Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Great Music Videos Vol. 2

This is the second of my favourite music video collections. Personally I think the music video has become a stale art form. Lets face it, most of them are merely long adverts and don't really add anything to the music or even really stand up to close examination. So when I see a well executed video it adds a new dimension to the song, the band and the album.  So here are a few more of my favourite music video picks that have that extra something to them.

Tool - 'Parabola'
'Lateralus', 2001

Since the release of the promotional video for the song 'Sober', Tool have become the kings of the medium. The band's visuals have, since year zero, been under the direction of guitarist Adam Jones. Jones, an accomplished artist and prop/film maker, has been the director of all of Tools videos often collaboration with other artists such as Alex Grey to create stunning metaphorical stories. The videos don't necessarily reflect the contents of the lyrics, but instead react to the music to bring out a hidden depth to the work. Often using surreal images and characters coupled with occult symbols creates a rich final product.

Nine Inch Nails - 'Perfect Drug'
'The Perfect Drug' (Single), 1997

Nine Inch Nails are not always known for their music videos. 'Closer', 'Wish', 'We're In This Together Now', and 'Only' receive a lot of airplay, but they're perhaps a third of the band's promotional video output from the past 20-odd-years. It isn't the strongest track in the NIN back catalogue, but due to its Edward Gorey inspired Gothic video about a father mourning his dead son the song spread like wildfire. Reznor once called the video "Bloated and over-budget" but it fits in well with the afore mentioned NIN videos for its innovative style and use of special effects.

ohGr - 'maJiK'
'SunnyPsyOp', 2003

'Cracker' from ohGr's previous album 'Welt' might be a stronger song, but the animation of the accompanying video was a lot more primitive compared to 'maJiK'. The stop motion in this video is more advanced and mixed with CG for a more fluid performance compared to the basic style of 'Cracker'. The bite of the video is a little more subtle too. Yes there is the obvious anti-George W. Bush theme throughout, but there is a strong message about the commercialisation of pop-culture at the same time reflected in the parodied brand names.

Talking Heads - 'And She Was'
'Little Creatures', 1985

There is a very organic look to this video that is endearing. The animation looks very dated, yet it doesn't look like anything else around today. The earthy colours and photograph sequences used to create this form of stop-motion animation are very beautiful; While the story of the song is played out in a surreal and whimsical fashion with everyday objects endowed with new life through their artificial movement.

David Bowie - 'Thursday's Child'
'Hours', 1999

The last pick of this bunch is 'Thursday's Child' by David Bowie. This may not be to most people's taste but it is beautifully shot and played by everyone. The obvious story is there of a man remembering the "one that got away" so vividly she appears in the room and kisses him. Bowie's performance though has so much going for it. The awkward singing along to the radio as he realises the song is summing up his feelings. The not saying a word to the woman next to him who he spends his life with. The sense of lonliness and regret conveyed in his eyes and face. They all come together to convey, not just a sense of middle-aged despair, but also that own feeling many of us have felt when together with someone who is not the person we really want to be with.

Great Music Videos Vol. 3 coming soon...


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