Music videos allow an artist to show their creativity not only through their music, but also in the form of visual representation. Whenever we listen to a song, we all have certain images in our head as to how the song would be portrayed. A music video gives us food for thought by bringing our imagination to reality.
This wasn’t always the case. It took a long time for music videos to come into vogue. Bands in the 80’s and 90’s and even before that, did not have music videos, or at least not on such big level. Finding an audio version of their songs is much easier than a video and, the fact that technology was still not as advanced as now, there was no YouTube then, really made it difficult for the struggling musicians to make a video which was quite expensive in that time.
But live shows were a much better alternative to music videos as it allowed the fans to have a more face to face interaction with their favourite artists and gave the audience a chance to experience music in a much more wholesome way. There is nothing better than to attend a concert and allow the music to flow through your veins. It takes you on a whole another level.
OK, I’m getting sidetracked. Coming back to the music videos, so, yes, to have a music video meant you were a big deal. A very big deal.
Not now though. Now, music videos can be made anywhere and by anyone, they are even being recorded by cameras in phone. Record companies’ small and big and now a days, there are a lot of companies and people willing to sponsor the artists, give them the resources to make their video as unique and visually appealing as possible.
On a personal level, I am very weird in these cases. I might love a song in just its audio version, but not necessarily like the video of it. And if I do like the video then it becomes difficult for me to enjoy the song without it. So it is usually very difficult to find songs that I enjoy to listen to as well as watch.
So, below are (well, from my perspective) the top 10 music videos of the year (international). In the name of being unbiased I have browsed through almost 7,000 videos, but it’s still possible that many may not agree with my selection. So, go ahead and tell me your top 10 music videos of the year in the comments section below.
Ok, one more thing. I was having a very hard time selecting and ranking them from no.1 to no.10 as I think each and every one of them is beautifully created in their own way, thus I will be taking one video per month.
Can’t Remember to Forget You
By- Shakira and featuring Rihanna
Facts: The video to the much anticipated song by Shakira after her pregnancy and her collaboration with another famous voice Rihanna had already created waves amongst her fans and the video debuted on 30th of January 2014 on her YouTube VEVO profile. The video was a big hit amongst the people, with the video reaching 100 millions views by February 9th 2014.
My Views: I came across this video while browsing through the YouTube music section. Generally not averse to Shakira or Rihanna’s music so thought I’d give it a try. And I do have to say, that this video is one of the few ones that was actually as appealing to watch as the music was catchy with an upbeat tune and was a pleasant experience on very end. The video does have strong sexual undertones and there is a whole lot of fondling and caressing being done by both Shakira and Rihanna. Also the skimpy outfits and overtly erotic moves by both the singers can be a problem for some. But I also feel that it wasn’t as bad as some others (cough…wrecking ball…cough)
I suppose some might also find it explicit, but well… to each their own.
Still, check it out.
By- Iggy Azalea featuring XCX
Fact: Fancy a song by Iggy Azalea featuring XCX is a song by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea from her debut studio album, The New Classic. It was released on 17th February 2014.
Directed by Director X, the visuals are inspired by American comedy film Clueless, with Azalea playing Beverly Hills socialite Cher Horowitz and XCX as Tai Frasier (as well as a redheaded rival filling in as Amber, along with the brief appearance of Dionne and Murray lookalikes) in a remake of the 1995 cult classic.
My Views: Having never heard any of Iggy Azalea’s songs before this, I was a bit skeptical as, to be honest, I am not a big fan of rap, hip-hop and maybe I will listen to the occasional rap and hip-hop songs, but I never go out of my way to listen to them.
As for the video, having seen the movie, I saw that a lot of the scenes were recreated in the exact same manner and well, I do have to say that the end result wasn’t too bad. The video was very colourful and vibrant, the tunes catchy and the voices by both Iggy and XCX were not too bad. Now this is one those songs that I would need the video for to enjoy as I believe I’d get bored of just the song very quickly. The video is I think a strong necessity to the whole experience.
