The Vids Are Alright


About TVAA

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.





Ludacris - Stand Up.

Best of 2003: Backing dancers in wheelchairs, telekenisis of giant beer bottles, having your nappy changed by the girl you were chatting up moments before. Just a normal night out on the tiles for Ludacris, who is of the opinion that wearing silver-painted human statues as necklaces is probably a better use for them than just leaving them hanging around outside Covent Garden tube station.

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Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body.

Best of 2003: The sight of lovely little Justin dancing in front of a giant Lite-Brite set always fills me with a warm glowing comfort. I know nothing is going to jump out and scare me (even his spiky beatboxing middle 8 is fluffy round the edges), everything is smoothly executed yet covered in pretty lights - the overall feeling is like walking home near-comatose from the pub on Christmas Eve, admiring the tasteless, twinkly decorations and not even realising it’s freezing cold through your happy beer jacket.

The video’s last minute is the heavenly counterfoil to Atomic Kitten’s satanic 'Whole Again': the infinite Justins slowly rotating for my viewing pleasure aren’t disposable clones but precious component parts which I can save up each week to build my own whole Justin-inna-box to play with on Christmas morning.

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Beyoncé ft Jay-Z - Crazy In Love.

Best of 2003: You all know this one, but I can’t let 2003 go by without mentioning it.

Beyoncé is 21 years old and about to conquer the world, setting aside Destiny’s Child and taking centre stage on her own. Her superstar boyfriend shows up to help her out, but by the time he arrives she’s already stopping traffic and showing us what she can do: for example, her impressive ability to go from confident strut to sitting cross-legged on the floor within a split second at 0.30.

But first, a quick nod to her old life: between 1.06 and 1.40 she’s hanging out as one of the girls, relaxed in a baseball cap, trackie bottoms and messy hair, popping bubblegum in a street alley without a care in the world.

Then presumably on request of his missus, Jay-Z sets fire to his car with a version of Beyoncé inside - the helpless, weak, ordinary Beyoncé of old (who needed a group to support her) is up in flames! Long live the new, fur-clad phoenix Beyoncé! But despite his loving gesture, B barely looks at J and even reprimands him with a flick of her stole. She doesn’t need him either, and even neutralises his actions by kicking open a fire hydrant.

(Btw I’m utterly fascinated by Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s relationship - especially the version we see in their collaborations. I’ll collect my thoughts and write more about this at some point.)

By now the transition is complete: between 3.00 and 3.56 Beyoncé is a high-fashion catwalk diva in a harsh industrial setting, fiercely asserting her power and dominance over the other dancers - paler imitations. Even her dance moves are more precise than before - the girl that was wiggling her bum with her mates a few minutes ago is now just a pile of ashes. “I’m not myself… baby I DON’T CARE!" The new Queen B is here to stay, and I’m still in awe of her every time I watch this.

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Benny Benassi - Satisfaction.

I was originally intending to post the video to 'In The Heat Of The Night' by Star Pilots, which can only be described as a poor attempt at a Top Gun-themed Benassi: gratuitous bum shots, soapy girls washing a plane, superfluous slow motion volleyball playing, yadda yadda yadda.

The problems with the ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ video are manifold: 1) The dancers’ bums aren’t oily enough (surely engine oil = occupational hazard for airline mechanics?) 2) The soapy girls fail to reach their sleazy potential, somehow managing to be all-American clean-cut cheerleaders even in their skimpy bikinis 3) The volleyball bits don’t even have an arms-squishing-boobs-together action shot - in fact, the girls just jump around in the background, leaving the not-really-camp-enough blokes to do all the work 4) Enormous machines with vast innuendo potential are just left standing around as scenery.

So I decided to post the original (and best) instead. ‘Satisfaction’ maxxes out on the titilisation factor and has spawned thousands of imitators since its release in 2002* - if you’re going to exploit the female form then you might as well do it properly, with jiggling power tools and beads of sweat dripping down crevices that are normally off-limits even to gynaecologists. These women are so far removed from normal human females that it nicely shows up how over-the-top the whole ‘sex sells’ trope has become. You want sexy ladies? See how you like these ones! I absolutely love it - plus, you can’t beat a bit of sultry lip-biting, especially if it’s a Bank Holiday and no-one has to watch it on their work computer.

By trying too hard to emulate The Benassi, Star Pilots have got it painfully wrong. They should have played up the 80s spoof and had a girl pilot take off her helmet and shake her hair about with the sunlight streaming through behind her. They should have had a nerdy bespectacled companion for their Tom Cruise lookalike, giving him a high-five and a manly hug after a successful mission. For christ’s sake, they should have had a woman with large breasts straddling the nose of a fighter plane, holding on with one hand and waving her cowboy hat in the air with the other. SORT IT OUT, STAR PILOTS.

*Of course there were dance videos featuring sexy ladies before The Benassi, but since then it seems to have been mandatory for all chart bosh to feature at least 27% bum-wiggling.

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