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: Katy Perry – Unconditionally

katy perry unconditionally single cover

Katy Perry unveils gorgeous new video for Unconditionally

Katy Perry released her new album Prism last month and these days she is busy promoting the record. After the hugely successful first single ‘Roar’, she and her team decided to release the song ‘Unconditionally’ as the next one. While the song is climbing slowly but surely on the international charts, it was time for Perry to unveil the video that will go with this release. The power ballad is accompanied by a gorgeous video full of classy and stylish images.

‘Unconditionally’ seems an appropriate release for this time of the year. Winter is slowly heading our way and the Christmas holidays are getting closer. This is usually the time of the year where artists choose their best ballad as the next single to release. The winter theme even comes back in the video of ‘Unconditionally’. Katy Perry is shown walking through falling snow in a white dress. It immediately gives the video an atmospheric identity and Perry seems to be looking even better than she normally does. Almost every scene in this video delivers a gorgeous and memorable image, which is quite impressive.

The best moment of the video, directed by Brent Bonacorso, is when a metaphor for falling in love unconditionally, is depicted literally. According to Perry, to be hit by love could feel like being hit by a car and so we see her with a crashing car behind her. The visuals are impressive and the slow motion used in these scenes is well executed. Slow motion and fast forwarding play an important role in other scenes as well, especially when Perry is surrounded by pairs of dancers in traditional ballroom clothing. Their dance moves are edited in such a manner that they intensify the dramatic moments of the song brilliantly, for example when the thundering drums in the chorus kick in. Other beautiful scenes are when an owl flies away from Perry’s arm and when the singer is surrounded by a immense load of flowers. Overall, Perry delivers her classiest and maybe even best video to date. The song itself is not one of her best singles, but once you get past the wrong pronunciation of the title, ‘Unconditionally’ actually is a pretty decent power ballad with a great production. The video definitely makes you appreciate the song more.


Video Recensie: Katy Perry – Unconditionally

Katy Perry laat prachtige video voor Unconditionally in première gaan

Katy Perry bracht vorig maand haar nieuwe album Prism uit en ze is momenteel druk bezig met het promoten van die plaat. Na het grote succes van de single ‘Roar’, besloten de zangeres en haar team het lied ‘Unconditionally’ als tweede single naar voren te schuiven. Nu het lied langzaam maar zeker de internationale hitlijsten aan het veroveren is, werd het tijd om de bijbehorende video uit te brengen. De powerballad is voorzien van een prachtige video vol stijlvolle plaatjes.

‘Unconditionally’ is een geschikte single voor deze tijd van het jaar. De winter komt langzaam onze kant op en ook de feestdagen komen dichterbij. Dit is normaal gesproken de tijd waarin artiesten massaal hun beste ballad als nieuwe single de wereld in slingeren. Het winterthema komt zelfs ook in de video voor ‘Unconditionally’ terug. We zien Katy Perry in een witte jurk door de vallende sneeuw schuifelen. Het zijn sfeervolle beelden die de video gelijk een eigen identiteit geven en Katy Perry ziet er nog mooier uit dan ze normaal al doet. Bijna elke scène in deze video is beeldschoon en weet een indruk achter te laten, wat op zich al een knappe prestatie is.

Het hoogtepunt van de video, die werd geregisseerd door Brent Bonacorso, is wanneer een metafoor voor onvoorwaardelijke liefde letter wordt verbeeld. Volgens Perry kan liefde soms zo hard binnenkomen dat het vergelijkbaar is met aangereden worden door een auto en daarom zien we haar in beeld terwijl een auto achter haar crasht, terwijl alle brokstukken langs haar hoofd suizen. Het is een indrukwekkend gezicht, dat goed wordt versterkt door het gebruik van slow motion in deze scènes. Ook in andere delen van de video spelen slow motion en versnelde beelden een grote rol, bijvoorbeeld in de scènes waar Perry wordt omringd door dansende paren in een traditionele galakledij. De danspassen zijn op zo’n manier gemonteerd dat ze de dramatische momenten in het lied goed weten te versterken, zoals wanneer de knallende drums het refrein openen. Scènes waarin een uil van de arm van de zangeres wegvliegt en waar ze overladen wordt door bloemen, brengen ook mooie plaatjes met zich mee. Katy Perry levert hiermee haar meest stijlvolle en misschien ook wel haar beste video tot nu toe af. Het lied zelf behoort niet tot haar beste singles, maar als je haar het feit vergeeft dat de titel continu verkeerd wordt uitgesproken, valt er best een mooie en goed geproduceerde powerballad te ontdekken. De video helpt zeker mee om deze single meer te waarderen.

Album Review: Katy Perry – Prism


Katy Perry plays it safe on new record
The release of Katy Perry’s highly successful previous album Teenage Dream, is already three years ago. It does not feel like it is that long ago, because Perry dominated the charts worldwide with no less than eight hit singles from the album in between 2010 and 2012. In the United States of America, six of her singles made it to number one. In August, Perry came back in full force with the release of her single ‘Roar’. It made it to the top of the charts once again and surely, her new album Prism will do very well too, but does the music live up to the expectations?

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