Now that the Internet has leveled the playing field, music videos have become one of the most legitimate calling cards for artists trying to make a significant impact on audiences worldwide. This unbelievable access helped spawn creativity in music videos that hasn’t been seen in an extremely long time. Luckily for us, directors and artists have helped raise the bar once again in 2009.
25. Depeche Mode - "Hole to Feed"
There is no doubt that this is grossest video of 2009, but the concept and make-out performances most definitely set it apart from many other run-of-the-mill band promos seen this year. In the video for “Hole to Feed,” a cover band dishes out some blissful digital Depeche Mode grooves while a hypnotized audience tongue kisses like there’s no tomorrow.
Depeche Mode - Hole To Feed
Depeche Mode | MySpace Music Videos
24. Beyoncé - "Sweet Dreams"
Even though it’s not as good as 2008’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé steals the show once more with her revealing futuristic outfits and mind-blowing choreography. The nasty synthesizer track “Sweet Dreams” is also quite tight.
23. Man Man Video - "Rabbit Habits"
Poor Charlyne Yi. It must be really rough being a hideous werewolf. We get a vivid portrayal of what it's like being a lycanthrope in the Man Man video for “Rabbit Habits.” In it, two lonely werewolves go on a perfect L.A. date and then eat the living crap out of SNL’s Fred Armisen.
22. Drake - “Best I Ever Had”
What is better than boobs? Answer: Nothing. In this Kanye West–directed cleavagefest, Young Money MC Drake delivers his smash hit “Best I Ever Had” while his voluptuous basketball team bounces around in their extremely revealing jerseys. Drool.
21. Coldplay - "Life In Technicolor II"
I hate Coldplay, but I refuse to deny this music video. We get to see Coldplay morph into puppets and perform their Viva la Vida number “Life In Technicolor II” at a clichéd birthday shindig. The puppet work is seriously epic.
20. Peter, Bjorn & John - "Nothing To Worry About"
If you don’t like awesomeness, this video is not for you. Viewers get to watch on as a badass Japanese rockabilly crew slicks their hair back and does some wild breakdancing moves to the funky Peter, Bjorn & John jam "Nothing To Worry About." A-mazing.
19. Matt and Kim - “Lessons Learned”
Matt and Kim hit Times Square and strip down to their birthday suits while the sentimental synthesized number "Lessons Learned" supplies the world's greatest city with the perfect indie soundtrack. Public nudity is always entertaining.
18. Black Eyed Peas - “Meet Me Halfway”
Not my favorite band on the plant, but when The Black Eyed Peas travel to a distant world in some futuristic threads with the extremely poppy club tune “Meet Me Halfway,” I can’t help but be satisfied.
17. The Lonely Island feat. T-Pain – “I’m On a Boat”
The Lonely Islanders hit the high seas with T-Pain and rap about boning hot mermaids and how awesome their giant boat is. Everyone has seen this, but it never really gets old. S*** is epic, yo…
16. Dan Deacon - "Paddling Ghost"
Baltimore's electronic maestro Dan Deacon provides the perfect spastic soundtrack for a finger puppet ghost going on the ultimate sea adventure. DD’s "Paddling Ghost" might be my leading candidate for the most underrated music video of the year…
15. The Dead Weather - “Treat Me Like Your Mother”
Do you love guns? Do you love blood? If so, The Dead Weather is here to make you cream your pants from a brutal visual onslaught with all of the above. Jack White and The Kills’ Alison Mosshart open heavy fire on each other while delivering the brilliant rock single "Treat Me Like Your Mother." Bloody awesome.
14. Bat For Lashes - "Pearl's Dream"
For those who love early Kate Bush videos, this one is for you. Natasha Khan meets up with a friendly wolf and battles a blonde version of herself while giving a powerful performance of the Two Suns epic "Pearl's Dream." They need to make more videos like this.
13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Heads Will Roll"
I’m pretty much sold anytime a tuxedo-wearing werewolf kills people and red confetti explodes from their mangled bodies. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing their epic It's Blitz! number “Heads Will Roll” ain’t too shabby either.
