You would’ve never expected Metallica to be the next A-list artist to try out the whole “visual album” thing, but that happened this week. They made their own Ride The Lemonade. And some of the videos are pretty good! With “ManUNKind,” veteran pop-video transgressor Jonas Åkerlund made a nicely gory salute to Scandinavian black metal; you find your attention starting to wander by the six-minute mark, but then knives start hitting flesh. With “Murder One,” Robert Valley effectively canonized Lemmy as a larger-than-life cartoon figure. And best of all, with “Spit Out The Bone,” Phil Mucci made a deliriously violent low-budget post-apocalyptic fever-dream vision. Still, making my way through these videos, I found myself wishing that Metallica had used that marketing budget on one or two great videos rather than 12 boring-to-good ones. Not everyone can be Beyoncé. So Metallica are not among this week’s picks. This week’s picks are below.
5. John Legend – “Love Me Now” (Dir. Nabil)
It’s nice to see that even when he’s making sentimental up-with-people greeting-card mush, Nabil finds ways to invent it with diamond-sharp vision and radical empathy. I normally curl my lip at stuff like this. This time, I was quietly moved.
4. Travis Scott – “90210” (Feat. Kacy Hill) (Dir. Hype Williams)
How is the stop-motion animated version of Travis Scott more lifelike and emotionally resonant than the real flesh-and-blood version of Travis Scott?
3. Cashmere Cat – “Trust Nobody” (Feat. Selena Gomez & Tory Lanez) (Dir. Jake Schreier)
This whole thing is just breathtaking, and I commend all the dancers for succeeding in not getting too scared when they were close to the edges of the platform.
2. Jeff Rosenstock – “Blast Damage Days” (Dir. Clay Tatum)
If Mountain Dew was a person, this strikes me as a perfectly accurate representation of the way Mountain Dew would act. (Not Mountain Dew Code Red, though. Mountain Dew Code Red would be a great friend.)
1. PUP – “Sleep In The Heat” (Dir. Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)
There is so much good stuff going on here. There is the beautifully grubby Green Room-style depiction of life on a punk rock tour. There is the fun absurdity of the Bugsy Malone kids-as-adults conceit. There is the chance to see that Finn Wolfhard is a real actor who can do more things than pine over a bald telekinetic girl. And there is the story itself, which fucking destroyed me. Dogs are the best.