I don’t know if you guys knew this, but there are 17 new Beyoncé videos this week. A lot of them are awesome, too. In fact, I had fully expected to write this column about nothing but the five best videos from BEYONCÉ. The one problem with that: You have to actually buy the album, or search deep into the darker corners of the internet, to watch most of these videos. Beyoncé has only made a few of those videos available to the non-buying public, and her legal team has done crack work in removing the rest of them from the internet. So we’ll have to make do with what she’s willing to share and with the other videos that made their way to the internet this week. If this had been an all-Beyoncé column, it would’ve gone something like this: “Blow,” “Flawless,” “XO”, “Yoncé,” “No Angel.” But the actual list is below.
5. Mas Ysa – “Why” (Dir. Thomas Arsenault & Natalia Leite)
Did you know hockey could be pretty? I didn’t know hockey could be pretty.
4. Metronomy – “I’m Aquarius” (Dir. Edouard Salier)
I’m sure this video has big statements to make about the cold vastness of space and the persistence of ancient human symbols or whatever, but it plays like a tribute to old sci-fi pulp-novel cover art — as in, almost every shot would works as a book cover. And in a slow week, that’s good enough for #4.
3. Hot Sugar – “Mama, I’m A Man” (Feat. Antwon, Lakutis & Big Baby Gandhi) (Dir. Hot Sugar)
I’ve already discussed my weakness for videos in which dudes in abandoned warehouses rap at the camera. As it turns out, the same principle is applicable to a video in which dudes on escalators rap at the camera.
2. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Boring Angel” (Dir. Jean Michael Boling)
A complete story, told compellingly and artfully, done entirely through the medium of emojis, and thus an argument, especially for emoji skeptics like me, in favor of the entire existence of emojis.
1. Beyoncé – “XO” (Dir. Terry Richardson)
The one new Beyoncé video that plays out less like a stylists’ showcase and more like a quiet burst of joy. This is quite possibly the most humane thing Terry Richardson has ever done. Shout out to the people at Coney Island that day for not blowing the lid off this whole BEYONCÉ thing months ahead of time.