BEST ACID TRIP: Ke$ha's "Blow"
90s heartthrob (for some) James Van Der Beek + unicorns that bleed rainbows = Somebody's gotta be high.
BEST BIBLICAL REFERENCE: Magnetic Man's "Getting Nowhere" feat. John Legend
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as hooded bikers.
BEST CAMEOS: Chris Brown's "Beautiful People"
Many videos with celeb cameos look orchestrated and excessive, but this video actually made it look organic. List of notable cameos: Swizz Beatz, The Game, Tyga, Estelle, Lil Bow Wow, P. Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Brandy, Timbaland, and T-Pain.
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Beyoncé's "Run the World"
Honestly, she makes every other popstar's attempt to "dance" in a video seem pathetic. Look around. There's no one else who can do it better. Britney gave up the throne years ago.
BEST COMEDY: Sara Bareilles's "Gonna Get Over You"
At first this video seemed...kind of racist. It's not often that you see a white girl dancing around with a bunch of cholos, but then the ending delivers an extremely funny and unexpected twist that explains it all. Who knew Sara had a sense of humor? Or that she'd let Jonah Hill take the director's chair?
BEST CONCERT MIX: Lupe Fiasco's "The Show Goes On"
Concert videos are lazy and boring and completely unappreciated. Fiasco's, however, doesn't seem like a quick-and-dirty afterthought. There's impressive cinematography, fluid transitions, and even a sense that his journey to the stage is a culmination of everything he's worked towards as it flips from the young Fiasco to the present day Fiasco.
BEST DRESS-UP: Jessie J's "Who's Laughing Now"
A young Jessie J rages against her two-faced, middle school bullies, while the present day Jessie J plays dress up and is utterly unrecognizable.
BEST LOVE STORY: James Morrison's "I Won't Let You Go"
It goes from him laying down with her in solidarity to everyone who's watching laying down too. It gives this odd feeling of national unity.
BEST POLITICAL MESSAGE: Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said"
The video shows a world muzzled by the government, who brainwashes and censors the public.
Leave it to Beyonce to make boy bands look uncoordinated.
BEST REMAKE: Cults's "Go Outside"
This video starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco reminded me of the 1987 rom-com Mannequin, except instead of being a plastic doll, Roberts' character climbs out of a film and falls in love with an amateur filmmaker, only to return to her world and break his heart.
BEST SEQUEL: Beastie Boys's "Make Some Noise"
Seth Green, Danny McBride, and Elijah Wood play the young versions of those veteran rappers so that they can continue the saga of the greatest party ever recorded. Later on, Maya Rudolph, Kirsten Dunst, John C. Reilly, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and several actors join them.
BEST SOLO: The Black Keys's "Lonely Boy"
So, the band got this black dude to basically dance throughout their entire song. Just him. It looks like it takes place in the 70s, but no, it's 2011. So simple. Yet endlessly entertaining.
BEST THROWBACK: Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now" feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne
This is your average ghetto rave dance party in an abandoned warehouse. (You've been to one of those before, right?) What makes it cool though are the vibrant neon colors and the throwback homage to Busta Rhymes' 90s video for "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See," where he use to get a lot more creative then his rap equals, distorting visuals and playing dress up.
BEST TRAGEDY: Best Coast's "Our Deal"
It's a modern day Romeo & Juliet, a mix of West Side Story and Grease, directed by Drew Barrymore and starring Chloe Moretz, Tyler Posey, Alia Shawkat, Miranda Cosgrove, Shailene Woodley, and Donald Glover. It's only four minutes long but it managed to sum up the story quite well. And in place of dialogue, there are written and spray-painted notes. It was cleverly adapted.
BEST TRANSFORMATION: Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"
Katy never ceases to amaze me when it comes to not taking herself seriously.
BEST TWIST: Childish Gambino's "Bonfire"
Donald Glover stars in his own horror music video where he plays a man who barely escapes a lynching when his rope is cut. He looks for help and discovers a bonfire of young people who are unaware that a man is coming to lynch one of them. He runs and screams to save them only to discover they can't see him and that he's actually a character in their horror story. Then he ends up back where he was, noose around his neck, freshly cut down, like he's damned to repeat the nightmare over and over. That's one way not to dance around the issue.
BEST VIRAL VIDEO: Beyonce's "Move Your Body"
Beyonce had a "try to make kids lose weight" campaign this year, remixing one of her old beats and making a dance to it. It swept the internet, and schools and kids everywhere were all too pleased to remake it. It's adorable.
BEST VISUALS: The Strokes's "Taken for a Fool"
They illustrated the vibrations of their music with dancing drops of colorful liquid and multiple incarnations of themselves. This is what it feels like on the inside when I listen to music.