The Top Music Videos of 2011 December 14, 2011Posted by Richard Bolisay in Music, Music Videos, Yearender.
It’s the time of year again when indulgence in list-making is tolerated and forgiven, especially when it comes to music. In light of 2011’s abundance of gifts to offer, it is only proper that music lovers recognize them one by one. Picking only five among the music videos released this year is obviously wrong (many remain unseen and many hardly win against the fluctuating Web connection) but picking five is how everything will start, and starting is always the key to doing things right. Anyway, here they go. Click on the titles to watch.
5. I AM THE BEST, 2NE1. Directed by Seo Hyun Seung.
Everything here screams with extravagance: flashy outfits, luxurious production design, strange sci-fi elements, excessive display of swag, too much emphasis on glam. But in 2NE1’s glitzy universe, over-the-top ideas are a beauty to look at, and even the scantiness of dance moves doesn’t hurt much. Who run the world again?
4. THE WILHELM SCREAM, James Blake. Directed by Alexander Brown.
The song is lovely, but James Blake is lovelier. Even the shaky camera says so, capturing him in profile and toying with effects and colors, soft blues and luscious greens, ambivalence and swoon, eye contact and sexual distance.
3. BEST THING I NEVER HAD, Beyoncé. Directed by Diane Martel.
It’s not the lacy corset that looks terribly good on her, nor the extravagant details on her Vera Wang gown, nor the playful wedding ceremony and the hilariously bad home video that turn this into a spectacle: it’s Beyoncé’s face—the way it shines with happiness and satisfaction, the way it achieves revenge without actually doing it, and the way it shoots daggers at every douchebag who deserves a bloody kick in the face. Look at her. She’s contagious.
2. THE GREEKS, Is Tropical. Directed by Megaforce. Animation by Seven.
A no-nonsense depiction of kids in the age of counterstrike who fire guns at enemies and strangers, produce and sell meth, speak French in drug deals, throw explosives, and enjoy the inanity and insanity of it all. “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Right. Totally fun.
1. LOTUS FLOWER, Radiohead. Directed by Garth Jennings.
Longtime Radiohead fans like myself were not supposed to be surprised when this came out in February—Thom’s sporadic movements (or seizures?) and crazy gyrations every time he performed onstage bore the seeds—but for some reason we were: not only surprised but also astonished, affected, and bemused, and later on the surprise turned into intense euphoria, exaltation, and rapture, exhilarated by the sight of Thom Yorke careening, cavorting, frolicking, jitterbugging, jiving, prancing, swinging, waltzing—whatever you call those moves or gestures of trying to survive a fit. The moment this video was released, the world became better every second, and dancing no longer needed talent: it only required joie de vivre.