Adam’s Top Music Videos of 2014


The following list is ranked on one criteria only: did I like it? There are many other lists out there, and this one is mine.

2014 can either been seen as one of two ways, either the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. On one hand, we cured ALS, but on the other hand ISIS came in and infected everyone with Ebola and then we all rioted and real change happened. Ok, seriously for one second now – we can land a probe on a comet flying around space some 9 billion miles away from earth, but we can’t ___________ (insert any 2014 issue here).

In other news, between fear mongering and sensationalism, the 24 hour news cycle continued to sink to new lows. Everyone’s personal information was probably hacked if they shopped anywhere in 2014, and we’re all being NSA’d. To sum it up, there a couple of people turding up the pool for everyone, and…*sigh* oh well.

Musically – this year could be noted as the return of dominance of the pop star. This year the miscellaneous reality show winners failed to even make a mark. This year’s American Idol winner, Caleb Johnson, has the honor of having the first AI record to fail to chart in the Top 20 and fail to have the lead single make the Billboard Hot 100. Familiar names like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift bookended a year that saw everyone fall in and out of love with Pharell’s Happy and newcomer Iggy Azelia’s “Fancy,” which seemed to never go away. Of course we were also greeted with future one hit wonders Meghan Trainer and Magic! Also, Apple said “you WANT U2’s awesome new album,” and everyone said “no, no we don’t.” So, with that being said, I’m not going to include any pop videos this year (I probably say that every year) because 1) they were horribly overplayed this year and 2) I’m not including any pop songs. no, period. Even with this omission, the video class was like the 2013 NBA Class – kind of weak. Here are a handful videos that I thought were a little better than the rest.

Honorary “Because the Internets” award

sElf – “Runaway”

Imagine 10 years ago, before the interwebs transformed into the social medial, cats, memes, and anonymous leaking, a band walking into a big corporate record office and going “hey guys, for this video, we want to have cats dancing along to our song. Sounds good, right?” I would give 10, maybe 20 seconds before they were escorted out by security. What’s the difference now? Big huge record companies don’t exist! Ha! Anway, this alternative act kind of took a hiatus in 2005 to work on their solo projects, but eventually returned with a new album in 2011. Also, fun factoid, the lead singer of the band co-wrote the expedia dot com jingle with his brother. Nevertheless, this video is listed solely for the webs.

OK Go – “The Writing’s on the Wall

Without commenting on OK Go’s Music, their videos are — to me at least — the one thing that has kept them relevant after all these years. I mean, that Madden 2003 money can only go so far. This band proves time and time again you don’t need millions of dollars worth of special effects and super green screen technology to make something innovative, creative, and beautiful at the same time. For this go around, the band just works with various optical illusions. The major wow factor with this video is that it was filmed in one take. Which we haven’t seen since the likes of Lucas with the Lid Off. Remember Lucas? Did you know that Lucas’ father founded the Pottery Barn? See, look at all this handy knowledge you have learned form this list.

Iron Reagan – “Miserable Failure”

One of the major themes of this year seemed to be 80’s and 90’s nostalgia, most notably Iggy Azelia’s homage to Clueless…but we’re not going pop, so we’re just going to move on. This hardcore punk/thrash crossover band from Richmond, Va, combines the worlds of the Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right to Party” with the classic Brandon Fraser film “Airheads.” Speaking of which, what ever happened to him? Anyway, this music video is just a big ‘ol party with a a boom box and a traveling mosh pit. A very entertaining video, i must say.

Dizzee Rascal – “Paragons”

Anytime I see Noisey associated with a music video, I know there’s a good chance that I’m in for a cinematic masterpiece. My list can’t be complete unless they’re on the list, because – they get it. They put out videos that are worth watching, and this year is no different, with two on the list. The first video is British rapper Dizzee Rascal, whose name I can only assume is a combination of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie and Rascal scooters. In this video, Dizzee finds himself as the leader of a kung fu gang with Mortal Kombat-like powers who is forced into action when he has to avenge the death of one of its members.

Action Bronson – “Easy Rider”

In the second of the Noisey videos, we follow AB as he plays a Vietnam veteran who goes on a Fear and Loathing-esqe acid fueled quest to find his lost guitar. Is that so much to ask for? Dude just wants his guitar.
Perfume Genius – “Queen”

There is a fine line between weird…and bizarre, that pushing the envelope to the furthest possible edge. One inch this way, it’s genius, one inch that way, utter nonsense; you know, stuff like Tim & Eric, Fear and Loathing, and more recently – “Too Many Cooks.” Well, this video sort of lured me in. It was sort of one of those videos you can see as a long cut away in Fear and Loathing, or like that scene from Beerfest, where they enter than non-descript door to find all that weird shit going on before they get to the secret Beerfest door. The one thing about this video is that I don’t know whether it’s one of those “every element NEEDS to mean something. Every colour was specifically chosen. The way he tilts his head in this one shot totally means something. The number of papers flying through the air…EVERYTHING!” or weird shit for the sake of weird shit. I hope the latter.
“Weird Al” Yankovic – “Foil”

Ok, this year for the most part was a downer, but do you remember that one week where the biggest story was that Weird Al was releasing a new song each day…those were good times, were they not? He is the king of parody songs and videos, and should rightfully be at the top of this list as well.
As always, I thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to read this and click a few links, and…you know what, for a change…for 2015, let’s focus on positivity for once…instead of just obsessing with what’s wrong with everything for once. Is that too much to ask for? Ok, fine, how about some better music videos? this year sort of took a break it seems.