3. BEYOND THE VEIL
By- Lindsey Stirling
Fact: Beyond the Veil is the first single in Lindsey Stirling’s second album ‘Shatter Me’. It was officially released on her YouTube channel on 25th March, 2014. The video proved to be a success as it accumulated half a million views on the first day itself. The song topped the Billboard Classical Digital songs chart for the first four weeks. There is also a behind the scenes video, where Lindsey speaks about the meaning of the song and its composition.
My Views: Ok, first of, I absolutely love Lindsey Stirling. Seriously, you can listen to any of her songs and each one will move you from deep inside. I can’t get enough of her music. And I was very excited to write about this one as it is from one of my most favourite artists and well…the music is so good. The video is how Lindsey’s inner child takes her on this new journey where she can go ‘beyond the veil’ and tap into her inner-most thoughts and feelings. Places that she got cut off from due to adulthood and responsibilities.
On the matter of visuals and graphics, they all were done very beautifully. The beautiful landscapes and the effects used for the under the sea shots are good quality and just amazing.
The song is also a great introduction to where she wants to go with her album. ‘Shatter Me’ her album, is all about breaking your mould and venturing into new avenues and adventures. ‘Beyond the Veil’ very aptly does the job.
The video is as amazing as is the song.
Do listen to it. I would highly recommend it.
By- Katy Perry
Fact: Birthday is a disco song recorded by American singer Katy Perry for her fourth studio album, Prism. Song has been written by Perry, Bonnie McKee and producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut. Critics, as well as Perry herself, have compared the track to works by Prince and Mariah Carey. The video was released on 21 April, 2014.
The composition is mainly of the disco genre, but it also contains elements of funk-pop, synthpop, and disco house.
My Views: I actually really liked the video. The song is nothing memorable, but the funky tunes are very appropriate for a party. The lyrics have stirred controversy for having double meaning and for referencing to sexual intercourse. But, as for the video, I found it to be really sweet and unusual. The fact that Katy Perry actually went to all the parties shown in the video and add in the fact that no one knew it was her was a brilliant move. And allowed Katy to be free and really get in the groove. This was one of the biggest reasons for my liking this video. A really feel good video if you can overlook the lyrics.
By- Foster the People
Fact: Best Friend is a song by American indie pop band Foster the People. The song is featured on their second studio album called Supermodel. The video was officially released on Foster the People’s VEVO YouTube Channel on 29th May, 2014.
My Views: I have usually liked Foster the People as a band. But as I said before, I am not very fond of music videos. But this video….wow. It is disturbing, crazy, insane and just full blown mind-f***. The premise of the video is that a model in fear of her fading looks and paranoid of losing her position in the industry, she eats, yes, she literally eats her competition. Just gobbles them up. The direction and visuals are really cool and the trance like beats lure the listener into this another dimension and you can’t help but be both horrified and hooked onto the changing scenes. The director has used animation in some parts to show how the protagonist (or should we call her that?) consumes her prey. The video is creates a very strong impact on the viewer.
I would definitely recommend it.
By- “Weird Al” Yankovic
Facts: Word Crimes is a song by American musician “Weird Al” Yankovic. The song is a parody of the 2013 single “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.
The song spoofs the popular misuse of English grammar, reflecting Yankovic’s own diligence for the proper use of grammar. When he decided to parody Thicke’s song, he was very careful in choosing a topic as he did not want to make another parody on a topic that had already been used. Yankovic also wanted to avoid the issues of misogyny and sexism that the original song was sourced with.
Word Crimes mocks online commenters and how they completely ruin the English language. The official video was released on YouTube on 15th July 2014.
