One of the main problems with music videos today is the lax in creativity that a big budget sometimes brings. Videos today, as strange as it sounds, suffer from having too much money. Why work on a plot, or storyline, or dare for the video to even make sense, if you have enough money to glitz over a video. Format’s selections for the Top 10 Music Videos of 2006 are the exception to what is mostly available today, as they actually use thought, story and imagery to tell a story and actually accompany the songs they’re attached to.
10. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On
This video is not full of flash and money obviously was lavished on the project but a bunch of women riding around on bikes manages to capture the imagination and attention of the viewer just as easily as the bubbly sweet music gets stuck in your head. Both relaxing and bewitching, this video is the songs perfect companion.
9. Weird Al Yankovic – White And Nerdy
Weird Al is a hard man to describe. You have to give him credit for still being around nearly 30 years after his first release. You also have to give him credit for being an old man who can even jokingly rap almost as well as the artists he imitates. Even moreso, you have to give him credit for still having his finger on the pulse of what people find funny today. With help from Mad TV allumni, Al pulls off quite a few jokes inthree minutes and in turn, reached the top of the charts unexpectedly this year.
8. Dixie Chicks – Not Ready To Make Nice
It’s not hard to tell where the Chicks were coming from with this video. After slamming George W. three years ago, the Chicks found themselves under siege from mostly everyone in the red states. Three years later, they resurface, noticeably angrier, and as the video suggests, they’re ready for confrontation, not peace. The video strikes the same chords of the songs battle cry and though their career on country radio is most likely over, it leaves us hoping for a future regardless of the format.
7. Justin Timberlake – Sexy Back
Justin successfully pawned off all responsibility for the nipple-gate scandal on Janet Jackson and decided he wanted to show the world he has a sex drive. What we get is Sexyback. Sexyback is sexy, in places, but it’s slick and glossy more than anything else. Sex meets espionage in this futuristic homage to just about any spy movie that ever existed, and it helps to show a more mature Justin to his fans.
6. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
There’s no better way to illustrate the notion of “crazy” than to literally illustrate inkblots. One of the freshest albums of the year has a single with one of the freshest videos. The video is intricately woven and obviously took not only a great imagination but great amounts of skill to pull off. For as long as Gnarls is a duo, I expect off the cuff videos to match their offbeat style of music.
5. Lilly Allen – Smile
Some on these shores might not know who Lily Allen is just yet but one look at smile will let you know she has a little bit of a dark side. Since TLC’s “No Scrubs” came out in ’99 there have been very few songs that have really taken a fresh approach to infidelity. “Smile” celebrates a brutal revenge on an unfaithful ex that even a man can enjoy.
4. Gorillaz – El Mañana
The Gorillaz drop a video that is beautifully animated and poignantly shows what humans can do to beauty in this world. It’s not as lavish as a “Clint Eastwood,” or as elaborate an undertaking as “19-2000” but its subtle bells and whistles make it a pleasure to watch.
3. Daft Punk – Prime Time Of Your Life
Tony Gardner directed this controversial video from Daft Punk, which, depending on your mood, can be taken to mean a number of different things. A young girl sees the world in skeletons—including one of Britney Spears—which leads you to believe the video is a commentary on body image for young girls. The video is disturbing to say the least and though nothing really jumps out as offensive, it was banned for its imagery of a young girl cutting off her own flesh to become a skeleton herself — alright it’s a little offensive. This videos idea is fresh and it’s pulled off beautifully, much like little Molly’s face toward the end.
2. Pink – Stupid Girls
Quick and powerful blows at Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson combined were the best way for Pink to prove she’s not dead with her latest effort. The video takes up the fight for intelligent blondes and girls everywhere who’ve been witness to the world’s baffling obsession with the feigned ditz. Battling what she thinks is rotting the minds of little girls everywhere, Pink lets us all rejoice in finally getting to laugh at something so ridiculous that we realize how much of our time is spent focusing on it.
1. Ok Go – Here It Goes Again
The effect of the non-stop motion video is unquestioned. There aren’t too many out there, and there’s a reason. The perfect synchronization of all on screen events with no editing is very difficult. It’s easy to see why most of these videos become fan favorites. This video, aided by Youtube became one of the most watched clips this year and Ok Go were catapulted to the first of their 15 minutes. Where they’ll end up in the future is up to their next video.