Top 5 Favorite Music Videos

Hi everyone!

Music videos. They’re opportunities to witness our favorite singers step in front of the camera and give us a visual interpretation of their songs. Sometimes we’re rewarded with stunning technical achievement (as in Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”.)  At other times we’re treated to dramatic storytelling (Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me”) or comedy (Eminem’s “Without Me” — always hilarious!)  They invite us to view the song and the musician in a whole new way, opening up incredible avenues of creativity and imagination.

When it came to choosing my absolute favorites, I picked the videos that I’ve watched and re-watched multiple times, the ones that exemplified my favorite aspects of music videos — light, darkness, humor, insanity, and of course, good music. Here’s hoping you find your new favorite among mine.

5. Nine in the Afternoon – Panic! at the Disco

This is one of the first music videos I ever really fell in love with, thanks to a kooky Brendon Urie seriously mugging it for the camera. A light-hearted, feel-good song, a Beatlesy-vibe, and a unique aesthetic made this one stand out from so many other songs on the radio at the time. I never get tired of the moment when Brendon looks at the clock and has a Yikes! moment (it happens at 2:07 in the video.) Overally fun video and song that lifts your spirits.

4. We Are Golden – MIKA

What’s better than watching MIKA dance around in his underwear? Not much, as this video goes to show. “We Are Golden” is my favorite song of his and rather than do anything elaborate in his video, MIKA keeps it simple — dancing around, lip-synching to his own song. It’s manically paced and bursting with brights colors and bedroom hijinks. If this song doesn’t get you hyped for the day, nothing will.

3. Partyman – Prince

Prince embraces his inner mischief-maker in this song from The Batman soundtrack. In it, he lives it up, wreaking havoc at a party as the nefarious clown prince of crime. He’s both sexy and funny, playing tricks on all the party guests.

It’s only recently I discovered this video, but I fell for it immediately. Not only do I love the video; I love the make-up. Half-Prince, Half Clown, All Magic. The extended version (which I’ve provided) adds a few more laughs into the mix. And if you can’t get enough of Prince Joker over here, you can catch him again, sporting a half-Batman side in the Batdance video.

2. Don’t Come Around Here No More – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

One of Tom Petty’s best, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is a crazy Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired video with Tom playing a mischievous mad hatter in a quirky black-and-white-checkered setting. Alice is in over her head dealing with Mad Petty, seeing herself become a pig, getting shrunk into a teacup, and finally turning into a delicious cake. It’s twisted, creepy, trippy, and all kinds of devilish goodness. Dig in!

1. I’m Going Slightly Mad – Queen

I’ll admit, when I first heard “I’m Going Slightly Mad”, it kind of creeped me out. Freddie sings in a distant voice as though he’s lost in a cloud of his own madness. Not the most uplifting listening experience.

And then I saw the video.

Of all the music videos I’ve watched (and re-watched) over the years, nothing beats this one (and Queen has a lot of contenders for that title.)

So what does this video have that makes it so special? Humor. Playfulness. Freddie looking like a twisted vampire clown.  A zippy, loopy production that takes (most) of the scary out of the song and replaces it with goofy charm.  I love this video because we get to see Freddie, late in life, having a ball, engaging in silly antics and teasing his fellow bandmates. He wears a bunch of bananas on his head, people!

Do yourself a favor. Watch this video. And laugh. Just laugh. ‘Cause it’s pure joy.

 

What do you think? What are your favorite music videos of all time? I’d love to know!

 

Until we meet again!

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Most Underrated Song of 2017

Hi guys,

One of the features on my blog has been highlighting songs that tend to go under the radar. Last year, there were a few songs that just didn’t get the air-time they deserved, including The All-American Rejects’ comeback song “Sweat” and Foster the People’s Vegas-sounding “Sit Next To Me.” While those are great tunes, neither gets the title of what I feel is 2017’s most underrated song — “Stroll On” by MUTEMATH.

 

 

You may be more familiar with MUTEMATH’s song “Typical“, which, while not charting on the Billboard Hot 100, did reach #33 on the Alternative charts. This song is so laid-back and easy-going, it’s almost dream-like. The tune is psychedelic, a little funky, and soars in the most perfect spots. It’s like the group is singing from a distance, out in space with their guitars, hypnotizing you with their melodic sound. “Stroll On”  is that transportive. If you think I’m over-selling it, just listen to it. You’ll see what I mean.

 

What do you think? What’s your most underrated song of 2017? I’d love to know so tell me in the comments. See you next time!

