The Best Music Videos of 2015

by - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

currently: listening to 'Fast Car' by Tobtok

It's come to the end of the year - and I have to say 2015, you've surprised me. Music videos this year based their success over breaking records and millions of views, and then there was that stuff with Tidal vs Apple Music vs Vevo vs Facebook. Basically they're making you jump through more hoops and pay a toll to watch a music video. And that's no fun.

But as a salute to the year that was, here are 10 of my favourite music videos (in no particular order.) And no lie, it's a mixed bag.

Sia - Elastic Heart
[The best music video to ever be acted out inside a giant bird-like cage.]
As my ex-boss once said to me; "How can you not like Shia LeBeouf?" And though I struggled to figure out if he was really being sarcastic, you have to admit Shia LeBeouf (and Maddie Ziegler) are fantastic in this music video. As a sequel to Chandelier (which was one of my favourite music videos for 2014), Sia continues exploring that inner child of her's in conflict with herself (also played by Shia LeBeouf). It's emotionally driven, and just really sad at the end when you realise what's really going on.


Ed Sheeran - Photograph
[The best music video to ever come out of home videos.]
How is it that a video filmed over 23 years of Ed Sheeran's life could become the perfect video for Ed Sheeran's song? It's like his parents knew all along. I mean I'd like to think that they used a stunt baby because some of the shots just seem to perfect to fit into a music video - but then again, this is eternally nice and honest Ed Sheeran. He wouldn't lie to us. Also there are few children in the world who could look like Ed Sheeran. Dammit Ed Sheeran, you're just too good.


Justin Bieber - Sorry
[Music video I'm most ashamed to put on this list but I can't help myself.]
Screw you Bieber. I didn't come into 2015 wanting to like your music but I'm leaving 2015 in that way. 'Sorry' was originally meant to be the song's lyric video, but this Parris Goebel special was ridiculously captivating on it's own to watch - no matter how many times you've already seen it. From the bright 90s clothing, to the sassy attitude army, to the pure sense of fun. Why did I not go for dance classes like every 8 year old girl? (Side note - the actual lyric video for 'Sorry' ended up being really lame.)


BIGBANG - Bang Bang Bang
[The video with the most elaborate use of... everything.]
So I included another K-Pop video this year - so what? What I love about these big Korean music videos is that no expense is spared on it. You want to ride on top of a big tank? You can have it! Want a car with hydraulics so much of a lean it looks like it going to roll over? Sure! Want to come out of an Aztec looking temple that shoots fireworks? Theye can do that! Want to wear a big fluffy bearskin hat? Okay! There's no limit, no product placement, not a lot of sense, and the song is a real banger. What more could you need from a music video? Also, fun fact - it's another Parris Goebel choreographed special.


Charli XCX - Famous
[The best music video to make you afraid of the internet.]
Kinda like pop's anti-pop queen, pop-punk Charli XCX is not hiding the ugliness of today's generation. Her video on being "famous" is basically a teenage pop music video - if it were crossed with the 90s cartoon 'Ahh! Real Monsters!'. I find it super ironic that a video released on YouTube for their official YouTube Music Awards is parodying the very culture it's endorsing. But basically you should feel ashamed of the internet culture, and don't overuse emoticons ever again.


Missy Elliot - WTF [Where They From]
[The best music video comeback]
Ten years since she last released her own music, Missy Elliot is more relevant than you could have imagined. From the flawless dancing to the outfits, her music video is how urban pop culture's next trend should move - back to music videos about dancing, energy and life to the song. Wait till you see singers rocking discoball track suits and pop art make up. How about that Pharrell puppet too?


M.I.A - Borders
[The best music video with a message.]
British-based Sri Lankan born M.I.A has got a question - 'What's up with that?'. She doesn't really want an answer, but she wants you to notice that there are hundreds of men trying to scale barb wired fences and overcrowd on boats. Borders, politics, your privilege - what's up with that? A video that's simple. Effective.


Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You
[The cutest music video to star Tom Hanks]
Put anyone else in Tom Hanks' role and this video would be so forgettable. But there's nothing like getting an Oscar award-winning actor to passionately lip-sync the words "I really, really, really, really like you." And I like to think he's just singing along while living out a normal day as Tom Hanks, and that he does shuffle like the ending when he's on the dance floor. You can count how many times he gets the lyrics wrong during the video.


Tame Impala - The Less I Know The Better
[Best use of a gorilla in a music video]
Music videos about high school romances have been done to death a number of times. Guy likes popular girl, girl dates popular boy, here's his story of heartbreak etc etc. But what I love about Tame Impala's video is how symbolic a lot of the elements are to twist the generic high school love story. Trevor is the unlucky guy's beast to conquer, the girl wearing the psychedelic print is choosing to be taken by the gorilla, but the girl also has the guy wrapped up on thoughts of her as she literally flaunts what he can't have. I could write a whole essay on every meaning they put into this video - because it's that clever of a video.
(Warning: Video below may not be safe for work - if someone walks in during that first minute and a half...)


Will Butler - Anna
[Best music video to ever star Emma Stone]
Emma Stone is one of my favourite actresses to watch just because I love how animated she is. If she thinks something is the greatest thing ever, she passionately says it's the greatest thing ever. And if she's cast to play the part of a lady in white, acting crazy, possessed and fun all at the same time - she nails it. She doesn't say a single word but you can see it all in her face. And the crazy way she dances. I love Emma Stone.


So while those are my top 10 favourite music videos from this year, I know I'm gonna get asked why Taylor Swift - Bad Blood didn't make the list. It's honestly because her video had so much talk up until it's released, with posters and identities created for each character, only to have like 3 second shots of her 50 closest celebrity friends. It's not that much of a music video, just a way to brag about all the cameos she managed to fit in 3 minutes.
It gets an honourable mention from Boyfriend though, who says he thinks it's good because of the computer effects in it and not because he likes Taylor Swift... I'll take his word for it, and we'll see how I feel about her 'Into the Woods' video when it gets released on New Years Day.

Here's to 2016!

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