Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Have to Take the Good With the Bad

A few high profile music videos wandered on my radar this past week, so I thought I would take a moment or two and share them with you.

The first one is "The Fear," the first single off Lily Allen's latest CD It's Not Me, It's You (You've all heard it, right? It's fan-fucking-tastic!)

It's quite breathtaking, non? The concept is nothing original, but the execution, with it's bright pastels, quirky male dancers and oversized sets, is astounding. To me, it feels like a lost sequence to the greatest musical never made, if that makes any sense at all. With so many artists wasting opportunity after opportunity by making shitty music videos, it's nice to see someone like Lily Allen taking risks and doing things a bit differently than everyone else. Then again, that's always been a part of her charm.

Next up is Girls Aloud's latest single from their Out of Control album (the #1 album of 2008, in case you forgot), the 4 minute radio edit of their 6+ minute masterpiece, "Untouchable."

It's no masterpiece, but it's 100 times better than the "Biology" video (which is the epitome of shit videos, especially disheartening since the song is easily one of Top 5 of the decade) and that's good enough for me. "Untouchable" copies the usual Girls Aloud/any girl group music video formula- stick the girls in different "situations" and edit them together- but does it in a totally kick ass way. The escalating manicness of the flashing lights and frentic camerawork as the song (and video) reaches a heart racing ending is nicely done.

On a side note, you simply must watch this fanmade video for the Girls Aloud B-side "Singapore" (thanks Dave for the heads up!). If only more music videos took risks like this.

Finally, after three great videos, I have to bring you back down to reality and show you that not every (in other words: 99%) music video being made is amazing. The latest example: the Ciara and Justin Timberlake duet "Love Sex Magic"

Let it be known that I actually quite like the song, but, oh Lord, this video is a complete piece of garbage. Where do I even begin? The general misogyny of the video- Justin gets to sit back and enjoy while it's up to Ciara to provide the sexual stimulation by dancing sexually and wearing skimpy clothing- very nearly turns my stomach every time I see it. It's especially disheartening to see Ciara stoop to the cheapness of this clip after her brilliant anti-gangsta-bullshit anthem "Like a Boy." What happened to that Ciara? I loved her so. Also, just as with the "4 Minutes" video, why are you going to waste the talents of two talented dancers by having them sit around and, in Ciara's case, do ridiculous stripper moves? I want to see them suggest sex through a swanky, sexy dance, not see Ciara lick Justin's earlobe. Gross. I think I'm going to take a shower now.

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