I’m a very simple person. I am literal. I am happy-go-lucky and driven towards aesthetics. You mix all of those together and you get a certain taste for music videos. Don’t hand me a highly conceptual music video with allegories upon allegories; I won’t know what the hell to do with it. If I get confused, I’m done. Over it. It’s not fun. It would be like being forced to watch “Inception” over and over again, and I already fell for that once. Never again. Without further ado, here are my favorite music videos of the year!
10. “Blurred Lines”/ Robin Thicke Ft. Pharrell and T.I. / Directed by Diane Martel
The song of the summer had an equally fun-loving video to accompany it. The video itself is pretty simple, reminiscent of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” featuring dapper gents and skimpy supermodels against a warmly-lit white wall. And what is a video without a goat, ginormous dice, a stationary bike, and sausage links? But the real star of this video is not Robin Thicke and his selflessly promoted goods under the hood, rather the cute and endlessly adorable Pharrell Williams.
9. “Carried Away” / Passion Pit / Directed by Ben and Alex Brewer
Sometimes we do indeed get “carried away” in relationships. The video is centered around a quirky couple that I swear is based off of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s characters from “500 Days of Summer.” I mean, could the lead girl NOT resemble Zooey anymore? This video made me smile and feel oddly charmed by their neuroticism.
8. “Shot At the Night” / The Killers / Directed by Roboshobo
Being a maid in Las Vegas would be understandably depressing; you’re cleaning up after a bunch of bimbos living in excess and having the time of their lives. You would also live in Vegas, which is equally just as depressing if you can’t even enjoy The Strip. If JLo’s “Maid in Manhattan” were set in Las Vegas, then you would have this video. It’s a Vegas love story and a pretty good promotional piece for Vegas tourism. We also get to see Brandon Flowers. Win.
7. “Overgrown” / James Blake / Directed by Nabil
It’s kind of creepy, but totally worth it. So it starts out with Harry Potter in bed inside Hagrid’s hut. And then Harry watches the ocean in hyper mode while he is seemingly depressed, or contemplative–I’m not sure. But then he got dizzy and decided to go on a walk to the shore, which might be death, but again, beats me. As he’s walking–BOOM–the dementors show up! They’re chasing him, but he doesn’t see them, and I’m yelling “Expecto Patronum! Expecto Patronum! Bitch, turn around!” Well, he must have said it with his mind because then they disappear and he still looks rather sad. The end.
6. “Stay the Night” / Zedd Ft. Hayley Williams / Directed by Daniel Campos
First off, Hayley, grow your hair back, please. You look like a deranged fiery cuckoo bird. The video features Zedd slamming away on his piano while Hayley sings and dances in a room full of hanging lightbulbs, which look stunning. In the meantime, there is a couple entrenched in a contemporary dance routine that fills the video from beginning to end, along with tornado-like warping effects to mirror the realities of a one night stand, perhaps? I still need more Zedd + Hayley collabos in the future.
5. “Y.A.L.A.” / MIA / Directed by David Sannwald
This is a colorful hot mess, honestly. It was my first seizure I ever experienced, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. In a quasi-“F.U.” to Drake, the “You Always Live Again” video unleashes the colors of the neon rainbow against sick beats which make for one hell of a trippy ride. Words to the wise: start with your eyes half-shut. That should help.
4. “Burn” / Ellie Goulding / Directed by Mike Sharpe
Although it’s not “deep” on any level, I absolutely love this video. The visuals are stunning and there is so much life and energy popping out at you that you wish you were raving it up on an airstrip. It also matches the video really well. Nothing seems out of place or separated. You can naturally listen to the song while watching the video and not feel a disconnect. This is a must for me with videos. An example of the opposite would be Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” video which just obliterated the song badly.
3. “Work Bitch” / Britney Spears / Directed by Ben Mor
I have been obsessed with this video since the day it came out. I was completely mesmerized watching it for the first time in my roommate’s car, and my first words afterward were, “It’s like 2001 Britney was resurrected on your phone.” There’s really not much to the video, just Britney being a beast and dancing again (finally). Again, lots of shameless self-promotion, but whatever, she’s hot and she’s Britney effing Spears. The “doorography” from the “Criminal” video also resurfaced again. It’s just a good ol’ time.
2. “Happy” / Pharrell Williams / Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
If you want to feel so incredibly giddy and happy, watch this video. You cannot physically make it through all four minutes without smiling, clapping along, bobbing your head or even injecting your own swagalicious moves. I am actually contemplating asking Pharrell to marry me…
1. “XO” / Beyoncé / Directed by Terry Richardson
Two words: in love. Yes, there many good videos on Beyoncé’s self-titled sneak surprise, but the simplicity and pure-hearted joy of the video made it stand out even more. It reminds me of Mariah Carey’s video for her 1995 number-one hit, “Fantasy.” Beyoncé finds herself enjoying a day at the pier riding roller coasters and playing games, all while looking genuinely happy. I’m just addicted to the good vibes this video is giving off. Long live Queen Bey.