right into that world: one where the men were gallant, the women were noble and upright, and everyone had on a ridiculously hot period costume. Alas, Bridgerton is (mostly) fiction. But that doesn’t mean the most stylish among us can’t do their best to recreate the world that never was. Pop-rock singer AJ Smith has never lacked imagination, and he’s got no shortage of attractive friends. Together, they’ve raided the wardrobe and turned back the clock, and, in the video for “Nobody,” they’re pulling you into their own glorious Bridgerton-style reverie.
We know what you’re thinking. Few pop singers could get away with something like this. But AJ Smith is no ordinary pop singer. He’s got a heightened sense of irony, a playful self-awareness, and a knack for pop culture parody and recontextualization. Smith’s encyclopedic knowledge of entertainment is apparent in everything he does. Above all, he knows how to approach the camera. Smith is one of the few artists in contemporary music with the elegance, classical good looks, and easy, ingratiating manner suitable for the court of the Duke and Duchess of Hastings.
His songwriting, particularly on “Nobody,” has classic underpinnings, too. As he always does, he nods toward masters like Billy Joel and Elton John with a little fun; there’s some Panic! at the Disco, and Taylor Swift thrown in there, too. His chord structure is impeccable, his melody is irresistible, his lyrics are witty, the accompaniment is lively and poised, and charisma positively bleeds out of the track. It’s no wonder that he’ll soon be performing “Nobody” on The Kelly Clarkson Show: it’s exactly the sort of brilliantly written, immediately accessible pop-rock song that Clarkson regularly took to the top of the charts in the mid-’00s.
You don’t have to be a Bridgerton fan to get a huge kick out of the “Nobody” clip. Smith’s new video also sends up social media and status-seeking, and attaches it to an over-the-top story of intrigue and romance among the young and fetching. But if you’re accustomed to period drama, we think you’ll be impressed by the attention to detail with which Smith and company have approached this clip. Everything from the ornate sofas to the baroque mirrors to the smoking jackets and costume jewelry is letter-perfect. And as for the dancing – well, it’s flirtatious enough to fire anybody’s Jane Austen fantasy.