The best pop videos of 2013

Best Videos pop 2013

The fifteen best videos in pop in 2013

In the next few days I will publish some end-of-year lists to show you what my favourites were in pop music this year. I will start with the best 15 pop music videos that were released in 2013. There were quite some great videos to see the light of day this year, here is my pick:

15. Antti Tuisku – Rakkaus On.
Finnish pop star Antti Tuisku made a comeback this year with the single ‘Rakkaus On.’. The video for the song features Tuisku in various gorgeous landscapes with beautiful colours that symbolize the four elements. The parts where he is partly buried in sand are gorgeous and Antti standing on a mountain with his clothes flowing in the wind is a tad dramatic, but pretty great to look at. Visually, this is one of the most beautiful videos I have seen this year.

14. Chlöe Howl – Paper Heart
Chlöe Howl is a newcomer in the British music scene, but she will probably be one of the biggest new acts next year. The video for her single ‘Paper Heart’ has a simple concept, but is very effectively executed. We follow Chlöe when she gives a show in a park to break up with her boyfriend. The video plays nicely with the words of the song and this could definitely be called an epic way to break up with some douche bag. Well done Chlöe, we’ll hear more from you next year!

13. Gabrielle Aplin – Salvation

2013 was a big year for Gabrielle Aplin, as she released her successful debut album. She released ‘Salvation’ as the last single this year, with a gorgeous and fitting video, directed by Zaiba Jabbar. The story of needing someone to get through a tough period in life is perfectly depicted in the choreographed video. The movements, setting and atmosphere of the video all complement the song and Gabrielle herself looks stunning throughout the whole thing.

12. Jenni Vartiainen – Junat Ja Naiset
2013 has been a good year when it comes to videos by Finnish pop stars. Just like Antti Tuisku, Jenni Vartiainen made a gorgeous music video in breathtaking landscapes. In comparison to Tuisku, Vartiainen’s ‘Junat Ja Naiset’ is depicted way darker and more mysterious. The video is intriguing with all its metaphors and dark costumes. Almost every shot is beautiful and leaves you wanting to see the video again and again.

11. Diana Vickers – Cinderella
Sometimes, all a good music video needs is a cute love story. Diana Vickers must have known this when she filmed the video for her single ‘Cinderella’. The video is basically a modern take on the fairytale in which Vickers escapes from a party with a cute looking guy she just met. The two steal some drinks and end up in a pool. Nothing complicated, but just a beautifully depicted little love story of a cute and gorgeous couple.

10. Tom Odell – Another Love
This beautiful song by Tom Odell has two different videos which are both worthy of a place in this top 15. The first one was released in November 2012 and features Tom Odell in a room stoically singing the song to the camera while his girlfriend is putting op a fight with him. This was quite a hypnotic and impressive visual. In the second one, we see Odell spreading pictures of a missing girl through the city while he does not recognize her when he meets her. It is a beautiful story that goes well with the touching song. Two great videos for one song, impressive stuff!

09. Lily Allen – Hard Out Here
This, ladies and gentlemen, was the big comeback of the enfant terrible in pop music, Lily Allen. She came back in style with a funny and cheeky video that caused some controversy. The video criticized Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ with some satire, including the line ‘Lily Allen has a baggy pussy’. The video, directed by Christopher Sweeney, in which the judgement on women in the music industry is criticized, sparked some controversy, because people thought Allen was objectifying black women. To all those people, Allen can only say: ‘If you can’t detect the sarcasm you’ve misunderstood’.

08. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
This was the year of the comeback of Justin Timberlake as well. He released some music after quite some years of focusing on his acting career. ‘Mirrors’ was his most successful single and by far his best video. The video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, depicts the love of two people throughout their lives. We see different phases of getting to know each other, a first pregnancy and the death of one of them. It is al beautifully acted and shot and in the finale, we see a beautiful scene with Timberlake surrounded by mirrors. This video was definitely the best part of his comeback.

