In this week’s top music video picks, we pull a Benjamin Button with Elton John, then levitate off the ground and turn into a bird with Lady Gaga. From hip-hop to electronic and indie rock, featuring artists like London and Elton John, see which music videos are going viral.
Avril Lavinge, "Rock N Roll"
Avril Lavigne goes full Tank Girl in this video for her first single off her upcoming self-titled album. It’s a post-apocalyptic comic book world of girls dressed like extras in Sucker Punch, evil bear sharks (a bear-shark hybrid, of course) and a helpful Billy Zane who flies off in a rocket powered Segway. But that’s not why this video has been spreading across the internet like wildfire. The real gem in the crown of craziness is when Danica McKeller, known to many as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, makes out with Avril Lavigne after their drunken dog gets into a car wreck. Oh, and there is a Wonder Years-style voice over about the kiss.
Lady Gaga, "Applause"
Lady Gaga's lead single from her new album ARTPOP is certainly garnering that applause that she talks about loving so much. The song has hit #1 on the dance charts, but how is the video? It's weird and colorful and involves Lady Gaga coming out of top hats, turning into animals and being in various states of undress. So, it is what we've come to expect from the artsy popstar. There's not so much narrative, but there's a lot of catwalking and a whole slew of lingerie for fans to enjoy and applaud.
Elton John, "Home Again"
Benjamin Button is a great movie, but if you don't have the time for a full-length feature, this video has you covered. Elton John doesn't appear in the video himself, but instead a series of actors portray the same man, getting younger and younger the closer he gets to home. The scenery is beautiful, including green rolling hills and massive waterfalls and the ending will leave you scratching your head.
Big Sean featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko, "Beware"
Not exactly your typical hip-hop video. "Beware" by Big Sean is awash in technicolor static, colorful sceneries overlaid over Big Sean. The electronic fuzz and scratches flow with the music and the fragmentation of the video matches the lyrics which talk about how men should beware of women with broken hearts. It's a trippy for sure, but worth a view.
To Kill a King, "Rays"
"Rays" is a confusing coming-of-age story about a young man who doesn't leave his house until the day he sees a girl approach the fence. It's confusing at times; what's real and what's a hallucination isn't always clear. But you quickly get the feel for the love story of a lonely boy, a kind girl and the people who don't want to see them together, backed by the music of U.K. folk rockers To Kill a King.
Coming back from a hiatus, this is the first single from Oakland R&B artist London's album, Welcome to Londonland. It's a pretty straight bedroom jam, slinky and sultry, but there's a hint of something darker. This music video is simple but gorgeous. A silhouetted woman's shape is twisted and distorted until it looks alien. The video culminates with an Exorcist-style full body levitation. That's pretty high.
Lucy Spraggan, "Mountains"
As it turns out, a positive attitude and completely ridiculous props can make a video. It's a feel-good song about following your dreams no matter how difficult that seems and was reportedly written by Lucy Spraggan on the back of a banknote after talking to a stranger. What propels this into great-video territory is every character having to lug around comically oversized props that represent their dreams. There's just something so weird and silly about having to watch a small child push a guitar case the size of a BMW up a hill. If prop humor appeals to you, check it out.