Ten Music Video Highlights of 2011
It’s that time of the year again when everyone makes their lists of the best things they’ve seen or heard. In my case, however, I don’t like to call my list “the best of” because I am not sure if what my picks are the best choices. Pretending to list “the best” of something is giving me self-importance and stroking my ego.
Very much like last years’ Ten Music Video Highlights of 2010, these are the Ten Music Video Highlights of 2011. They may or not be my favorite picks, but they are very good music videos. Each video is different in music style, execution and sometimes medium.
Having said that, there were a lot of good music videos in 2011 across a variety of genres and it was really hard to list the ten most significant. For instance, there were some very good animated music videos like The Shrine / An Argument [MV] by Fleet Foxes, Boxcar Fair [MV] by Little Tybee, Hate You [MV] by 2NE1, Flower [MV] by Amos Lee, the bizarre after-school monster porn special of Fantasy [MV] by DyE, Amy, I [MV] by Jack’s Mannequin and the inappropriate Variations sur Marilou [MV] by Alain Bashung.
Many animated music videos weren’t limited to the traditional forms of animation — 2D animation, CGI, stop-motion or puppets. There were many artists who made mixed-media videos like the Her-Morning-Elegance-esque Korean music video, Turned Off the TV [MV] by Leessang, jelly-beaned In your Arms [MV] by Kina Grannis, or Me Voy [MV] by Jesse & Joy.
Mainstream music had the ever-present OK Go with All is Not Lost [MV], the strangeness of Lady Gaga in mermaid Frankenstein something-something Joe Calderone attire for Yoü and I [MV], or the also kind of Apocalyptic Run the World (Girls) [MV] by Beyonce. The Korean music scene exploded with some very good videos starting with two of this year’s favorites: Big Bang’s Love Song [MV] and DBSK’s Before U Go [MV].
Women in the Korean music scene didn’t disappoint — Sunny Hill’s Midnight Circus [MV], Brown Eyed Girls’ double release of Sixth Sense [MV] and Cleansing Cream [MV], You&I [MV] by IU, and the stylishly violent Get It In [MV] by Drunken Tiger.
There were also some very notable LGBT-related music videos like our #1 pick for LGBT Music Video for the LGBT Blogathon, Denise Ho’s double LGBT music video feature for Infatuation [MV], Rainie Yang’s Scorched Pair of Ears [MV] and even a brief glance in Julieta Venegas’ Ya Conoceran [MV].
Yes, 2011 feels like it has been a good year for music videos, or maybe it’s just been a lot easier to keep up with them en masse thanks to technology and social media. There were also some notable unofficial music videos worth mentioning like Now at Last by Feist put together by Lawrence Chen.
So let’s start with our list of music video highlights of 2011! Though there is a lack of socially-conscious and heavy-handed videos in contrast to last year’s list, there are one or two that might catch your eye.
Hermitude – Speak of the Devil
This immediately brings memories of SOUR’s Hibi no Neiro (日々の音色) [MV], though I have no idea if that’s good or bad. The video is definitely fun.
10. World Order – Machine Civilization
World Order’s slo-mo walk is commendable — they’re the best slo-mo walkers out there, and they do it everywhere and at any time. Don’t be surprised if you’re walking around town and these guys show up.