I HATE when the VMAs give out the Video of the Year award. They always give it to the song with the most airplay, not the song with the best video. LAME! Especially considering how awesome some videos truly are. Here are the best of the year by category:
• "We Used to Wait" - Arcade Fire
Ok so when the album first came out, true Arcade Fire fans went to their website and got to experience something hella cool. They entered their address and then a video was automatically generated to incorporate aerial and land views of their neighborhood. The character in the video was concealed enough for the viewer to consider it their avatar. So in the end, it was like each fan had their very own music video. There's a sample below, but if you want to make one for yourself, I should warn you that it'll generate several pop ups that bleed into each other all over your screen.
• "Why Don't You Love Me" Beyonce
The chocolate diva went back in time to channel the underappreciated housewife who did it all and never got enough in return. It's practically Betty Draper's anthem.
• "Cousins" Vampire Weekend
The ingenuity that went into this—creating a trolley track in an alley way, drawing all over the walls and ground, synchronizing motions, confetti canons, and loads of instruments—is just astounding.
• "Just the Way You Are" Bruno Mars
Do you remember, way back when, when your cassette tape use to malfunction and the film would get tangled or wrinkled? It used to be a bitch. Who knew you could use it to construct images that look like an etch-a-sketch drawing with unbroken lines?
• "King of Anything" Sara Bareilles
There have been plenty of videos in music history that have manipulated still photography, but Sara really takes it to the next level, never diverting from the theme.
• "Nothin on You" B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
It's like a cut-out stop motion production.
• "Loca" Shakira ft. El Cata
With that title, one expects something crazy. But stripping in the street, jumping on a biker's motorcycle, and rolling around on concrete? That's way better than a fitted straight jacket and a padded room.
• "WTF?" Ok Go
Even if you've never heard an Ok Go album, you know they've got awesome videos. This one is just a potheads playground.
This is above and beyond the call of duty. The band has its own comic book and this is the live action version of it. Come on?
• "Tighten Up" The Black Keys
Puppy love at its grandest. It starts off super sweet right up until the 2:15 mark, and then they start behaving exactly like you'd expect boys to. As do their fathers.
• "Cuando Me Enamoro" Enrique Iglesias feat. Juan Luis Guerra
Enrique chose to uncharacteristically not molest a stranger in this video, but to instead cast a group of kids to tell little stories of young love. So adorable.
• "Round & Round" - Selena Gomez
Um, so put the song on mute, and watch the Disney star audition for a spy movie.
• "Un-thinkable" Alicia Keys
This video didn't get as much TV-play as her other single, but I think it deserved to. It goes through 6 decades, showing the evolution, or lack there of, of her biracial romance with Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill"), complete with little details that signify the decade. In the 50s, he had a pompadour and she had a beehive. In the 60s, he was a prep and she had colorful jewelry. In the 70s, he had a shag/mullet and she had an afro. In the 80s, she was sporting a makeshift Jheri curl and her friends were playing cassette tapes. In the 90s, she was using CDs and giant cell phones, and they both had leather jackets. And in the 00s, she had a touchscreen mp3 player and, most importantly, a backbone.
• "Firework" Katy Perry
She managed to cover a lot of bases in the self-esteem arena, telling chubby girls to love their bodies, gays to come out of the closet, and Cancer patients to have hope, and she does it with a party vibe.
• "No Love" Eminem feat. Lil Wayne
These gentlemen are known for their controversial lyrics, but they surprisingly teamed up and created this anti-bullying video. No promotion of violence, just an encouragement to stand up for yourself. That is rarely the rapper agenda.
• "Window Seat" Erykah Badu
Everyone pretty much flipped out when they heard she stripped down in the middle of the street without warning, permission, or guards. The meaning behind it, however, was apparently lost on the small-minded. Badu says she was inspired by the indie rock duo Matt & Kim's video for "Lessons Learned." She thought it was the perfect example of bravery and liberation. Stripping down was her way of showing her true self. And when she gets shot at the end, in a way assassinated, it's suppose to represent society's rejection of the true self and the reassertion of conformity. While it's basically the same video as M&K's, including the surprising death at the end, it's a little braver than theirs because 1) she did it on her own and 2) she didn't get a permit under the guise of shooting a commercial, so she really could've been arrested.
BEST TWIST ENDING
• "Say You Don't Want It" - One Night Only feat. Emma Watson
I admit I only watched this video because a Harry Potter actress was in it, but I was pleasantly surprised at the end. It starts off seeming like a romance, where the guy is trying to woo the girl, but at the end (3:35) all of their bizarro behavior suddenly makes sense...they're actually smitten puppies. Altogether now: Awww!
• "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
I like this song, but the video is incredibly boring until the 3:30 mark. I would not advise doing this, but it definitely wakes you up.
• "Erase Me" Kid Cudi feat. Kanye WestClark Duke and Christopher Mintz-Plasse play his British rock band mates, complete with rockstar attitudes and star-f*cking groupies.
• "Memories" Weezer
The boys of Jackass fool around and dangerously skate within an empty pool. Non-Jackass lovers are unaware of how much brotherly love runs through this clan, but you really get that feeling watching this video.
• "Giving Up the Gun" Vampire WeekendLet's see. Joe Jonas as a sore loser. A drunk, overly confident Jake Gyllenhaal. Rapper RZA dressed like he's auditioning for The Matrix while refereeing the tennis match. And, last but not least, the randomest of the random, rapper Lil Jon as a coach dressed in preppy clothes.
• "Stylo" GorillazThis badass animated band managed to get Bruce Willis in their video as a littering, aviator-wearing, gun-toting speed demon!!
• "Giving Up the Gun" Vampire Weekend
• "Stylo" Gorillaz
• "In the Sun" She & Him
I may not love the duo or even this song, but I'd like to congratulate Zooey Deschanel for being one of very few indie artists who not only dances in their videos, but dances well. No, Feist doesn't count.
• "Thinkin' Bout Something" HansonThe boys ingeniously recreated a scene in The Blues Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic guest stars too. This is the coolest the boys have ever been.