The Ashton Shuffle: “Can’t Stop Now”
House duo The Aston Shuffle don’t garner the same love in the U.S. that they get back home in Australia, but maybe this futuristic video will gain them a few more American fans. “Can’t Stop Now” is the first single off their upcoming sophomore album, and this pounding club jam is worth a view and listen. In it, a couple steps up to a shooter game cabinet a la Time Crisis and gets sucked into a videogame that’s equal parts Grand Theft Auto and Tron. The Bonnie and Clyde couple must rob a virtual bank, threaten virtual civilians, and then outrun the virtual police!
Kanye West: “BLKKK SKKN HEAD”
It’s finally here! A few weeks ago Kanye West blew his lid in a very Kanye way when the unfinished video for “BLKK SKKN HEAD” was leaked online. Now the finished product is here, and it’s unlike anything he’s has done before. The entirely black and white video is completely computer generated, featuring a motion-capture Kanye, spooky eyes in black hoods, and dogs. Not only that, but heading to West’s website allows users to interact with the video. Viewers can speed up, slow down, and take pictures while watching.
Franz Ferdinand: “Love Illumination”
Franz Ferdinand is back and even better than last week. This one features the band playing inside a too-tiny room, choreographed horse-people, a nearly-naked harem feeding cherries to a painted up man wielding a ray gun, and much more Fellini-esque imagery. What any of this has to do with love or illumination is anyone’s guess, but this inventive video is never boring.
KT Tunstall: “Invisible Empire”
Game of Thrones—or at least its paraphernalia—is inescapable these days. In the video for her new single, “Invisible Empire” KT Tunstall valiantly rides a horse, does sword battle with an evil knight in full armor, and reports back to some kind of fantasy queen. The great makeup and costumes will recall days at the Renaissance Faire, but shooting the video wasn’t easy for Tunstall. She put up a still from the video on her website with the caption, “This is why I had a very sore arse. For a week.” Still, things weren’t all bad; she included another photo of her battle weapon with the caption, “Yes, that is a sword. Yes, it is awesome.”
Rizzle Kicks: “Lost Generation”
The references are a little skewed towards British media, but the message is applicable to the entire generation deemed “Lost” by Rizzle Kicks. The band teamed up with GoThinkBig, a work-experience organization, to recruit the extras featured in the video that showcases a bouncy, upbeat tune that’s more than mere froth. The video and the lyrics both damn everything from reality television to fame, gender stereotypes, and how technology makes it harder to communicate. Dancers are more concerned with being glued to their cell phones than engaging with others, and specific targets include The X Factor and foul-mouthed talk show host Jeremy Kyle.
Nick Cannon: “Me Sexy”
“Me Sexy” may not be a grammatically correct title, but this video makes up for that with the year’s best mustache on a Spanish-speaking pimp. Said pimp and Nick Cannon have a Zoolander style “walk-off” to prove who is sexiest. “Everybody in the place, let me see you sexy face, magnum, blue steel,” sings Cannon on the first single off his upcoming album, White People Party Music. So who wins? Who cares?! Everyone is sexy in this vid.
John Legend: “Made To Love”
Finally, there’s a video this summer that figured out how to include nudity while still cleverly obscuring enough to just squeak by into SFW territory. Robin Thicke could learn a thing or two from John Legend’s gorgeous “Made to Love.” Parts of nude, intertwined lovers are flashed with such tight close ups that the meaning is preserved while not showing anything. Other times the bodies are obscured by a funhouse mirror effect. Besides the lovers, close-up shots of Legend himself and swirling ink, melting liquid and flowers, and possibly melting people push this excellent song to its climax.