Sometimes the music is only half the story. Would Michael Jackson’s immortal pop ballad “Thriller” have been the runaway success it was at the dawn of MTV if not for the extended video filled with zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price? Probably not. Though MTV’s clout has diminished significantly in subsequent decades, artists are still releasing videos at a stunning clip, sharing them on Youtube, Vevo, and pretty much every streaming service out there.
Videos not only offer another side of the person making the music, but also of the music itself, adding in context clues and visual cues that enrich the sonic material. They can also be fun, funny, weird, and shocking. Collected below are some of the most interesting and compelling videos released over the last week.
5. Liam Payne And French Montana — “First Time”
This video earned its place on this list for one very good reason: star power, baby! In this corner you have one member of One Direction. In this corner, one of the most beloved rappers of the 21st century. Here they are together, cruising through the streets of New York at night in a top-down convertible. What more do you want than that?
4. Slash — “Driving Rain”
Before pushing play on a video from one of the biggest stars of the ’80s and ’90s rock scene, you probably have a few expectations. Scantily clad girls perhaps. Lots of hair spray. Maybe some sports cars driving through the desert or something? But, no. Slash, didn’t make it to 2018 by doing the expected and his video for his latest single “Driving Rain” essential features puppets that look exactly like he and his bandmates ripping into the songs. That’s right puppets. I really don’t know what more to say.
3. Machine Gun Kelly — “Lately”
There has literally never been a better time in Machine Gun Kelly’s career than now to drop new projects. With the eyes of the rap world on him as he goes toe-to-toe with Eminem, MGK wisely swung through and released a fresh new video for his song “Lately.” The whole vibe is pretty psychedelic where vibrant colors mix with a generally black and white pallet. Kelly himself is holed up in a hotel room it seems either going stir crazy or tripping balls. Either way, it’s something to look at, for sure.
2. Metric — “Now Or Never Now”
Metric unveiled what’s probably the most visually compelling video this week. Directed by Lorraine Nicholson, “Now Or Never Now,” is a noirish and neon view of those wee hours in the morning, just before the club is set to close and the sun is about to peek over the horizon. “Very few [music videos] depict [clubs] as they so often are: pensive, dark and depressing.” Metric singer Emily Haines said. I think it’s fair to say that they nailed that vibe completely.
1. Weezer — “Africa”
There was really no other choice for top video of the week than this one. As comedians might say, it might be a “hat on a hat” in concept, but with Weezer taking on a fan’s viral call to cover Toto’s “Africa” then putting together a video for that song featuring no less than Weird Al Yankovic in his best Rivers Cuomo cosplay, that absurdity levels are just too far off the charts to reasonably ignore.