AHOY! Welcome to my Decade of Music Project Summary Day Four. Today we’re going to cover an aspect of this project that I’ve been excited about since the first day: the music videos! Because sometimes a good music video will stick with you even more than the associated song.
Now before we begin, I want to preface this by saying that I did not watch every song’s music video. I didn’t have the time, and when I had the time, I didn’t have the patience. HOWEVER, a good number of the songs in this project were found via browsing YouTube, which often resulted in exposure to music videos. But yeah, I didn’t watch every music video I could have for this project, so I apologize in advance if you see a song on my list and are like “BUT ITS MUSIC VIDEO IS THE RADDEST RAD THAT EVER RADDED” and I don’t have it on this list. That probably just means I didn’t see the video.
(Or we have different definitions of “rad”).
Alright. So like everything else, I’m going to do this by categories, ‘cause that gives me the opportunity to mention videos that I really liked but would not make a “Top 10” list or something like that. And if a video technically fits into more than one category, I’m just going to keep things simple and limit it to what I consider to be its “main” category. A music video can, for example, be both weird and tell a story, but I would pick whichever category I think applies the best.
We good? Cool.
ONWARDS! Note that these are all ranked from 5th most favorite to top favorite.
The Top Five Visually Appealing or Beautiful Music Videos
5. “Golden Dandelions” by Barns Courtney
I love the surrealness of the mix of images/videos used in this one. The one of the guy in the office with the backdrop of the fetus rising over the earth at 2:03 is just super cool to me.
4. “Light It Up” by Major Lazer
Which dancing dude is your favorite? Mine is the one at 1:43 I think.
3. “Baby I’m Yours” by Breakbot
So much color and such smooth transitions! That whole sequence from 1:51 to the end is beautiful.
2. “The Music Scene” by Blockhead
Anthony F. Schepperd’s art/animation style is so psychedelic detailed. This is how I wish I could draw.
1. “Door” by Caroline Polachek
I don’t know what it is about this, but it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful music video I have ever seen. Caroline is gorgeous and the lighting in all the different scenes is perfect. I really, really love the shot at 3:00. Pause the video there and just look at how phenomenally pretty that shot is. Ugh.
The Top Five Weird or WTF Music Videos
5. “Cassius” by Foals
Just…so many hearts. Why.
4. “Crab Rave” by Noisestorm
Want some dancing crabs? You know you do.
3. “Hey There Mr.” by Leisure Alaska
I don’t know what the description “hunter rides eyeball horse towards wild singing mouths that have tornado powers” conjures up in your mind, but if your mind is too “WTF?” to come up with something, Leisure Alaska was nice enough to put this phrase into a music video for you so that you could experience one rendition of it.
2. “Horse” by Salvatore Ganacci
I don’t know what my favorite part of this video is, the dancing at 2:10 or that expert squat Salvatore is executing as he’s punching the grandma at 2:28. The chair flying off at 1:18 is pretty great, too.
1. “Shoes” by Tiga
This song on its own is weird. Go find a version of it on YouTube where it’s just the lyrics or a static image or something and listen to it. Have you done that? You’ve experienced the song? It’s weird, right? Now watch the video. The video is even weirder.
The Top Five Music Videos That Tell a Story
5. “Breezeblocks” by alt-J
I can’t really say anything about this one without spoiling it, so watch it.
4. “Jenny” by Studio Killers
All love stories should end with one partner transforming into a big cat.
3. “Paradise” by Coldplay
This song means a lot to me (as I explained in this blog) and I cry every single time elephant Chris finds his band and runs towards them.
2. “Let’s Go” by Stuck In the Sound
I love the premise behind this story.
1. “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow
All love stories should end with repressed feelings being expressed in dance.
The Top Five Most Impactful Music Videos (videos that I think about a lot)
5. “You and I” by Crystal Fighters
YouTube’s “let’s put thumbnails of related videos all over the screen during the last 20 seconds of a video” kind of ruins the impact of this one, but it’s still worth watching until the end.
4. “This Is America” by Childish Gambino
I don’t know if I even have to explain this one.
3. “The Story of O.J.” by JAY-Z
This one, either.
2. “Sons” by Concorde
You can feel the young girl’s insecurity in this video. I love the animation and the way the two stories are interwoven. Very well done.
1. “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes
This one has really stuck with me since I first found it in 2010. What a sad premise, knowing that things cannot be permanently reversed.
The Top Five Dance Music Videos
5. “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” by Todrick Hall
I love the choreography and colors.
4. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by the Backstreet Boys
The 90s-style dancing and choreography is real in this one, yo. Instant flashbacks to when I was in 5th grade and ‘Nsync and the Backstreet Boys were all the rage. I remember dancing to my ‘Nsync CD in my room.
3. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
Videos shot in one take are always impressive. The lighting in this one is cool, too.
2. “Sorry” by Justin Bieber
I like the colorful, mismatched outfits. The dancing is mesmerizing to me.
1. “Tilted” by Christine and the Queens
This is such a simple video in the sense that it’s not flashy or full of colors and lights, and it fits the song perfectly.
The Top Five “I Just Like These Ones” Music Videos
5. “Bear Claws (Live Looper Version)” by The Academic
This had to take a lot of planning and a lot of guts to do it live.
4. “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go
Are you shocked that this is the only OK Go video on this whole list? Me too, kinda. I love this one because of the complexity of its setup (which is something that can be said of most of OK Go’s music videos, I guess) and all that banging/crashing at the end. I love the banging/crashing.
3. “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson
This is so fun to watch. I bet it was fun to make.
2. “Check It Out” by will.i.am and Nicki Minaj
I don’t know why, but this is one of my favorite songs and I also really like the music video. It’s also what I consider to be my “thesis song/video” because I found it right around the time I was finishing my MA thesis at UBC and I watched this constantly whenever I would take a break from working (which was often. Not a great time in my life).
1. “Hurt” by Oliver Tree
I just really like this one. Oliver Tree is such a weird dude and this was the music video that introduced me to him.