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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.

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It’s that time of year again!

Mandinga - Zaleilah (ROMANIA)

Video: Xena Warrior Princess finds herself in a Bacardi advert style ‘The Club’. She goes to the loo and FAILS TO WASH HER HANDS AFTERWARDS, instead picking up a skanky ring (not washed either) that’s lying on the sink. The bog-germs magically transport her to Dubai (nul points to Romanian tourist board there) where she has speedboat/desert holiday adventures. Mandinga’s outfits get more sequinned as things progress, but then suddenly she chucks the ring into the sea! How the hell is she going to get home? Does EasyJet fly between Bucharest and the UAE? Will they let her in without having to be quarantined first?

Tune: Guetta-lite with extra BAGPIPES. Likely to make the finals but will probably finish outside the top 10.

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Diddy Dirty Money - Coming Home.

I’ve been enjoying this album a great deal over the last two weeks (yes I am a DINOSAUR that still uses ancient disc-based media to acquire albums, which is why I rarely bother with them these days*). I didn’t like this song much at first, until I clicked what Sean was really moaning about when he disses Smokey Robinson. It’s not “Tears of a Clown” itself he finds fault with, it’s his own reaction to the song and the guilty feelings it triggers. That will teach me to not pay attention to lyrics past the opening line. I still dislike “Coming Home” as a song (melody, arrangement, Skylar’s Dido-esque vocal) but I keep listening to the song so I can react to Sean reacting to Smokey (and Dionne and those dudes that did “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”). Pop music is a strange and complex beast! Let’s see what he’s up to in the video…

Well for a start, a song set within the concept-album-sphere of Northern Europe should definitely have a video where it is GREY and/or RAINING. Minus 10 points there! But Sean’s trudge through his burnt-out memories is suitably grim, plus Dawn and Kalenna walking behind him like vultures waiting for him to die of misery so they can pounce on his corpse. As members of the band they obviously deserve more respect than the random leggy girls draped over Diddy’s smoking furniture. This is indicated by them wearing Trousers. Hmmm.

However we only get a very brief glimpse of the buxom lasses in question! It’s strange having that tiny nod to trad hip-hop/RnB tropes when Last Train To Paris is certainly not a trad hip-hop/RnB album - it’s almost as if the girls aren’t there at all, they’re just a mirage in Sean’s mind as he picks his way through his baggage. When Dawn and Kalenna walk past in his footsteps, the girls and the random detritus are gone. Subtle details underneath a glossy sheen is entirely what this album is about**.

*Also I can’t work out how to sync iTunes playlists with my phone without wiping my Angry Birds score, despite having a Computer Science degree.
**Like them wearing seatbelts in the helicopter. Very sensible and grown-up.

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Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill.

YEEEEOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!

Ahem. Sorry about that, the first half of this video is so heavily orange-filtered that I have automatically donned my sunglasses and launched into “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. I’m amazed that Alexis doesn’t drive a ridiculously over-sized Hummer as well, running over Man Bells’ guitar that he’s carelessly abandoned in the middle of the road. The rest of it (‘back at the lab’ where SCIENCE happens) also makes about as much sense as the average CSI:Miami plot, but it’s still better than this visual travesty. All we need now is a widow and/or small child that needs Protecting.

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Harel Skaat - Milim.

Eurovision is less than a week away! Let’s have a butchers at the brilliantly mental video from the Israeli entry: Harel has packed up his worldly possessions and is moving to the Desert of Emo - TO FORGET. The realisation that he went to all the effort of bringing the bathtub along with him and there’s no running water (doh!) has not improved his mood, and his favourite petticoat turning into dust is the last straw. He takes out his frustrations on a guidebook about the Dead Sea (helpfully written in English so we can understand). This is clearly a metaphor for being at the LOWEST POINT in his life DO YOU SEE (Sea) (like the Dead Sea) (Dead like his Heart). Awesome.

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Kelis - Acapella.

I’ve never been that keen on videos that make people’s eyes look weird (cf Sugababes’ ‘Change’ where Keisha’s hayfever must have been running riot). Here Kelis has employed a range of icky eyewear options including a rhinestone mask (that she seems to be awkwardly craning her neck from side to side in order to see out of), white make-up that makes her look like she’s squinting, marker-pen that will be a nightmare to get off etc. I am reaching for the Claritin as we speak.

