Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
One of the world’s largest female pop stars takes it away in her ultra-sleek music video Bad Romance. Set in a fluorescent white bathhouse, the video revolves around Gaga being kidnapped by supermodels that drug her and sell her off to a mafia. The white walls parallels directly with the burlesque costumes and bedroom that Gaga sinisterly sings in front of. Between the robotic movements and morbid theme, Gaga sets the artistic standards high for any pop artist.
Michael Jackson – Scream
Shot primarily in black and white, Michael Jackson along with his sister Janet, fight against the media for misrepresentation to the public. The most expensive music video ever made (coming in around $7 million) it still tops the list as one of the most creative videos produced. The video has influences of Japanese sci-fi anime, and has references to Akira, designed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The hexagonal module in which Michael and Janet dance on, allows them to reflect their true talent: dancing. Scream is arguably one of Jackson’s best post-Thriller videos.
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
In the remake of “Dog Days Are Over” Florence confuses her fans on the symbolic meaning behind her song. The video (which was remade in 2010) features Florence singing and writhing in white, geisha-like makeup and gauzy outfits while blue, Avatar-like creatures act as a gospel choir. Each musical element of the song is personified through colorful characters. Florence is a primal force of nature that interacts with these flamboyant characters. The design is minimalist, yet the costumes make up for a spiritual and psychedelic experience.
Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
The aesthetics of this Coldplay video tops all of their music videos. Using stop motion technology the video features Chris Martin lying on the ground against animated chalk drawings. The detail in the chalk drawings are intricate and tell a quirky story that progresses along with the music. The video pays patronage to cultural phenomenons such as Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo as well as evil squares (for Coldplay fans evil squirrels have made appearances in some of their previous videos).
Bjork – All is Full of Love
The music video, directed by Chris Cunningham features two robots romantically inclined. The video has won two MTV Video Music Awards including Best Special Effects. The video is realistic and results in an immersive post human experience. The viewer is drawn to the forefront of manipulation of various visual genres and creates for a postmodernity experience.
Sigur Rós – Glósóli
The creative Icelandic band, known for their ethereal sound capture Iceland’s culture in this artistic and highly cinematographic music video. The video is directed by Chris Soos who purposely left an ambiguous ending for the viewer. The video is a direct allusion to J.D. Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” when the main character Holden Caulfield says: “I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.” The video is simple, beautiful yet conveys a strong emotion that is merely indescribable.