12. MGMT - "Kids"
This is the creepiest video of the year by far. In it, a little baby boy gets terrorized by some Gwar-like monsters while MGMT trip out in a park performing their epic pop opus “Kids.” I feel really bad for this baby…
11. Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg - "Motherlover"
SNL Digital Short or not, this is one amazing music video. In the viral smash, Justin Timberlake reprises his classic "D*** in a Box" role with fellow goofball Andy Samberg for the spectacular new romance jam "Motherlover." The duo gets down in the bedroom with fellow moms Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson, showing us what a true classic looks like.
10. Animal Collective - "My Girls"
The first time I watched this video I actually got a contact high. It was pretty much impossible not to after watching the critically-acclaimed Animal Collective transform into animated organisms. Single of the year?
9. Kid Cudi – “Day N' Nite”
There have been a lot of music videos in the part few years that have put animated creations over video images, but this instant Kid Cudi classic seems to stand out over all the rest. Smoke one and watch Cudi walk the streets of Los Angeles hallucinating his face off for the smooth stoner anthem "Day N' Nite."
8. Department of Eagles - "No One Does It Like You"
Hot damn, is this one brilliant. Faceless soldiers do some wartime ballet choreography while the Department Of Eagles provide the battlefield with a harmonious In Ear Park classic. This song is easily one of the best singles of the year.
7. Kanye West - "Welcome To Heartbreak"
There are a lot of great Kanye videos to choose from, but this Nabil-directed clip for "Welcome To Heartbreak" seemed to push music video technology a little further than most this year. This wasn't the first video to use pixel-morphing techniques this year, but Kanye seemed to get a few more eyes on his piece for the heartfelt hip-pop "808" tune.
6. Fever Ray - “If I Had a Heart”
This first video from Fever Ray's self-titled debut album is simply jaw-dropping. I could have honestly stacked most of this list with videos by the Karin Andersson-fronted group, but that wouldn't be fair. I will admit that I’m not completely sure what’s going on here, but Karin’s creepy skull makeup combined with the brilliant cinematography makes for something very special. The Swedes can be pretty trippy.
5. Mastodon - “Oblivion”
Great visuals combined with an even greater band makes for a very special music video viewing experience. Watch on as the Mastodon crew goes on a really trippy spaceship mission and end their own lives. Metal!
4. Dirty Projectors- "Stillness Is The Move"
First off, this may be the most underrated single of year. Watching the Dirty Projectors hit a beautiful mountainside for some odd artist posing and a little indie harmonizing is always entertaining. The unbelievably dope Bitte Orca joint "Stillness Is the Move" will also get you bouncing in your set.
3. Lady Gaga - “Bad Romance
I can’t deny that “Paparazzi” and “LoveGame” are both very solid efforts, but “Bad Romance” is where Gaga’s videos went from outlandish to straight up groundbreaking. The set production alone makes my eyes melt. The video is pure art and everything a music video should strive to be. In the new video, Gaga makes her lover burst into flames after layin' the sexual smackdown on him.
2. Major Lazer - "Pon De Floor"
Directed by Eric Wareheim of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Major Lazer’s video for the ill dance track "Pon De Floor" is not only one of the best videos of the year, it’s one of the best of all time. In the video, Diplo and Switch dish out a dancehall banger while insane Jamaican dancers bust out some extremely sexual "daggering" moves in an animated Sims-like household. Apparently quite a few dudes have broken their penises trying to pull this stuff off. You really need to watch this.
1. Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"
It’s always amazing when a video can somehow make a song even better with a perfect mix of visuals and a very creative idea. This video is most certainly that, and in my opinion, stands alone as the best music video of the year. In the piece, the Brooklyn guys from Grizzly Bear burst out into fireworks while gleefully harmonizing over their Veckatimest standout number “Two Weeks.” It's pretty ace.
What was your favorite music video of the year?