REVIEW: Juice WRLD's 'Wishing Well' VR Music Video

18th June 2021

Try it here: https://www.ceek.com/juicewrld/ 

In this review, we’re looking at Juice Wrld’s posthumously released VR music video for ‘Wishing Well’ off his LP Legends Never Die. The original (non-VR) music video was released in July 2020 and has over 164,000,000 views. Now, a year later, they have re-imagined the same music video but as a 1st person VR experience. Let’s give it a go!

 
 

Use of Music

Wishing Well is a brilliant, heartbreaking and powerful track, and one of Juice Wrld’s most personal. The song centres around his addiction to drugs and severe depression, as he tells us his secret: “drugs killing me softly”. It’s a poignant track and particularly relevant given how many other musicians face the same devastating battles. Because it’s such a sensitive topic that many prefer to look away from, I think it’s perfectly suited to Virtual Reality. This is exactly the kind of conceptual, emotive and descriptive song that lends itself well to VR, with the goal of creating an impactful experience.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame

 

Use of Tech

Wishing Well cleverly used VR technology to transfer a previously released, traditional piece of content into a new, immersive one. Surrounded by a 360˚ world designed around Juice’s deeply personal and descriptive lyrics, we are forced to listen to him and acknowledge his illustrated emotions and struggles, much more so than the original video as we are without any external distractions to steal our attention. Because VR enables us to be a character in Juice’s world, we feel as though we are going through it with him. Consequently we empathise, understand and are much more connected to the music and the story than we are in a flat video, and it triggers a much more emotional response from us. This in turn has the power to impact the mindsets of many people and, I hope, have a serious impact on the music industry’s approach to dealing with mental health. An excellent use of technology to inspire and move people. The slick animation style itself is fun and colourful, in contrast to the themes involved in the song. Although this works very well for Juice’s aesthetic, I did find that the camera was sometimes too ‘close’ to the action, meaning I had to move my head around a lot and couldn't quite get a good view.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame

 

Innovation

CeekVR took the animations created for the original by KDC Visions and beautifully transformed them into multiple 360˚ environments that people can look around and explore. The animations are really high quality and there’s visually a lot going on in the content - it’s impressive VR media and the viewer is entirely captivated for the duration of the music video.  While it’s not technically that ground-breaking - it’s not 3D, nor does it use spatial sound - it’s innovative as an example of how VR can be applied to revitalise and celebrate existing content. Considering they were working with someone elses animations, CeekVR did a great job at animating this experience.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame
 

 

Degree of Success

The VR experience of the Wishing Well Music Video was impressive, emotional and highly powerful. I thoroughly recommend it; it gave me goosebumps to be immersed in JuiceWrld’s heartbreaking narrative of his very serious inner battles, and I think this is one of my top VR music videos to date. 

The main issue - if any - lies with the platform it is hosted on. CeekVR is the exclusive platform this VR music video is accessible on, and, whilst good in theory, it is a serious obstacle in the customer journey. To watch this JuiceWrld VR experience, you must download the CeekVR app, create an account and make an avatar (simple enough right?). Then you must upgrade your account so that you can access all of the content. This whole process took me hours: I had to design my avatar multiple times, they took my payment but the app didn’t recognise my upgrade, then the viewing room wouldn’t load. I then tried it on a friend’s phone and the homescreen never loaded. Eventually, a 3rd try on another friend's phone was successful. The only reason I persevered was because of this article, otherwise I would have given up and watched something else. These lengthy processes, bugs and basic flaws are serious turn-offs to the customer and I doubt I was alone in having such a difficult time accessing the content. Only 1 in 3 of the phones I tried were successful in loading the content, though I will say the 3rd phone we tried did load up straight away.

As a platform, I would hesitate to recommend it until it has worked out these issues and gained a bit more reliability as a content app. Not only are the customer reviews inconsistent which might put you off already, but it’s also not compatible with Oculus Quest - the most popular consumer headset on the market. This means Juice Wrld’s VR experience will not reach the world's largest VR audience, and likely most of the phone users too. A huge shame considering the high quality of the actual experience - and the fact it could be up on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. 

Great / Good / Meh / Lame


 

In summary; the experience is superb and despite the issues presented by the app itself, the VR music video is one of very high quality. 

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