07. Veronica Maggio – Sergels Torg
Veronica Maggio is one of Sweden’s most popular artists and she made one of the most touching and heartbreaking videos of the year for her gorgeous single ‘Sergels Torg’. The video, directed by Mans Nyman, is shot in sunny territory, which contrasts with the feelings the song and video are about. Maggio, preparing for a party on her own in an apartment with a swimming pool, is beautiful to watch and her frustration and loneliness are intense in the climax of the song. We literally see her fall apart and this never looked so beautiful before.

06. Britney Spears – Work Bitch!
And then there was a not so impressive new single by Britney Spears. The video, directed by Ben Mor, however, was quite spectacular, when compared to her visual output in recent years. She showed us some attitude and the settings in the desert, at the pool with the sharks and some of the dance scenes were all very pleasant to look at. Britney looks better than she did in years and the whole vibe of the video comes across like she had a lot of fun at the shoot. Shame about the song, but that video was pretty great!

05. Katy Perry – Unconditionally

Actually, the same goes for Katy Perry. ‘Unconditionally’ might be her weakest single so far, but that video, directed by Brent Bonacorso, is just undeniably beautiful. Perry looks gorgeous, the sets are breathtaking and the slow motion/fast forwarding editing is completely in line with the melody and beat of the song. Great dancing scenes, beautiful owls and that car crash scene, all completely gorgeous. The ‘Roar’ video was fun, but this is absolutely impressive. One of her best videos so far!

04. Anouk – Birds
Anouk, the Dutch pride at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, not only did a great performance at the show, but recorded a beautiful video for her song ‘Birds’ as well. She worked together with director Dana Nechushtan and gave the song a whole new meaning. The music video kind of feels like a short film and breathes a similar atmosphere to Black Swan. Anouk herself only plays a small part as ballet teacher. The story about suicide is not what most people had in mind with the song at first and therefore gives the song a new dimension. That is quite something to achieve with a video!

03. Beyoncé – Pretty Hurts
One of the hardest tasks in making this top 15, was choosing just one Beyoncé video from her visual album. Quite a lot of videos on this album would be good enough for this list, but I wanted to pick only one per artist. The most meaningful and impressive video on BEYONCÉ was for ‘Pretty Hurts’, directed by Melina Matsoukas. We see Beyoncé participating in a beauty pageant and the peek behind the curtain shows she is not that happy with her life. The scene halfway through where the host asks her what her aspiration in life is, which seems like an eye-opener for her, is beautifully depicted. It tells the story of the song perfectly and this is definitely one of the best videos in her career.

02. Hozier – Take Me To Church
This is the video that surprised me the most out of all the things I have seen in 2013. I was absolutely moved and impressed by it. The video, directed by Brendan Canty, shines a whole new light on the meaning of the song and it is definitely a very powerful message of love and acceptance. It is obvious that this video is saying something about the new laws in Russia that make it harder for LGBT people to live their own life and easier for hateful people to discriminate them. It is a brave step for new Irish artist Hozier to record such a video and song and I will definitely look forward to new material next year!

01. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Most of all, 2013 was the year of Miley Cyrus. Hit after hit, controversy after controversy. Her video for the single ‘Wrecking Ball’, directed by Terry Richardson, truly delivered some iconic visuals of her naked, swinging on a wrecking ball. These images will still be remembered in a few years time in pop culture. The video is daring, but Miley at the same time acts out the vulnerability that is described in the lyrics of the song. I am not a huge fan of the hammer licking, but other than that, everything in the video perfectly complements the song. Not only did this video have a lot of impact, it is executed very well and deserves it to be crowned as best video of the year!

Last but not least, some honourable mentions: Lana Del Rey’s stunning short film Tropico, did not qualify as a music video, Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’, Beyoncé’s ‘Mine’ and ‘Haunted’ and Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop’ did not make it, because other videos by the same artist did and Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn’ just missed out in 16th place.

