20. The Offspring “Coming For You”
Starting out the 2015 end of year countdown is The Offspring with “Coming For You”. The only thing missing from this video is Batman’s archnemesis The Joker. And it’s understandable why he wouldn’t be included. Fictional rights would kill the budget for this video. Instead we get a Bloodsport styled battle to the death that is geared towards clowns. The cliched gags that clowns have become known for are perverted into traps of death. A hand buzzer that electrocutes starts the Mortal Kombat style of finishers, and it grows from there. The clowns finally become united against the one true evil in the world when a mime drops from the sky. And here we learn that imagination is stronger than an angry clown. Without a weapon to his dispoval, the mime proves he is the strongest by throwing up walls, drawing a sword, and even tossing a grenade all out of thin air. The Offspring have come a long way since singing about gang violence. While the angst is still there, the clowns prove there’s also humor to the group.
19. Black Eyed Peas “Yesterday”
We can argue back and forth all day how talented the Black Eyed Peas are. I know that some people can’t stand the group, but the truth is that they’ve established themselves. The only people capable of putting a stop to the Peas would be the Peas themselves. For their song “Yesterday”, they sample and play off of the classic raps of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s their way of shouting out to their inspiration. The video places them in a record store where there looking through racks. As they pull out the original album covers, we get to see shots of them on the covers recreating the art that’s become as well known as the music. For as much as it can be said this video is all about them, it looks past the fact that they’re trying to bring their heroes to the forefront. When it comes to art, you are always standing on the shoulders of giants.
18. Stromae “Carmen”
In George Bizet’s opera Carmen we are treated to the aria “Habanera”, or as it is less known as “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle”. The lyrics to the song keep comparing love to “a rebellious bird that no one can tame”. So it’s quite brilliant to see Stromae incorporate the song into his work “Carmen” which deals more with social media and consumerism in general. The video features a blue bird that lands through the window of young Paul (Paul von Haver being the name of Stromae). Paul has himself a smartphone and joins the world of twitter. As he grows older, the number of followers grows as well. The blue bird keeps getting bigger and bigger, becoming more and more a weight on Paul’s shoulders literally driving his head down to look at his phone. The bird even comes between Paul and his love, but in the end the drive for the bird and what it brings is too much. Of he is carried by the bird to a cliff, where Paul is tossed into the mouth of a gargantuan blue bird that feeds on the people. So, if love is indeed a rebellious bird that cannot be tamed, social media is a demanding bird that cares only to be fed. It will tame you.
17. Will Butler “Anna”
Will Butler recently debuted his solo album Policy. His single “Anna” from the album had a video that was shot aboard The Queen Mary. Emma Stone stars as the titular Anna running through the ship as though it was her’s. The only other inhabitants are the crew members. And they may or may not be fond of Miss Anna, but they sure go out of their way to make certain she is ok. There are dance numbers all over the ship, and while I’m sure that finding a talented dancer would have been enough to make this video great, having Emma in it takes it over the top. I like to picture this is what her Saturdays start out like. She just wakes up and runs around on a giant ocean liner feeling fantastic and spreading joy through dance. Or maybe I’m just convinced she’s as big a goofball as this video makes her seem.
16. Rihanna “Bitch Better Have My Money”
I wasn’t sure whether or not to place this video on the end of year list. The behavior in it is not something I condone. I don’t even think this is one of Rihanna’s good songs. I mean, it does continue to enforce that BOSS mentality she has, but lyrically and vocally, she’s done better. Then I realized that the accountant in the video is played by Mads Mikkelson who plays the titular character on NBC’s Hannibal series. Let’s face it, if you can out crazy the crazy cannibal you have proven that no one should even look at your money out of turn. The video goes on to portray Rihanna as the baddest woman in the business. She kidnaps a woman and toys with her. She ties up the man who took her money, and kills him. In the end, she walks over to a chest of money wearing nothing but her underwear, covered in blood. She lays down atop her money, lights a blunt, and do her best impression of Smaug atop his treasure at any point before Bilbo and his friends arrive. It’s like a great revenge movie that actually makes sense.