The whole Tribal theme is a bit uncomfortable, especially the ‘reveal’ at the end - hate to say it dude, you are not really a convincing Earth Mother. A few clever shots aside this really seems half-cooked - Nicki Minaj’s marine troops were a much better use of jungle environs! Living in an organic yurt with your two husky dogs is all very well and good but in future Kelis needs to remember to put the electric candles away before the visitors turn up. And then there’s the black backdrop with pollen blowing everywhere in which Kelis may as well be lying on her back doing pedalling exercises to strengthen her pelvic floor. And skip to 2.47 for the worst cgi desert ever - you can actually see the blurry line where someone’s had to Photoshop out the edge of the blue screen curtain. Shame, because the song’s not bad.

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Nicki Minaj ft Sean Garrett - Massive Attack

Caution: Not one for the arachnophobic. Or the Lil’Kimophobic.

A helicopter chases the Compact Pussyact across the desert, but it’s not Penelope Pitstop inside: it’s General Minaj and her crack squad of pink-wigged double-jointed troops. Their mission is unclear, however Nicki’s sergeant’s worried face at 0.52 implies that it is a perilous quest indeed (finding a version of this video on Youtube that doesn’t immediately start playing Rick Astley perhaps).

Her true opponent is of course the 'Hard' Army led by Comrade Rihanna! I’m not sure who would win in a game of Risk though. Let’s compare the individual battles between ‘Massive Attack’ and ‘Hard’:

TACTICNICKIRI-RI
Pike SquadronSpiky GlovesSpiky Shoulderpads
LogisticsPink sports carPink tank
Protective HeadgearPink topknotMickey Mouse helmet
Product Placement MissilesArachnid cage at London Zoo??Online Poker
Campaign HistoryAwesome debut SingleDidn’t actually chart in the UK
Tune OnslaughtAbsolutely BangingAbsolutely Grinding
Guest BattalionDoes all the singingDoes all the rapping

(argh - why do tables never work on Tumblr dashboards? Click here for the Enigma-decoded version of this wartime secret)

Hmm. What do you lot think?

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Gorillaz - Stylo.

Things Bruce Willis has been doing in the desert while waiting for Gorillaz to drive past:

- recording a new album, Bruno: The Dessicated Hits
- absent-mindedly staring at billboard advertising trichological supplements
- wishing he’d swapped his red car for a policeman’s motorbike to emulate his last film role that anyone can remember fondly
- picking at gunk under his fingernails
- painting himself green to blend seamlessly into the cactii community
- gossiping to hot dudes not in his area on Chat Roulette
- achieving a new high score on Peggle
- making sure his tyre pressure levels are ok
- watching enough episodes of Lost to get a bit freaked out when the robot girl member of Gorillaz later emits a column of dark smoke
- waiting for the new Lady Gaga video to premiere

(unembeddable link here if the one above disappears)

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Agnes - I Need You Now.

Agnes is deadly serious about her attempt to break the world land speed record (currently 763 mph): she’s even hired a Native American in traditional garb to test out the salt flats and check whether the conditions are perfect.

But it’s not long before DISASTER STRIKES - Agnes gets some pretty nasty engine trouble at 1.53 and her nearest branch of Kwik-Fit is literally miles away. It could have been worse, at least there are no opportunistic desert bandits waiting to pounce on her, but it looks like she’ll have to bolster her horsepower some other way.

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Sugababes - About A Girl.

I wasn’t expecting miracles from the new ‘Babes lineup but this is just…bad.

Three stunt girls who I assume are meant to look like a bit like the Sugababes arrive at a desert shack to perform a baffling suitcase deal with some gangsters, while the Actual Sugababes jiggle around in a completely different bit of desert. But the stand-ins don’t actually exchange the suitcase for anything! They start doing some Adam West Batman ‘fighting’ without even getting the cash first! Then they all bugger off again and it turns out the suitcase is worthless in the first place. Why did they even turn up? Utterly pointless.

Heidi still manages to look wonderful, thank god.

(h/t Maura)

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Empire Of The Sun - Standing On The Shore.

These Australian dudes have a penchant for wandering around exotic locations in ridiculously ornate headdresses: their latest episode in the series appears to be a live-action version of one of those badly-animated 80s cartoons churned out by Mattel to plonk in the lucrative 4.40pm advertising slot before Newsround. I have to say the swordfish ladies kinda creep me out though.

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