Video Review: Gabrielle Aplin – Salvation

gabrielle aplin salvation video

Gabrielle Aplin releases classy video for ‘Salvation’

It has been a very successful year for Gabrielle Aplin. After topping the British charts with her rendition of ‘The Power Of Love’, used in the John Lewis Christmas advert of 2012, she gained momentum. In the spring of this year, the young singer released her debut album English Rain and scored hit singles with songs like ‘Home’, ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ and ‘Panic Cord’. ‘Salvation’ is chosen as the next single, which seems like a perfect choice for the time of year. Recently, Aplin uploaded the video for the song and it a classy one.

‘Salvation’ is the fifth single from her debut album English Rain. Although the album is full of great songs and potential singles like ‘Keep On Walking’, ‘November’, ‘Human’ and ‘Alive’, ‘Salvation’ was the right choice as it might be the best track on the record. ‘Salvation’ is a piano ballad with a beautiful build up and an orchestral and breathtaking climax. Aplin’s sweet and flawless vocals work perfectly on this stripped back track. Lyrically, the song is about someone or something that helps to deal with a difficult period in life that just happened.

This theme is omnipresent in the beautiful video for the song. The video starts with some shots of Aplin walking on the streets, which reminds of her ‘Home’ video, where she was left alone with her belongings stolen from her. In the rest of the video we see Aplin in big and empty rooms, accompanied by a dancer in white, reminiscent of an angel. He offers her his hand and they dance together, which is captured beautifully on screen. The slow motion dance scenes fit perfectly with the slower parts of the song and in the climax, fast forward, stop motion and flashing lights are complementing the change of pace in the music. After the dances, Gabrielle leaves the angel dancer behind, which could be interpreted as her being saved by him and strong enough again to face things on her own. In this way, the video tells the story of the song extremely well, with excellent use of striking visuals and a beautiful choreography.


Video Recensie: Gabrielle Aplin – Salvation

Gabrielle Aplin komt met stijlvolle video voor ‘Salvation’

Gabrielle Aplin heeft een succesvol jaar achter de rug. Nadat de zangeres vorig jaar de eerste plaats in de Britse hitlijsten haalde met haar vertolking van ‘The Power Of Love’, dat werd gebruikt in de John Lewis kerst reclame, raakte haar carrière in een stroomversnelling. In het voorjaar bracht ze haar eerste album English Rain uit en wist hits te scoren met de singles ‘Home’, ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ en ‘Panic Cord’. ‘Salvation’ is nu gekozen als de volgende single en die is perfect geschikt voor de tijd van het jaar. Gisteren zette Aplin de video voor het lied online en het is een stijlvol geheel geworden.

‘Salvation’ is alweer de vijfde single van het album English Rain. Hoewel het album vol staat met sterke songs en potentiële singles als ‘Keep On Walking’, ‘November’, ‘Alive’ en ‘Human’, is ‘Salvation’ toch de beste keuze, omdat het misschien wel het mooiste liedje van haar plaat is. Het is een mooie piano ballad met een sterke opbouw die uitmondt in een orkestrale en adembenemende climax. Aplin’s lieve en loepzuivere stem draagt het grotendeels kleine liedje met gemak. ‘Salvation’ gaat over iets of iemand die steun biedt bij het verwerken van een moeilijke periode in het leven.

Dit thema komt duidelijk terug in de video voor het lied. De video begint met een scène waarin de zangeres over straat loopt, wat een verwijzing is naar de video voor ‘Home’, waar ze berooid en alleen achterbleef. In de ‘Salvation’ video wordt de zangeres ondersteund door een danser in het wit, die regelmatig aan een engel doet denken. Hij geeft haar zijn hand en ze dansen samen in grote en lege zalen, wat prachtig in beeld wordt gebracht. De regisseur maakte veel gebruik van slow motion beelden die goed aansluiten bij het langzame liedje. De tempowisseling in de climax wordt verbeeld met fast forward shots, stop motion en flitsende lichten. Als de twee zijn uitgedanst laat Aplin de engel achter zich wat kan worden geïnterpreteerd als dat de zangeres door hem is gered en weer op het rechte pad is gezet. Ze is er weer klaar voor om de wereld alleen aan te kunnen. Op deze manier wordt het verhaal van het lied perfect verteld met behulp van mooie beelden en een sterke choreografie.