It’s been decades since MTV and music videos were synonymous with one another. Once a year, though, they get back together for a proudly frivolous awards show. And increasingly, nobody watches. I didn’t even consider trying to watch this year’s VMAs, even though I guess I’m happy that they chose a really good video as their Video Of The Year. It’s interesting, though. Maybe 10 years ago, videos needed MTV; the artform needed that one moment where it got some kind of recognition. Today, MTV needs videos. Music videos are way more culturally relevant than anything that MTV actually does air. “This Is America,” for instance, was an entirely YouTube phenomenon. What did MTV have that even came close to that? The Jersey Shore reunion? You’re doing great, music videos. This week’s picks are below.
I should start riding a bike again.
It just feels good to see Janet dance again.
My favorite Ka videos are the dark, rainy black-and-white ones that he directs himself. And I have a general bias against animated music videos. But this one reflects the themes of the song with visual flair and with a sense for the dramatic. It works.
A single-take music video — fake, but still impressive — that makes room for vivid color schemes, endorphin-rush choreography, work-escape fantasy, and a subplot about a hopeless sad-sack pickup artist. That’s pretty good!
Every once in a while, a video can be made up of nothing but rap-video cliches, but it can execute those cliches with such panache that it makes them look mythic and lyrical. This is one of those times.