Wednesday, 15 August 2012

10 Great Songs With Animated Videos

The music video is quickly becoming a forgotten art form. In the 80's, 90's and early 2000's a video was a justifiable expense for a new artist. With the right video a lot of attention could be turned your way and that would translate into a bigger audience for your music. These days the main powerhouse of the video days of yesteryear seems to be more focused on entertainment news and reality tv than fresh videos of new artists. Thankfully there is still youtube to help see what musicians and artists can come up with and some of the more interesting ones, don't even feature the artist at all. Here are 10 great animated videos

1. "All Your Light (Times Like These)" - Portugal. The Man

Oregon's Portugal. The Man have been enjoying moderate success since their arrival in 2004. Their latest album In The Mountain In The Cloud had been their most successful to date and it includes the infectious track "All Your Light (Times Like These)" and though it's not the "official" video, the claymation offering from Justin Kramer and Lee Hardcastle is worth a mention just for it's captivating visual and obvious dedication to a lost art form.

2. "Would You Be Impressed?" - Streetlight Manifesto

From the ashes of 90's ska-punk legends Catch 22 comes Streetlight Manifesto, a gathering of New Jersey punk scene veterans and orchestra musicians. Though in this video they are portrayed by a lion, giraffe, koala, frog, penguin, bear and of course, a cat. Though animal lovers might be upset about the video at first, they'll be cheering at it's rousing conclusion.

3. "Nothing Like This" - J Dilla

I always enjoy it when a legendary producer comes out with an album. How many times the artist they are doing an album for gets all the glory, where it's actually the producer behind the true genius of the song or record? J. Dilla has worked on albums for Common, Busta Rymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, The Roots and Janet Jackson....just to name a few. He also was an accomplished musician and released many albums including 2003's Ruff Draft which had "Nothing Like This" a funky, trip hop song with a equally cool animated video. Sadly Dilla passed away in 2006 of heart failure, but his contributions to the hip-hop world will never be forgotten.

4. "White Corolla" - Casiotone For the Painfully Alone

One man band Owen Ashworth's work is better known under the bizarre pseudonym Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. "White Corolla" is a quirky little techno tune with an equally quirky video. There's something about these forlorn animals breaking out in a dance routine that just makes my day.

5. "Southbound Pachyderm" - Primus

Can't have a list of animated videos without including Primus. Artists these days should sit down and take note. Here's a band typically known for light hearted alt-rock tracks and funky bass riffs. Sure "Southbound Pachyderm" is about elephants, but the video fits the haunting mood of the song perfectly. I dare say flawless. Sure there are a few shots of the band, but they're bullshit postering, no gratuitous cleavage or ass shots, no examples of their limitless wealth. I miss videos that actually had thought and effort put into them and provoked creative thinking.

6. "Hearts A Mess" - Gotye

What a Gotye song that isn't "Somebody That I Used To Know"? This one is from his 2006 release Like Drawing Blood which didn't chart quite so well over here in North America, maybe because some bastard cover band didn't jump down this song's throat and perform it with 5 people on one guitar. The video for "Hearts A Mess" has a Tim Burton-esque vibe to it achieve through computer animation and a dark tone, which suits the isolated and desperate tone of the song.

7. "Tool" - Sober

Tool were one of those bands that absolutely despised making music videos. I suppose they felt they wanted to distance themselves from the MTV stereotype as much as possible and when it came down to it, filming a video can be tedious and repetitive. Boring if you will. So Tool went another direction and made uniquely visual videos that fit their music swimmingly. "Sober" was one of the first claymation videos to receive heavy rotation and has earned classic status in this modern age.

8. "On Melancholy Hill" - The Gorillaz

How can I have a list of animated videos without including an animated band? The Gorillaz are the brainchild of Blur's frontman Damian Albarn. A completely digital and fictional band know for holographic performances and a long twisted back story to go with their musically diverse albums. Plastic Beach was the 3rd album for The Gorillaz and featured a plethora of guest artists. I won't get into the flavoured past of the band's fictional members, but from the video it appears this song is at the beginning of what will no doubt be an epic journey.

9. "Heaven Sent" - Esthero

Canada's beautiful Esthero's debut track had a hauntingly beautiful video to go along with it. Though not fully animated it mixed video footage with animation and used camera trickery to make it appear like an old silent film. It deserves a nod

10. "One Man Wrecking Machine" - Guster

My favourite song off of what is quickly becoming my favourite album of the last decade has perhaps one of the most uniquely animated videos. Yarn animation. "One Man Wrecking Machine" is simply wonderful, an easy melody that gets locked inside your head and a video that is impossible to turn away from.

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  1. What? No Radiohead? Too Obvious?

    Slightly biased, and probably not your style...

    AND thanks for the intro to Portugal the man. Great band...

  2. do the evolution by pearl jam? really??