Best of the Year – 2017

Hi everyone,

2017 has been a year of surprises. The biggest one? That I actually enjoyed a lot of the things that came out of it! Movies in particular were better than they’ve been in years thanks to entries like Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Today, I’m revealing my absolute favorites in 5 different categories – Best Movie, Best Song, Best Album/Soundtrack, Best Television Show, and Best Book. I’d love to hear your favorites too. Without further ado, here are my favs!

Best Movie:

Thor: Ragnarok

What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn’t already been said? A true “marvel”, Thor: Ragnarok is everything superhero nerds like me want — action, humor, style, did I mention humor? Thor 3 is full of one-liners and one-two punches. Not only that, it’s also brimming with characterization, turning what was essentially the most mediocre of the Big 4 Avengers into a star. Loki is also treated perfectly, vain, conflicted, deceitful. Brava! Oh, and all the new characters – Valkyrie, Grandmaster, Hela, Skurge — are dynamic and fun. It’s a non-stop joyride, and you’re crazy not to get on it!

Best Song:

Bad Liar – Selena Gomez

Earlier this year, I did a post called 10 Best Songs of 2017 (So Far). My top pick was, and still is, “Bad Liar”. We’ve had some great songs since June (“Feels” by Calvin Harris, “How Long” by Charlie Puth, “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons), but none compare to Selena Gomez’s clever ode to unspoken feelings. It sounds like nothing else on the radio, so merely for that, I like it. Selena’s voice also sounds great, it’s creative, and I hope to hear more songs like it in 2018.

Best Album/Soundtrack:

Tie: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack and Anastasia Soundtrack

 

This was seriously a toss-up. The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack kicks intergalactic booty with another powerhouse sampling of 70s hits including “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac and “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. We are immersed in the film’s stellar moments thanks to Director James Gunn’s excellent song choices. On the other hand, Anastasia picks up right where the 1997 film left off with bright interpretations of classics like “Journey to the Past” and “Learn To Do It.” Plus, the same songwriters from the original film, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, include new songs such as “In my Dreams” and “The Neva Flows”, crafting an enchanting musical embrace that takes you way back in time. Both go to show that some of the best music today lies in the past. Whether you’re in the mood for sweeping ballads or classic rock, these are two albums you definitely need to listen to.

Best Television Show:

The Orville

My most anticipated show of 2017 turned out to be one of my absolute favorites ever! And that’s saying a lot because I’ve seen a ton of shows. Seth MacFarlane is one of those guys you either love or hate. I personally love him! Family Guy aside, he’s funny, cheeky, dark, strange, and yet surprisingly heart-felt (Ted and Ted 2.) My original expectations for Orville, as they were for many people, revolved around the show being an out-and-out Star Trek parody. Boy, were we wrong! Orville is more like a space satire, a hodge-podge of funny episodes and impressive subversive episodes that critique societal norms.

What? From Seth MacFarlane? Yes! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love how Seth often takes a backseat as his character Ed Mercer, while his crew have unique, individual episodes of their own. He’s made a family at Fox, and I’m looking forward to seeing Season 2 blast off next year!

Best Book:

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Before this year, I never picked up a brand new book for the simple reason that — I’m cheap. I’d rather wait until the books is on sale. But this story, I had to have right away. . .and I’m so glad I spent the money. This magical YA novel follows a young girl named Scarlett as she races through the mystical town of Caraval in order to rescue her kidnapped sister from the clutches of the elusive Legend. It’s a heart-pounding journey through a dark, fantastical land filled with love, danger, and sacrifice. This is YA at its finest people, and by a debut author no less! If you read one book next year, pick this one up. Oh, and it’s getting a sequel next year too. . .so there’s that!

 

And that’s 2017 for ya! Compiling this list was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed sharing my favorites with you guys. But these are just a few of my favorite things. I’d love to know yours. So please share in the comments.

Have a great holiday (hope no Grinches steal your presents!)

UNDERRATED SONG: RED LIGHT FEVER

Hi everyone!

For the start of the summer, I’ve got another underrated song you may want to add to your playlist. It’s by singer/songwriter Liz Phair and it’s called “Red Light Fever.”

You might know Liz Phair from the song “Why Can’t I?” featured in the movie 13 Going on 30. I love that song! And this song comes from the same album! Off the self-titled  Liz Phair, “Red Light Fever” is a song about fear. The singer is frustrated because her friend is either too afraid to be himself (the green light) or too afraid to commit to his girlfriend (the red light.) She just wants him to take a chance, but he keeps stalling at the lights, never really getting to his destination.

It was never released as a single, but it’s one of my favorite songs of hers. I really connect with the lyrics themselves. So, give it the green light and enjoy!

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite underrated Liz Phair song? Tell me in the comments?

 

See you in July!

10 Best Songs of 2017 (So Far)

Hi Guys!

