Best Music Videos of 2007
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Lists, Music.
10. Liars “Plaster Casts of Everything”
Recasting scenes reminiscent to that of David Lynch’s mind-boggling Lost Highway might seem something horribly inappropriate given the context of the standard music video. Given also that it crosses disturbing light projection with brutally honest images of the human body, the video sound more and more like something inconducive to the format of short form film…or so one might think. Liars take that disbelief and turn it on its head, in the process creating one of the most visually surprising pieces of short form film the year may have seen.
9. Jarvis Cocker “Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time”
However strong the desire was to post the visually minimal video for Jarvis Cocker’s “Running The World” it doesn’t hold a candle to that of “Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time.” Beginning as something farcical and turning into something absolutely absurd…well, I suppose that’s Jarvis Cocker in a nutshell.
8. Air “Mer du Japon”
The video for Air’s “Mer du Japon” is visually stunning as it interwinds beautiful graphics with that of its equally beautiful dancers. Every inch of it is tastefully crafted, all fully wreaking of a French mystique: synth over bubbles, holographic marine life, interpretive ballet and…chicks making out. Have I mentioned how much I love the French?
7. RJD2 “Work It Out”
“Work It Out” helps redefine the modern dance video with help from contemporary artist Bill Shannon and his ability to interact with various accessories throughout the video’s three and a half minutes. Shannon’s unusual technique with his crutches came about not by choice, but by necessity as he was born with a degenerative hip condition – having since warped the ability into a wonderfully creative output. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, huh?
6. José González “Killing For Love”
Both this and the video for González’s “Down The Line” find themselves based on Jim Woodring’s 1994 story Manhog Beyond The Face. Directed by the pair of Andreas Nilsson (The Knife’s “Silent Shout” video) and Mikel Cee Karlsson “Killing For Love” takes the unusual storyline and illustrates it as doubtlessly English as can be (ie: there’s lots of weird nudity).
5. Justice “D.A.N.C.E.”
Illustrating the video with an immensely vibrant use of color and contrast “D.A.N.C.E.” creates a fantastic setting by developing a broken cartoonish karaoke. The video perfectly creates a visual accompaniment that is just as exciting and fresh as the track itself.
4. Sia “Breath Me”
“Breathe Me” was Co-Directed by Sia (Furler) and Daniel Askill earlier this year, the video itself utilizing stop-motion in addition to some 2500 Polaroid photos. “Breath Me” is brilliantly constructed and executed in a stunning manner that draws the viewer in without using any overwhelming visual theatrics. While Kanye may have spent a million on his videos, Sia (even at fair market value for those 2500 Polaroids) spent far less and the resulting shots are equal if not better.
3. Aesop Rock “None Shall Pass”
Creating a fantastic visual depiction of a free flowing metropolis, San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish worked along with design team Ordinary Kids on this, the video for the first single from the album of the same title, “None Shall Pass.” Each character’s costume was to depict an individual’s personality and ultimately assist in defining who they are when time came for their judgment. Or at least that’s what Aesop thinks.
2. Grizzly Bear “Knife”
Opening to a scene that equally depicts Land of the Lost and a digitalized adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations, “Knife” quickly strays from using standard cinematic practices such as building and maintaining a sensible “plot,” or “character development” or just generally “making sense.” Within seconds of the opening shot the story line crumbles into a series of odd scenes invoking a stone-person, holistic medicine and a bubbling sub-surface skin infection. While the creativity and execution are brilliant, I must admit that if it makes sense to you, you are a wiser person than I.
1. Kanye West feat. Zach Galifianakis & Will Oldham “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
Prior to a Band of Horses show in New York this past July Zach Galifianakis debuted his video interpretation of Kanye West’s “Cant Tell Me Nothing.” The video, which lit up internet switchboards mere moments after its unveiling, depicts Galifianakis on his North Carolina farm with Bonnie “Prince” Billy singer Will Oldham simply living the good life. Opening with a grimacing shot of Galifiankis wielding a chainsaw the video continues its off-the-beaten-path feel with the duo positioning themselves (with lips packed full of chew) amongst tractors, straw bails, livestock and a dancing troupe of girls. Surprisingly though, no sign of Kanye West…which might be why it’s the best video of the year.