Here’s the acid test, for me: I drive MANY MILES each day, listening to the radios, and if a song is good, I don’t care who sings it.
Only then do I check out the music video, and maybe blog about it on the WordPress machines.
TAKE ME TO CHURCH rocks on the radio.
However, having watched 4,092 bazillion music videos in my life, including a brief period where MTV actually played music videos, I’ve learned not to expect much from the actual video part, except for (a) boy bands dancing, (b) pop divas dancing in front of backup dancers who are far better at the dancing thing, (c) rock stars trying dance with the microphone stand or (d) hipster bands trying to be artsy and deep while mostly being bizarre.
Good music videos are rare.
I’m not talking “Bigfoot is in my backyard and I shot thirty minutes of film of him playing with my dog” kind of rare.
No. I’m talking about “Snooki is at a philosophy conference at Yale, presenting a paper on Nietzsche” rare.
So here are two music videos, both black-and-white, and both surprises.
First up is Hozier, the one from the headline. Great song on the radio, different and strong. The video makes it ever better, wonderfully shot in true film-noir style, it’s not afraid to have a non-Hollywood ending. Well played, Hozier.
The second song and video is also black-and-white and the same kind of slow burn. Had no idea who sang it when it played on the radio. Good stuff, full of pain and longing, and not your usual “baby baby” bubblegum pop nonsense with a guest rapper to give it some grit and soul. (How many times can pop stars go to that well? Apparently, forever.)
This second video shocked me by being by Selena Gomez, not known for this sort of song. And yes, she looks like every bartender in the world would card her, and the song is about Justin Bieber, who simply needs to go away. Despite those handicaps, which are huge, it works. So let’s give it props. Watch and listen.