Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Ten Music Videos of 2010

What a year in videos. Khia and former 3LW member Kiely Willams gave us things to laugh about and Rihanna gave us things to dance about. Gaga gave monstrous showings and Kanye West went artsy. Last year, I crowned Anthony Mandler as the king of video directing. This year, Melina Matsoukas worked the most magic. Here are my favorites from the year.

1. Erykah Badu
Window Seat
Director: Coodie & Chike

How did Erykah Badu get the top spot? Her video was void of special effects or choreography. However, the clip was effective and true to the Badu aesthetic. The controversial video featured audio from the JFK assassination and was filmed in Dallas, the city in which the 1963 shooting occurred. The result: Badu was fined by the city of Dallas for public nudity. Her response was thought provoking and called attention to the blatant sexuality of many other videos that get a pass. The words at the end of Badu's video sum up the message of the video. Go against the grain, and you will be shot down. Literally.

2. Kanye West
Director: Marco Brambilla

The lead single for West's new album was everything that the album title describes- a beautiful, dark, and twisted fantasy. The video, inspired by classical art, was a moving work of art. It drew inspiration from mythology and symbols of power and hedonism in ancient civilizations. The video caught flack for being so short, but the images are captivating.

3. Ciara
Gimme Dat
Director: Melina Matsoukas

Stellar album sales or not, Ciara is a dancing machine and capable of putting on a great show in her videos. Who else could pull off Chucks redesigned as stripped heels? The energy of this clip is fantastic and puts Ciara above most girls in the industry when it comes to choreography. No one since Janet has moved like this.

4. Rihanna
Rude Boy
Director: Melina Matsoukas

Whether it was intentional or not, Rude Boy served as a segue way into the return of color to Rihanna's life, paving the way for LOUD. Paying homage to her dancehall roots, the video for her slinky #1 single displayed the song's essence. It is a perfect mix of pop and dutty wine. Referencing everything from 80s hip hop and Grace Jones to artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, the clip still wasn't too overpowering and had perfect balance.

5. Janelle Monae featuring Big Boi
Director: Wendy Morgan

Janelle's feet do a number on our hearts. Her music speaks for itself, but the video for Tightrope showed Monae at her best. Telling an interesting story with the help of quirky choreography and Monae's signature black and white ensembles, the clip came off as fun and fresh. Gotta love those saddle Oxford shoes.

6. Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé
Director: Jonas Åkerlund

Telephone was an event for awaiting fans. The premiere was delayed which caused an uproar among fans. However, the finished product was well worth the wait. Paying tribute to Quentin Tarantino and even using the vehicle from his Kill Bill franchise, the video was colorful and campy. Complete with bad acting, the Beyoncé assisted mini-movie spawned many parodies and imitators. Gaga knows how to create a following.

7. Usher featuring Will.I.Am
Director: Anthony Mandler

Usher got his groove back. Though I didn't love the song, the accompanying video showed Usher dancing again. And dancing well. Playing with shadow dancing and female backup dancers giving me a Robert Palmer (Simply Irresistible) feeling, I love the clip. The contrasting color palette's of black and white give a night clean look as well.

8. Beyoncé
Why Don't You Love Me
Director: Melina Matsoukas

Beyoncé is not known for splendid music videos. Aside from Single Ladies, her last album didn't generate many video hits. That is why I was surprised that a track that didn't even get single treatment ended up being her best video from the I Am...Sasha Fierce era. Giving nods to retro pinup girls such as Bettie Page, Beyoncé gave a delicious performance as yet another alter ego: B.B. Homemaker. She makes herself so damn easy to love...

9. Bruno Mars
Just the Way You Are
Director: Ethan Lader

Inspired by the work of Erika Iris Simmons, this Bruno Mars video really captures the spirit of the song. The cassette tape animation was great. Playful and romantic, Mars accompanies this great track with a nicely played out clip.

10. Florence + the Machine
Drumming Song
Director: Dawn Shadforth

British indie rock act Florence + the Machine, led by the fiery red haired Florence Welsh, have made quite a splash this year. This video was beautifully shot and styled. The 24 year old front woman puts on a great live show as well. It's no wonder she grabbed a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Check out the lists from the previous two years:

1 comment:

Яonald Matters said...

iThink it's safe to say Melina pretty much OWNED 2010 in videos!!