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This blog is about music videos. If you want to know what I think of the songs, you can find my exciting and witty opinions at The Singles Jukebox.





Roots Manuva - Witness (One Hope).

Best of 2001: If Can’t Get You Outa My Head is the most iconic video of 2001 then this is the funniest. Rodney is in serious training to quite literally triumph over his childhood traumas: with the raw talent of Usain Bolt, the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher and the underhand tactics of the Spanish Paralympic basketball team, Rodney finally gets what he deserves in the egg and spoon race. Ha-haa - in your face, small children.

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Atomic Kitten - Whole Again.

Best of 2001: BEAR WITH ME PEOPLE. OK this might not be the most ground-breaking tune (or act) of the decade, but the video is a perfect example with which to represent a certain subset of 2000s pop groups. Liz’s very wide mouth! Natasha’s awful lip-synching! Kerry’s eye makeup that makes her look like she’s got a squint! It’s disorientating, hypnotisingly slow and worryingly focused on their bland outfits (available from a high-street retailer near you).

The first chorus reveals an unwelcome prospect for its singers: the three girls are seamlessly replaced by another three indistinguishable girls who are just as anonymous as the last lot - they’re just pasted on over the top even though you can still see their predecesssors struggling for air in the background. And before that, there’s six whole seconds of BLANK WHITE SCREEN before any of them even turn up! Personality is very much optional here - perhaps even discouraged. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of girls to take your place.

But it’s the complete lack of f4nnyd4ngle that makes it memorable for me - a sanitised white background that turns into a Phantom Zone cube from which there is no escape, a padded cell with the Kittens’ lobotomised stares boring into you from every direction. Terrifying and compelling.

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The Avalanches - Since I Left You.

Best of 2001: Earlier this year, I happened to catch a random episode of Britain’s Got Talent and had the misfortune to behold one-joke-pony act ‘Stavros Flatley’, wherein two comedy dudes who couldn’t dance attempted to dance. For their entire performance I was expecting them to actually be able to dance all along and surprise us with a few backflips or breakdancing moves at the end.

Basically I wanted them to be like the old miner this video, revealing his hidden talents and proving his worth, in order to stay in paradise. Suffice to say I was disappointed :(

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Kylie Minogue - Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.

Best of 2001:This has to be in the running for most iconic video of the 00s - think ‘Kylie’ and the image of the white hooded dress and blinkered robotic hand gestures is usually the first thing that springs to mind for most pop fans (gold hot-pants admittedly coming a very close second). CYOOMH is one of my favourite videos ever - even if you’ve seen this video a thousand times, I urge you to take a closer look.

Director Dawn Shadforth turns well-worn video tropes into something magical. For example, take the opening sequence where Kylie is driving a car (done countless times before by everyone and their dog): the undulating curved bridges provide a hypnotic backdrop for Kylie’s smooth and relaxed pose during the woozy ‘na na na’s, which suddenly gives way to neatly chopped-up photo frames as soon as her clipped verse vocal kicks in. Then back again to the dreamy organic ‘na na na’, where her backing dancers slowly and gracefully slide through each others arms like blooming flowers.

The constant switching between clinical robot and organic human is also reflected wonderfully in the progression of Kylie’s hair and outfits: austere black dress/straight hair in the car followed by comfy tracksuit/scrunched up ponytail with her dancers outside; sleek white goddess dress inside the spaceship to silver party frock and full-on natural curls on the roof.

Kylie isn’t just a coat-hanger here though: the majority of her verses are sung in closely focused headshots, leaving her (stunning) body to do the talking during the choreography sequences. Shadforth punctuates simple but memorable moves with different camera angles to keep the momentum going, finishing off with a wonderful long teasing swoop up from Kylie’s toes back up to her head in time for the middle eight (2.17). It’s a perilous task trying to make a video sensual rather than sexual but Shadforth does a bloody good job of it - opting to reveal the often-ignored middle section of the chest, never lingering too long in one place - leaving us none the wiser as to what Kylie’s ‘dark secret in me’ could be.

The last sequence on the rooftops where Kylie fills the sky with one joyful flick of her hair is my favourite part of the whole video. It conjures up memories of so many wonderful nights out letting my own hair down - the music is so euphoric that she never wants the night to end, dancing in slow motion as the sun sets to make the moment last as long as possible. Stay forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever…

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Roger Sanchez - Another Chance.

Best of 2001: Carrying one’s organs externally is a hazardous business - I know I’ve left my kidneys on the night bus on several drunken occasions. I’d recommend that the lass here ties her heart to her keyring with a bit of string, just in case. What I really wouldn’t recommend is going for coffee with a dude I’d just met down a dark alleyway. And I say this as someone who once took a homeless person I’d just met to the cinema to see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I know what I’m talking about.

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