Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Ten Worst Music Videos of the Year

Though a great music video makes its' worth known without any comparison, it's often helpful to take a look at what doesn't work in order to better appreciate what does. So here's a list of some of the things that didn't work in music videos this year, and some things that where just plain awful...

(We refuse to post all these video atrocities on this site, though some of them have to be seen to be believed...the rest can be found quite easily on YouTube)

10. Snoop Dogg feat. R. Kelly "That's That Shit"
While the song itself is a rather lyrically typical (though the beat is great) jaunt through the opulence of these multi-millionare's daily life, the video is an insipidly annoying affair that reminds us of how ridiculous it is that these guys actually take themselves seriously. But nothing is quite as stupid as the consistent images of beautiful women covered in chainmail from head to toe, I mean is that supposed to be hot? It just makes me want to watch Monty Python more than anything. Which is kind of hot I guess...

9. Paris Hilton "Stars Are Blind"
This song isn't half-bad, I'll even admit I've caught myself singing it alone in the car on a number of occasions. And perhaps it was unfair to expect anything more from the video than what we get, but for such a feel-good tune the video should be a lot more fun. I mean yes it's kind of exciting to watch Paris dance around provacatively for a while, but pretty soon it all starts feeling like an Abercrombie or Gucci ad-campaign except the only thing being sold is Paris herself - which we've all seen countless times before. Plus, Chris Isaak already made this video like 10 years ago.

8. James Blunt "You're Beautiful"
Alright so we get it, Mr. Blunt is baring his soul, he has lost a part of himself, he is naked in the cold without his love etc. etc. But could it be anymore, err, blunt? Plus I get the feeling this is supposed to be sexy in some way, but come on James, you might have some pretty blue eyes but no one's mistaking you for D'Angelo.

7. Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Tell Me Baby"
Viewer or fan-made videos have the potential to be really affective and fun (take Tilly and the Wall or Junior Senior for example), and in 2006 they where all the rage. So what is it about this modestly made video that sucks so hard? Well it's the fact that it's a fake; it's a pseudo attempt at uplifting the spirits and hopes of a number of failed artists but in actuality it's a glorified tribute to the "greatness" of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And on top of that it's actually quite depressing when you realize that most of these people are far past any real hope of ever making it, instead they are forced to appear in masturbatory RHCP videos just to get by.

6. Kevin Federline "Lose Control"
Didn't this guy woo Britney Spears with his amazing back-up dancing moves? I mean he's less convincing in this role than the one he plays in real life, though he's trying even harder here to seem authentically badass (he plays craps in clubs dude!). It's also fairly clear that Mr. Federline wasn't getting any love from Ms. Spears bank account when he made this piece (the sets leave something to be desired). But it's his pathetic faux-Justin Timberlake outfits that just blatantly remind us that he was always just a stand-in anyways.

5. Trace Adkins "HonkyTonk Badonkadonk"
Honestly we could have picked any of Mr. Adkins 2006 (correction: this video was actually released in 2005, but it's so bad we don't feel like changing the list) videos to put on here, but something about this one just stood out...and it's probably the thought of Trace Adkins holding a huge cigar while gyrating from side to side to techno-country surrounded by rollerskating girls in hotpants. The concept didn't work the first 100 times it was used by the likes of Sir Mix-A-Lot and others, but it acquires strange new depths of absurdity in the hands of Trace Adkins and his big black cowboy hat (especially the last ten seconds when he has that sleezy grimace on his face and admits the only reason he makes music is for the "badonkadonk" while squeezing an imaginary girl in front of him).

4. Janet Jackson feat. Nelly "Call On Me"
Ok Go taught us that you don't need to spend a ton of money to make an innovative and captivating music video. Obviously Janet Jackson and Hype Williams didn't get that memo. This 3 million dollar project looks like a cross between the The Cell (and is almost equally as frightening - Nelly on a pirate ship!?) and Janet's older brother's "Black and White" video. I can even remember Ms. Super Bowl's very own "Runaway" with fondness in comparison; I guess they just don't make super-glossy fantasy videos like they used to.

3. Fergie "London Bridge"
The song and Fergie herself are already amazingly difficult to digest, but nothing can really prepare you for the gagg-affect of watching "The Duchess" rub-up against some of the Queen's top-hatted guards. It's not that there's anything wrong with rejecting the social and sexual frigidity of our collective cultures, but there's no real focus to this critique at all. Moreover, the singer's entire image and delivery is intentionally childish and thus supposedly coquettish; but instead this track with paper-thin metaphors and overt visual imagery actually has strong appeal among children - and who better to be lowering london bridges than my 12 year-old cousin?! Though the beat rips off Gwen Stefani rather blatantly, Fergie herself doesn't have an ounce of the L.A.M.B girl's creativity in song or video.

2. Ying Yang Twins feat. Wyclef Jean "Dangerous"

We could talk forever about how terribly misogynistic and offensive the entire career of the Ying Yang Twins has been, but it's almost equally important to discuss how silly they are. Anyone who witnessed their sublime appearance on MTV Cribs can attest to the hilarity of their lifestyle, but even just one look at their bobbing heads in the opening seconds of the song is enough to make me laugh (and the haunting precense of Little John never helps). Then we get vampire women, tigers and flame-throwers all dancing around these guys just so Wyclef can steal their car? I mean this video is ridiculous!

1. David Hasselhoff "Jump In My Car"

It was a tough decision deciding whether or not this belonged on the list of "most fun" or "worst" music videos of the year. It comes down to whether or not you actually think 'Hoff believes in the image he represents here, I'm not sure if he does, but it's a lot funnier if you imagine he does. I swear this is a 2006 release, even if it looks late 70's to early 80's, and you can tell by the rampant referencing that attempts to capitalize on Mr. Baywatch's formidable past "achievements." Regardless, at the end of the day, we're all a little dumber for having watched this video...and that's why I finally decided if I had to watch it, I'd better make everyone else watch it too...

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Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie