It’s amazing how art works together. Movies have soundtracks to create the mood of a scene, and books have illustrations to show the reader what’s happening. In the same way, musicians often create videos to go with their songs.
I often see music videos in one of two categories: Narrative videos that tell a story, and performance videos that depict the band or artist performing the song. Of course, there is some overlap between categories, but generally, most videos lean more towards on or the other. Each style offers its own advantages and disadvantages, but both types give the artist plenty of room to be creative.
Narrative music videos are unique, because unlike movies or TV shows, they usually don’t contain dialogue. Instead, they tell stories with just music and actions. In place of storytelling, performance videos allow the artist to create interesting visual effects with lighting, background, and so on. They can be just as creative as narrative videos.
I’ve compiled a list of my ten favorite music videos from all sorts of genres in all sorts of styles. I’ll be posting it in two parts – one this week, and one next week. I’ll also provide links to watch each video, as well as list the artist, album, and genre of the song. So, let’s get started!
Artist – RED
Album – Of Beauty & Rage
Genre – Hard rock
RED is no stranger to narrative music videos, as seen with their previous videos for “Feed The Machine” and “Release The Panic.” However, I was blown away by the “Darkest Part” video. It plays very similar to a short film, with shots of the band performing in an empty room cut between longer, narrative-style scenes. Altogether, it’s a very well made video, and one that still gives me chills every time I watch it.
Touch This Light
Artist – House of Heroes
Album – Cold Hard Want
Genre – Rock (or punk rock, alt rock… you get the idea)
Switching gears for a moment, “Touch This Light” is an example of how a simple performance music video can become something truly amazing. Even though the black & white video may seem boring at first, House of Heroes uses it to its full potential by creating unique effects with light and shadow that wouldn’t have the same effect in color. Plus, the band brings so much passion to their performance, it’s hard not to enjoy it.
Love In Your Arms
Artist – Eleventyseven
Album – Galactic Conquest
Genre – Pop punk, electronic
I admit it, part of the reason I love this video so much is that it’s the first music video I ever watched. I distinctly remember hanging out at my friend’s house, watching this on his Wii’s YouTube app and having to wait every thirty seconds for the video to buffer.
Nostalgia aside, yes, the special effects are cheesy and the video is strange, but it’s also one that’s always brought a smile to my face. It’s quirky and fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is pretty much the definition of the band itself. Because of that, it’s always held a special place in my heart.
I Can’t Stand To Fall
Artist – Philmont
Album – Attention
Genre – Pop punk
Another product of Christian music’s pop-punk phase, Philmont created a number of music videos for their album Attention, but “I Can’t Stand To Fall” is definitely my favorite. Not only is the song catchy, but the video has an interesting combination of grayscale and color shots, as well as some shots where only one color is shown and the rest is in black and white. The colors balanced well, and it’s an effect I’ve tried to replicate in my own photography numerous times. Plus, who doesn’t want to play in a room full of balloons?
You can also watch a behind the scenes look of the music video, if you so desire.
Artist – Flyleaf
Album – New Horizons
Genre – Alternative rock
On the surface, the “New Horizons” video seems like just another performance-based music video. However, the video is very symbolic when put into context. The empty microphone shown towards the end of the video foreshadows Lacey Sturm’s departure from the band, which was announced just a few months after the video’s release. In addition, the various photographs and “home video” footage from the band’s history is an interesting contrast to the music. In a sense, the “New Horizons” video symbolizes a turning point for the band, looking back on the past but also looking ahead to the future.
Flyleaf also released a short behind the scenes look at this video.
Those are the first five of my top ten music videos! Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’ll be sharing the other half of my list. In the meantime, I want to hear what you think! If you have any favorite music videos, be sure to share them in the comments. I’d love to take a look at them!
Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you all next Friday!