Sunday, 30 September 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Charli XCX’s “So Far Away”

While teenage girls of the American Midwest may have declared Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together as their official existential anthem to broken heartedness, British girls of the same age demand much sterner stuff to convey similar sentiments, profanity included.
Charli XCX ‘s underground instincts remain intact, though, if we’re being totally honest, you’ll have to admit her song writing is every bit as superficial as any generic American pop star singing about hopeless boyfriends, hence why Teen Vogue is a big fan of hers. The video has a distinctly British edge to it in that it was probably cheaply put together by her big brother, who will no doubt incur the wrath of Disney lawyers for having utilised footage of their iconic princesses without legal clearance.
Even with the backing of Warner Music, Charli XCX isn’t exactly a big name, but So Far Away, and its raw music video, seems to indicate that the efforts to turn her into a mainstream goth pop star hasn’t worked out very well. Perhaps she’s better off sticking to the style that initially got her a major record deal, though, if that will be enough to pay off the imminent Mickey Mouse lawsuit is yet to be seen.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Lana Del Rey’s “Ride”

This isn’t an official music video for Lana Del Rey’s brand new song, and if it is then the music industry is in much worse state than imagined.

While a still image of Rey on a tire swing may do the job in the short run, a song as sumptuous as this one deserves the expensive treatment. Ride reminds us why some music lovers got excited about Rey in the first place, capturing the dreamy splendour of her initial singles Video Games and Blue Jeans.

It’s obvious that Rey's fast tracked EP, Paradise Edition, is nothing more than a quick cash grab to take advantage of the singer’s current popularity, not to mention an opportunity to benefit from the profitable approach of a coming Christmas, but this is simply too good a song to be cynical about. If the record company has any sense then they will supersede this austere clip with a proper music video that incorporates spectacular moving images of an all singing and sulking Lana Del Rey.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Supafly’s “Happiness”

9/11 was a numbing event. The world changed in an instant, with broadcasters reacting insanely to what and what wasn't permissible anymore. MTV was so shaken by the event that they temporarily suspended Foo Fighters' Learn to Fly and Goldfrapp's Pilots music videos on account they were set in airport terminals and were, therefore, too controversial to air. For years the airport terminal music video was a no go area, that is until Feist gingerly ventured back into the aeronautics domain with My Moon my Man. The end result helped us realise that air travel and music videos could, once again, be inspiring bedfellows.

Now London's dance outfit, Supafly, has taken airport music videos to another level, transforming the very serious task of mandatory security checks into the world's best party. Rudeboys, strippers, religious people and everyone else gets down when an illegal psychedelic gas is unleashed by passport control, causing all delayed passengers to dance like crazy.

Supafly's Mista P and One recruit Shahin Badar to lend the track an Eastern flavour, though it primarily works by harking back to the '90s sound of Touche and Regal's The Wiseguys. Happiness is a fun video and you can never have enough of those, especially when they remind us that airports are portals to happier destinations.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Psy’s “Gangnam Style”

Fame is like a swift tornado. It comes with sudden force, fiercely shaking and rattling the windows and doors, renders a few dent marks and scratches, only to disappear as quickly as it arrived.

Psy is a South Korean pop star who's too old and unconventional looking to make it as a global pop phenomenon, yet that's exactly what's happened. His music video for Gangnam Style is racking up a billion Youtube hits every hour and is playing, at this very moment, on every radio station, in every continent, on planet Earth.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, has declared their love for Gangnam Style. Tom Cruise, Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, Jay Leno, Simon Pegg, LMFAO and everybody and their mother has come out this week to venerate Psy's genius, announcing we should all worship him as our new God.

In true US style, media personalities immediately shipped Psy onto American shores so that he can do his gimmicky dance routine with both Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears, showing them that the emotional toils of messy breakups and tabloid scandals can easily be remedied by a bit of Gangnam. (The Americans pulled a similar stunt with the Slumdog Millionaire kids a few years back before jettisoning them back to their ramshackle existences when the whole act got boring and stopped being cute.)

Music novelty acts during a global recession are, it seems, a necessary evil, designed to distract us from the bigger problems in life. They are a reminder that when all seems lost, happiness can easily be gleaned by watching an awkward looking Korean guy dancing like a madman. What's more, personal joy can be brought by joining in and imitating the crazy dance moves. It seems to have done the trick for Mitt Romney.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Ellie Goulding's "Anything could Happen"

Tragically, legend has it that Ethel Goulish, a great ancestor of British singer Ellie Goulding, was burnt at the stake in 1782 by the elders of Herefordshire council because of suspicions that her big chin was a signifier of being a witch.

Fortunately, centuries later, Ellie Goulding's big chin is no longer a marker of being the Devil's concubine. Nay, Ellie is cultivating big money making pop records that have sold massively in all the markets that matter. Not only that, Ellie is the proud girlfriend of a famous American musician called Skrillex, who really should be burnt at the stake for making awful dubstep music.

Ellie is back with a brand new album called Halcyon and has released the first video titled Anything could Happen. As a song, the best praise that can be given is it's not as boring as some of her other stuff, but that doesn't mean it's much better. The video is a rather predictable affair, featuring car advert stylistics and pretentious pagan motifs (good luck getting that stuff on American television).

There's a strong suspicion that Anything could Happen may launch Ellie Goulding into the big time. It has all the hallmarks of song that will play from station to station. In fact, it's probably a song that sounds better on the radio without being compromised by its lackadaisical music video.

This may be the kind of music that plays better to women than men, but that's only because guys are scared of big chinned females. Had a pop star like Rihanna recorded this song, with her respectably sized chin, then everyone would buy it.