January 12, 2004

10 Music Videos of 2003

Finally, the 10 essential music videos of 2003 (to my standards, at least)! :-) I decided to yank out my list of 10 for television since I realized it would just be a list of the TV shows I watch. Besides, my fave TV shows don’t change that much every year. Anyways, music video is a short film genre I so adore. Back in college, watching music videos was an early morning habit for me. It just felt therapeutic. Just like all the others I guess, I wanted my daily dose of MTV. (Can’t do the same now since I usually wake up late for work already.)

I especially love music videos that present new and innovative concepts. I also look at their editing and cinematography, if they support the song’s feel, lyrics and tune. For me, a good music video should be a video that makes the viewers appreciate the song better, or even elevate it to higher standards. If watching it confuses the viewer as to whether s/he likes the song or the video, then the video succeeds in this purpose.

Only music videos played in regular rotation on MTV and Myx last year are eligible for my list. I only have 13 “MTV’s” as favorites so I guess I should mention the 3 which didn’t quite make it. The first one was Dido’s “White Flag”. I like the concept of two superstars longing for each other but couldn’t just connect. However, the video has noticeable flaws in its technical aspects. I also like how the video of Sean Paul’s “Get Busy” complement the song’s jiggy beat. It’s just that I have seen too many dance videos showing the same visuals already. Then there’s Robbie William’s “Something Wonderful” which I consider funny but very Robbie in his narcissistic best.

10. GOSSIP FOLKS by Missy Elliot
Missy Elliot should be commended for the technological innovation in her videos, like in this one. Its cinematography is experimental but successful in execution. The visual editing also fits with the song’s scratchy beat. Moreso, the dance choreography is splendid.

9. THE SCIENTIST by Coldplay
Winner of Best Direction award from last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, the backward-motion video also brings back Coldplay’s main asset – Chris Martin’s magnetic video performance (also maximized in the band’s breakthrough video “Yellow.”)

8. WHERE’S THE LOVE? by Black Eyed Peas
The digital video-like cinematography gives urgency to the song’s message. The “Benetton” casting of the bit players is perfect and the question mark symbolism is well played up. The rappers all give convincing performances.

7. HEY YA by Outkast
The concept of having Andre acting all the band member roles is good enough. What’s even better is that this retro video reminiscent of the Beatles’ first U.S. performance in the Ed Sullivan Show perfectly captures the song’s feel and catchy tune.

6. BIGGER THAN MY BODY by John Mayer
Mayer is clear with his message. Despite his overnight success, he would like us to believe that he remains grounded and he knows the fans are there for the songs and not for the songwriter.

5. TROUBLE by Pink
Superb direction and “technicals” in here. The western movie theme is well complemented with the cinematography and production design. I’m more in awe with its editing, though. It jives very well with the music’s beat. Watch closer.

Superb acting performance from the actress who plays Freddy Rodriguez’ wife in Six Feet Under… A very affecting storyline… Excellent use of “puzzle pieces” symbolism... Girl power, indeed!

3. CAN’T STOP by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Another excellent video concept from the Peppers. Brilliant art direction and stirring performances from the band members, as usual! This time, they bring to life the visuals of an avant-garde artist whose name escapes me at the moment. (Can somebody tell me?) Whatever, I definitely can’t stop addicted to this video. :-)

2. ROCK YOUR BODY by Justin Timberlake
Wonderful in its rawness and simplicity. The point of the video is direct. We are selling Justin Timberlake’s appearance and dancing skills. Point well taken.

1. GIRLS AND BOYS by Good Charlotte
FUN is manifested all over the video. The concept of having old people go back to being, yep, boys and girls is simply fantastic and wacky at the same time. The video also succeeds in its 80’s feel, which just complements the tune (specifically the clapping part). It’s without doubt the hippest, happiest and my most favorite video of the year. :-)

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