The massive, unpredictable commercial success of the Straight Outta Compton movie is going to cause a lot of ripple going forward. It’s going to have implications in black cinema, in Hollywood studios wondering whether it’s financially risky to make movies with almost entirely black casts. (Honestly, those studios should’ve learned that lesson over and over again by now, but they always forget.) It’s going to mean we get a whole lot more biopics about rappers. It’s going to force people to think really hard about sweeping the problematic parts of a story away before they tell it. It’s going to have implications for the ongoing financial viability of straight-up, no-frills street-rap. And if we’re lucky, maybe it’ll remind a few studio executives that you can tap into deep things if you combine great music with iconic imagery in the right ways. The music-video world has been doing that for decades, and it continues to do it. A whole lot of good videos came out this week, and we’ve got five of them below.
5. How To Dress Well – “Precious Love” (Dir. Colin Bergh)
There’s not a whole lot to this video, and Tom Krell has written that he and his bandmates put it together because they had a spare afternoon and they wanted to thank all the people who supported an album that came out a year ago. But the comfortable warmth of the whole scene, the way the bandmates look at each other, is absolutely pleasant and heartwarming on a deep level. And for whatever reason, the lighting and the decor recall any number of the videos for the early-’90s R&B songs that Krell loves so desperately.
4. DJDS – “You Don’t Have To Be Alone” (Dir. Daniel Pappas & Nick Walker)
A video that stars a beautiful animal is an automatic win. A video that stars a beautiful animal, actually making some attempt at capturing that animal’s beauty and then using that animal in a story with a real emotional arc? That’s art.
3. Royal Headache – “Carolina” (Dir. Damian Sawyers)
Not that it was a mystery before, but this band’s appeal is a whole lot easier to figure out once you see this crazy, charismatic fucker out running around. Remember when the people who made rock videos remembered how to make bands look cool? When did that stop happening? Because it feels like a miracle when one remembers how to pull it off the way this one does.
2. The Chemical Brothers – “Sometimes I Feel So Deserted” (Dir. Ninian Doff)
There’s this magical moment that happens when you’re watching a certain kind of excellent and deeply strange music video. It’s the moment when you stop wondering what the hell is going on and you just go with it. I got there about 30 seconds into this one. I couldn’t tell you what this one is about, but I know it’s something special.
1. Tame Impala – “Let It Happen” (Dir. David Wilson)
The prettiest, strangest vision of what happens when you die that I’ve seen since Waking Life.