There was a millisecond when I couldn’t get enough of’Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster The People which ended abruptly when I heard it mixed into a mix with actual pop music on Z100. This was just not the place for them and it was so jarring. While anything that makes Top 40 radio is then ‘pop’ as in ‘popular’ music, rhymically there are ebbs and flows and it slowed the flow down inside a otherwise dance music marathon. Here’s are my favorite pure pop videos of the year.
5. Britney Spears “Dancing Til The World Ends” – dance, or at least motion like you are dancing Britney. I have to give props for my fellow December baby who turned 30 the first week of the month and who’s mantoy Jason turns 40 today. Double December Couple?! Powerful. If you want to see Jason’s torso watch Britney’s “Criminal” video, but if you wanna dance you’ve come to the right place.
4. Swedish House Mafia “Save The World” there is seriously nothing as pure as canine love. When you come home and this little soul comes to find you and just lift your spirits, it is a thing of beauty. Hats off to SHM who champion the healing power of canine love.
3. Selena Gomez & The Scene “Love You Like A Love Song” there is no denying I would like this one on repeat-eat-eat-eat. It’s fun, it’s young and appeals to the karaoke lover in me, plus I sing this to my Frenchie when we are in the car. It brings me back to my Disney Days working for the Mouse House. I love the sassy Ms. Gomez and this song was an instant favorite as soon as I heard it.
2. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris “We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place)” did they meet at work? No, more like a rave that morphed into a crack den, but this tune is undeniable and we see Riri acting. This one shows off quite nicely the trend of director’s treating videos like films with title credits and story plots.
1. David Guetta “Where Them Girls At?” feat. Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida. I love a great party song and this one hits it right on the head.
There’s something about rock music that it can transport you to visceral emotions or sway you with it’s unexpected deep lyrics. As the former Head of Music Video Programming Once Upon A Pre-Recession at Yahoo! Music a few years ago, I always pay special attention to videos and their impact. While the art form sometimes suffers under it’s own weight and many ridiculous egos, it’s a place where artists in the indie-alt rock category can often catch our eye and bust our eyes wide open, so here are five that stayed with me this year.
5. SBTRTK “Wildfire” the raw emotion is timed so well with the song, it evokes the tension and resolve of the musicality of the song.
4. Washed Out “Eyes Be Closed” – I’m the first to admit, there’s nothing too complicated going on in this video but some times all you need is a woman, a motorcycle, great lighting, confetti and a really cool song.
3. Snow Patrol “Called Out In The Dark” easily could have made my funniest videos of the year. Endearing, heart warming and a really great song. I love that Gary Lightbody is dressed like, well Gary Lightbody.
2. Florence + The Machine “Shake It Out (Aol Sessions)”- a stunning and captivating performance by Flo. I am addicted to her new album ‘Ceremonials’ with my favorite track chaging with as each new track begins. I was lucky enough to have been at this taping and it was a true highlight of my year, while a co-worker had to gag me in the director’s booth from singing along. Ohhhh wooooooahhhh ohhhh. Don’t the edison lights look amazing? Pure love for the crew at Aol.
1. And finally… you know he had to be number one, James Blake’s “The Wilhelm Scream.” This was one of my first introductions to this clever, talented young man. I had the random luck of stepping up and becoming his U.S. product manager until a few weeks ago. I will say from SXSW to the last time I saw him in October, James is a very special artist and made me less cynical about the music industry. So why don’t you just fall in?
Making em laugh and they’ll always come back. This is my advice over and over to which some listen and perhaps doubled their social media because of it, and some ignored are on the outskirts of life! Just kidding.
These are my favorite funny videos of the year:
5. Katy Perry “Last Friday Night”- wait, what? You know while I’m not a great fan of Katy’s when she sings out of her range, I love that she can write a great pop song and this video is hilarious. Who doesn’t want Debbie Gibson as their mom?!!
4. K$sha “Blow”- Unicorns. Van Der Beek. Lasers. We’re young and we’re bored.
3. Thom Yorke “Single Ladies” – originally Radiohead’s ‘Lotus Flower’ amped up to remind us that “Single Ladies” is the greatest song to dance to since the invention of Beyonce’s booty. This spawned many other syncs of the dance to “Milkshake” and “Safetydance” as well as giving Thom some guns to kill The Biebs, but this one is still my favorite.
2. Sara Bareilles “Gonna Get Over You” – very nearly almost forget Sara’s best video ever! Who hasn’t danced down shopping aisles losing themselves in the moment?
And finally… anyone who worked with me will appreciate and know that I brainwashed them to use this song as a stress release and made it into my personal themesong, often coming in to find I uh, threw a lot of stuff on the ground…..thanks to Beth, Frank, Nat, Michelle and Renata for helping me pick that shit up off the ground.
1. The Lonely Island “Threw It On The Ground”
I do want to mention an honorable mention: The Lonely Island feat. Michael Bolton “Jack Sparrow.” I became obsessed with this song from the first time I heard it in a meeting, which was awful because then I didn’t have my own copy to listen to ad nauseum for another couple of months. When the video came out, I think I had it on repeat 24/7 for at least a week. I would walk down the street busting out ‘Life is a box of chocolates and my name is Forrest Gump.’ Not better.