Sometimes the music is only half the story. Would Michael Jackson’s immortal pop ballad “Thriller” have been the runaway success it was at the dawn of MTV if not for the extended video filled with zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price? Probably not. Though MTV’s clout has diminished significantly in subsequent decades, artists are still releasing videos at a stunning clip, sharing them on Youtube, Vevo, and pretty much every streaming service out there.
Videos not only offer another side of the person making the music, but also of the music itself, adding in context clues and visual cues that enrich the sonic material. They can also be fun, funny, weird, and shocking. Collected below are some of the most interesting and compelling videos released over the last week.
5. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper — “Shallow”
Not the most stylistic put-together music videos on this list, but who out here isn’t jonesing for a montage of scenes from the new A Star Is Born film set over a duet between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga? Expect to hear this song a million more times leading up to Oscar season around February, and enjoy the forlorn looks of longing between these two megastars in the meantime.
4. XXXTentacion — “Moonlight”
XXXTentacion put in a lot of work before his untimely and tragic murder earlier this year. Along with a bounty of unreleased music, he also found time to film a video for his song “Moonlight.” The clip is as eerie as the music itself, finding the Florida rapper walking through a crowded forest in the wee hours of the morning with a pair of headphones wrapped around his ears. It’s compelling as hell.
3. Tom Petty — “Gainesville”
Another montage clip, but this one is a far better thought out tribute to another departed musician Tom Petty. The song “Gainesville” is taken from his recently released box set An American Treasure, and the video above pulls together a lot of VHS quality clips of Petty behind the scenes rolling down the road and doing all the things he loved. It’s touching in all the right ways.
2. LCD Soundsystem — “Oh Baby”
The number two spot on this list is a cinematic achievement put together by Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. As befitting a filmmaker of his status, the cast is also a star-packed procession of talent that includes Sissy Spacek and David Strathairn. The clip itself tales a tale of love, and science, and teleportation, and a chicken named Garlic. It’s all as deliciously bonkers as it sounds, I promise.
1. Beck — “Colors”
The best video of the week was also the vision of another cinematic auteur, this time Baby Driver‘s Edgar Wright. In “Colors,” a song taken from Beck’s album by the same name, the singer and Glow actress Alison Brie stage an opulent, Broadway caliber dance routine amid a sea of blue-hued dancers. The whole thing is wildly fun, wildly vibrant and wildly, well… colorful.