We’re almost half-way through 2017 and already we’ve had a few great radio hits. Here is my list of the 10 best songs of the year so far.

10. Kissing Strangers – DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj

DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” was a massive hit last year. “Kissing Strangers” contains all of that summery dance feel with a sweet hook and a great rap from Nicki. It’s pure fluff, but it’s fun fluff.

9. Slow Hands – Niall Horan 

Harry Styles “Sign of the Times” may be the bigger hit with its Beatlesy sound, but I prefer this song by another One Direction alum Niall Horan. It’s great for a weekend drive, so clap along right with the lyrics.

8. Low – Todrick Hall ft. Ru Paul

At #8, I want to give a shout-out to Todrick Hall for his song, “Low.” This is a strong dance number with intelligent, hilarious lyrics surrounding a Wizard of Oz theme. Plus, it features RuPaul!

7. Cloud 9 – Jamiroquai 

Most people know Jam (yes, I’m calling him “Jam”) from his 90s hit “Virtual Insanity.” This upbeat, funky tune is a great showcase for his unique sound and a good song to dance to.

6. I Feel it Coming – Daft Punk ft. The Weeknd

Daft Punk always finds a way to breath life into repetitive dance tunes. They did it again here with The Weeknd. Perfect for a slow-dance under the stars.

5. Bom Bidi Bom – Nick Jonas ft. Nicki Minaj

From the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack, this Nick/Nicki collab is just ripe for shakin’ those hips! It didn’t get released as a single, but this stands as one of the sexiest songs of the year.

4. Rockabye – Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie and Sean Paul 

Clean Bandit always offers great music. From their first big hit with “Rather Be”, I’ve seen them spawn strong dance tunes ever since. This one, with its message about the lengths a mother will go to provide for her family, is another solid entry. Anne-Marie’s vocals add a nice touch. Can’t wait to hear more from them!

3. Stay – Zedd and Alessia Cara

Honestly, I don’t like either Zedd’s or Alessia’s music separately. But when they came together, they created this catchy little gem. The chorus is strong, and it captures the direness of the singer’s plea to keep her lover with her. I’m sure this one will “stay” on the charts for awhile.

2. Shape of You Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is probably the biggest hit of the year so far, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s catchy, it’s unique, and it’s by Ed Sheeran. Luckily, this song is only a taste of how great his album “Divide” is. Definitely check it out!

1. Bad Liar – Selena Gomez

And finally, we get to my pick for the best song of the year so far — “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. Talk about catchy! If you’re not singing this chorus after hearing it, you must be deaf! It’s so fun, Selena sounds great, and there’s so many twists and turns in this pop gem, it’s worth a few listens. And I ain’t lyin’!

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite song of the year so far? Tell me in the  comments!

 

More fun. . .coming soon!

UNDERRATED SONG: PEARL

Hi everyone,

In honor of Katy Perry’s new single, “Swish, Swish”, and her upcoming album, Witness, I thought I’d go back and give you what I think is her most underrated song. It’s called “Pearl.”

 

From her album, Teenage Dream, “Pearl” is a charming ballad that shows Katy’s softer side. Never released as a single, it nevertheless holds a place in my eyes as one of her best songs. Katy sings about a girl that was ruined by a guy, a girl that was once as beautiful as a pearl, but allowed her relationship to change her. The mood is cold and dark to demonstrate the girl’s sadness.

The twist? Katy’s that girl! Despite this revelation, it ends on an empowering note, that she’ll move on and get stronger, and other women can too.

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite underrated Katy Perry song? Tell me in the comments.

See you later!

UNDERRATED SONG: THE FALL

Hey everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an underrated song, I know. It has been on my mind. So today, I’ve got a whole new song for you. Well, a whole old song, but one you hopefully will enjoy as much as I have. It’s from, you guessed it, ELO. Wait, did you actually guess it? Props!

This gem is taken from the Xanadu soundtrack. For those who don’t know, Xanadu is an 80s disco musical starring Olivia Newton John. It flopped big-time at the box-office, but the soundtrack is actually really great. One of its biggest hits is the song “Magic” by Olivia herself.

However, my favorite song off the album is “The Fall.” ELO provides a few other songs for the soundtrack, but even though it was never released as a single, I love this one the most. It’s about a relationship that’s gone under and the singer is the one taking the blame for it, or rather, “the fall.” The tune is melodic, and yet comes with those chorus punches that get you right in the gut. It reinforces the idea of being awoken from the dream of a wonderful relationship – POW! And it ends on a strong note too.

Whether you’re familiar with ELO or not, this is a beautiful song that deserves more attention. I hope you’ll “fall” in love with it like I did.

What do you think? Do you have an underrated ELO song? Tell me in the comments!

See you again, real soon!