A friend of mine asked me where I get the inspiration for these and I started to list a couple of music videos that really hit it out of the park for me. On that note I decided to make a list. I will not number this list because I just simply can't. I love all of these equally and I can watch them over and over every single time. You will identify two kinds on the list: The ones that add an extra depth to the lyrics and the ones that are simply unique from a cinematographic point of view. To some of them I'm gonna give a longer introduction, just so you know what to look for - in other words - how to see them with my own eyes.
Hope you will like some of them, perhaps you didn't know them, let me know in the comments! And prepare for a sh*tload of songs with 'love' in their title!
Laura Pausini - I Need Love
An Italian artist for a change, with an English song... This really speaks for itself, and there are a couple of twists at the end that just melt my heart every time. I always like those music videos where the singer is sort of a narrator who is also somehow involved in the story. I can't really define it, check it out!
James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover
This one... yeah. I just cry every time. It's a good cry though! Still, tears on my pillow... It features Mischa Barton and when you watch it you'll realize that the story told reflects feelings in a way that would work even without the lyrics. That being said, it is already awesome and the lyrics manage to take it to a whole new level!
Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply
Here we come back to the singer as a narrator, but I mostly love this video because of Paris and the warm autumn colors. It feels me up with hope and desire every time I watch it. You might argue that I love it so much because it is nostalgic to me, I was 6 years old when this came out, yet I never grew tired of it. (But MTV got close once, as it aired it at least 18 times one Sunday afternoon...) It also gives you a very clear lesson as to why cellphones are so important!
The All-America Rejects - Move Along
It has a story. It is has depth. It is a moving feature and it has stop-motion elements. It is everything I would want in a video. It introduces the band, it has a back story that the lyrics inspired. This is one of my absolute favorites! It actually directly inspired some of my own work!
The Killers - Bones
First of all, Devon Aoki and Michael Steger. It takes the lyrics - quite literally - and makes fun of it. It is retro and it is funny. Honestly, it is effing funny! Just watch it :D
Kiesza - Hideaway
Dancing. That's one of my weaknesses. I would love to believe that I am a choreographer just because I have certain steps memorized in my head. I am not. But I do love music videos that feature it. I'm gonna be an asshole and tell you that the elevated twerk that Beyoncé does in some of her videos for me does not count as dancing... P!nk's "Try" was actually quite beautiful in my opinion, just to draw a comparison. Still, this one beats them for one specific reason: single shot. It reminds me of musicals, what can I say? It might not deal with the lyrics, but it is something to be amazed at on a cinematographic level!
Cee Lo Green - Cry Baby
This is simply silly :D To tell you the truth I actually love songs that deal with break up but have a happy melody. Why? Because sometimes we have a broken heart but don't want to feel blue anymore! We want to laugh about it! We can't forget about it, but that doesn't mean that we want to cry some more! This video actually points out what assholes guys can be and it makes you smile at the same time. Nicely done! And well, you can't go wrong with period pieces, love the clothes they wear!
Michael Jackson - Remember the time
The King of Pop, of course. You knew it was coming. Or at least thought that it has to! I could list more of his videos, but this song is my absolute favorite so I decided to choose this one. I will include the 10 minute version down here, because Jackson was famous for the short movies he made his music videos into, but click here for the shorter version! (I do not appreciate the snake shot toward the middle, but hey, Eddie Murphy!)
Katy Perry - Part of Me
The next up had to be Perry! If there is anyone today who - in my opinion - rivals Jackson's short movies then it is Katy Perry! Each clip has its own story, which adheres to the lyrics as well. It was hard for me to choose a favorite, but it has to be this one. It is the best rebound song of all freakin' time as well as the most patriotic thing I have seen in the past 10 years! I am not even kidding with you, this song makes me want to be American! I want to be a marine! Moreover, I want to be Katy Perry :D You go girl!
Coldplay - Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
A bit of stop motion. Something I already had the pleasure of working with and can quite honestly say that mine sucks in comparison! But you probably guessed that :D It is also an interesting fact that I do not like Coldplay music videos. Sincerely, I cannot recall one - beside this - that ever caught my attention. I can't really pinpoint what my problem is, especially because I very much enjoy their music. Either way, this one is a home run!
Kylie Minogue - Timebomb
This video has simply got a feeling about it... I don't know how to explain it. It just fills you with energy and you just stare and go 'wow' for four minutes. (That's actually the title of another Minogue song that I love!) It was shot in London, so that is cool, and for me it perfectly portrays the feeling of a fast paced life. A kind of life that might sometimes spiral out of control - but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. And, as she sings, "I wanna, wanna dance like it was the last dance of my life." I love this video.
Ligabue - Tu Sei Lei
Another Italian. Forgive me, I had to include this as this video is my life. I mean, it was shot in Rome - the Italian capital -, and as you will see it tells the story of two artists who come up with a project. The title of the song translates to "You are Her", and you can guess that the lyrics are about that special girl who was meant for him (whoever he is). The video itself plays with the words, as the two artists are actually still looking for 'Her', while in the lyrics it is clear that we already know who it is (at least morally!).
So, this video brought to life all the feelings I had while living in Rome. The colors? The expressions? The laughs? God, I can hear the people laugh while I watch this video. The fountain's water splashing in the background as the pigeon's fly high. The singer, Luciano Ligabue, sings on a boat that crosses the Tevere, right where my house was. It is mesmerizing for me to watch this video. I love this man, I love his songs, I love the videos - but this in particular I feel was made for me!
La Roux - Kiss and Not Tell
I love this woman. I really do. And when I saw this video? Wow! First of all, this is not what I had in mind when I heard the song! Not even a little bit. And you know, when you imagine something beforehand there is always a bit of disappointment that follows, seeing that it is different (that is why book readers hate adaptations... and also why I direct my own versions). But not this video :D This one is a roller coaster of awesomeness. She looks awesome in it, I love the idea, the retro colors, the interpretation of the lyrics - this was probably the intended purpose, but I gave it a different one. It is funny and, well, sexy at the same time. I don't know how she did that, but she did. And it's awesome!
Maroon 5 - Misery
Oh well, what can I say? Yes, they are ultimately one of my favorite bands. I couldn't actually choose between the two and this also perfectly reflects every single feeling that the lyrics provoke in me. Yes, I feel like I cheated, but I had to include it someway! Watch it, really, just watch it, no words necessary for this one!
Hope you enjoyed this list, both videos and songs. More lists coming soon, stay tuned until then!