My Views: I found the video to be absolutely amazing and plain genius. While researching about the song and its music video I came across Yankovic’s explanation for the song and he said that “I don’t think anybody, to this point, had done a “Blurred Lines” parody about proper use of grammar,” and that I believe is a very new and fresh take on making parody of the song. The video is just a plain lyrical video, where you see words in their proper form appearing and is a brilliant play on the song’s theme of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The video also spoofs a number of visuals seen in the original “Blurred Lines” video like the large hashtags and various other scenes. You have to watch the video. It’s pretty cool.
By- The Script
Facts: Superheroes is a song by the Irish pop rock band The Script. Official music video was released on there VEVO YouTube channel on August 4 2014.
The video was shot fully in Johannesburg, South Africa over a period of a few days by Vaughan Arnell.
My Views: The song Superheroes is written for “the unsung heroes out in the world” as quoted by The Script lead vocalist Danny O’Donoghue. I find there choice of location very interesting and the way they have connected the lyrics to the place is appropriate.
The video all together is not really that unique, as it is just the band singing to a crowd in Johannesburg but the song and lyrics more than make up for the normalcy of the video and being a feel good and empowering song you will definitely not be disappointed.
THE DEVIL IN I
Facts: The Devil in I is a song from American heavy metal band Slipknot’s fifth album, .5: The Gray Chapter. The second single for the album, it is the first one to be released to both radio and music channels, as the previous single The Negative One was a digital only single.
The music video was officially released on their YouTube channel on September 12, 2014.
My Views: Uh…I just need a few minutes to get my bearings. Seriously… this video is almost 6 minutes of absolute head bashing, ear shattering mind-f****ery. I swear, there are no words that can appropriately describe the experience of watching this video. You have to see it to feel it.
Disclaimer: this video is not for the faint hearted. So…tread lightly.
9. BEHIND THE MASK
By- Ivy and Gold
Facts: Ivy & Gold an electro / pop duo from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, consists of Rachel Wilkinson and Jamie Davies. Taking inspiration from some of their favourite artists like Miike Snow, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Buckley and Tori Amos, the band has endeavored to write their own original pop songs. They debuted in early 2013 with the release of ‘Awake’, a four track digital EP.
‘Behind The Mask’ is the latest offering from Ivy and Gold’s new EP Smoke & Mirrors. The video was created in collaboration with Space NK, who selected Ivy & Gold to be the face and sound of their homage to the renowned make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin (1962-2002).
The music video was officially released on their YouTube channel on October 22nd, 2014.
My Views: OK, you might be wondering… who the heck this band is. Well, I know that they are a relatively unknown band, but after having the pleasure of watching this video and their song well, I would definitely recommend them. The duo has strong and beautiful vocals and the video impacts the viewer deeply. You might notice a touch of Florence and the Machine and some of the other favourite artists… but well they have made no secret of their appreciation of them and that they have taken inspiration from them. But honestly, this band is worth giving a shot and the video is just beautiful. So simple yet very powerful.
By- Taylor Swift
Facts: Blank Space is a song by famous singer Taylor Swift and it’s for her fifth studio album called 1989.
“Blank Space” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 following Swift’s another hit “Shake It Off”. Swift has also become the first woman in the Hot 100’s 56-year history to succeed herself at the top spot.
My Views: Ok, I can see some of you rolling you eyes and completely being put off by me putting “Taylor Swift” in this list as many of you do not consider her a “real” artist. And well… she might not be the best, but this song and the video really was good. When I read more about how the video came about, I was really impressed by how coolly Swift has taken all the comments and jokes made about her and her relationships and how she always puts the guys she has dated in her songs. I found that be admirable. And the way she has used that fact in the video is superb.
Just…watch it. And yeah it might not be the best video and song out there, but it’s not the worst either.
Also, another reason why I put it in the list was because she was made a huge achievement for women by being the first women in the Hot Hundred’s 56 year history to make it to number one. That’s pretty great.
So, that is it.
The top 10 music videos of the year 2014. I know I did not rank them, but as I said before each one of them is unique and beautiful in their own way.
Also, this way you can rank them according to your preference.