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TBTS Reviews: 10 Popular Music Videos, a Tie Between Best Coast “Our Deal” and Jennifer Hudson “No One Gonna Love You”

October 18, 2011
Beyonce, “Countdown”: With all the jump cuts, costume/hairstyle/location changes, colors, props, frenetic pacing, and staccato vocal and instrumental delivery, I’m pretty sure I’ve developed ADHD just on the basis of this vid alone. I guess that’s the point, but, damn, my head hurts. With a video like this–all flash with little substance and a weaker hook than it first appears–I have to wonder that Beyonce is “counting down” the minutes until her pop culture relevance fades.
Pearl Jam with Ben Harper, “Red Mosquito” (live): This soars and seethes. Outstanding. PJ is riding high, pun intended, on 20th anniversary waves. Long may you run, boys.

Jason Derulo, “It Girl”: At first glance, at least Derulo has this going for him: rather than promoting himself as a player and a dog like so many of his contemporaries, his chooses to profess his love for one woman, well, a “girl,” forsaking all others. Yet, there are some context clues that make his loyalty suspect; for one, the camera focuses on Derulo, his property, his possessions, and his talents, rather than his purported object of his affections (operative phrase). Regarding the video, from the director credit in the opening sequence to the opulent visuals focusing on wealth and overabundant material luxuries, this “reformed-playa-who-finds-true-love” shtick has been played out. The It Girl becomes just another Quit Girl when Derulo’s fixation wanes, exposing his naked gaucherie.

Ximena Sariñana, “Different”: Her single isn’t bad as far that goes, but really looks like Screech from Saved by the Bell. I feel kinda funny.

Kelly Clarkson, “Mr. Know It All”: I get it: she has put up with some domineering, negligent, career-derailing asshole (or numerous assholes, in relationships or the press) for too long. Literally, more power to ya. But this doesn’t excuse a lack of creativity and precision, especially when your goal is a grand fuck-you gesture to “him” and/or “them”; she’s confusing the target(s). Clarkson sings well, but the problems are the usual: poor songwriting and same-iness. She’s best as an interpreter of the material of others; why not look to the source instead? This is bland, mid-tempo karaoke pop that could have been empowering–Pink does that much better and with more forcefulness. Oh, did I mention the songwriting? How many times can a person rhyme using the same word as the previous line? Ms. Clarkson will find a way, and if not, Christmas is just around the corner: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/894757.The_Frustrated_Songwriter_s_Handbook. Bump that up to the top of the list, maybe an early present. We can’t wait any longer. Leak this press to her, will you?

Jennifer Hudson, “No One Gonna Love You”: Sadly, I will confess to giving JHud the high hat. Credit where credit is due: this is a good video with a positive message starring a strong singer. Points for a storyline that involves a man *not* fucking every thing by fucking everything. It has style, some nuance, sweet, and depth. It feels “classic,” like the song and vid might last more than three minutes. Note to Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson.

Lady Gaga, “Yoü and I”: On first impressions, this seems an average (at best) Shania Twain single. Something’s going on; it’s a trap. Very conventional, almost suspiciously so. I think that Lady Blahblah is taking the piss, to borrow a phrase from our Brit friends.

Jill Scott with Anthony Hamilton, “So In Love”: Recommended for fans of Al Green, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin. That’s all you needed to say.

Best Coast, “Our Deal”: After letting the song rattle around in the gulliver, this “West Side Story”-inspired video and song has won me over. Featuring members of Arrested Development, Community (non-singing roles), what’s not to like? Drew Barrymore…isn’t that the girl from those makeup commercials? She directs videos now?

Oasis, “Don’t Look In Anger” (live): I used to say that this song was one of the best singles that The Beatles never wrote (c.f. the Lennon rip-off piano part that opens the track). I still say that, eh? Too bad that they’re assholes. They’ve made some good music. With Liam suing Noel (or is it vice versa?), we may not hear from them for a while. This vid from a 2008 concert captures them in fine fettle.

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3 Comments
  1. Rickard permalink
    October 19, 2011 5:40 pm

    Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds have a brand new album out this week. Listening to it now, a couple of pretty solid songs so far. From what I have seen, we won’t be hearing from Oasis proper again though.

  2. Rickard permalink
    October 19, 2011 5:42 pm

    I guess technically the band’s name is Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

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