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Op-Ed: Top 10 music videos of 2013

By Sylvannia Soulet     Dec 20, 2013 in Entertainment
There were a lot of noteworthy music videos released this year. Did your favourites make the list? Sylvannia Soulet recaps the year with a comprehensive look at the top 10 music videos of 2013.
The year has come and gone. We’ve seen a lot of old faces on the music scene and some new ones as well. In some instances, the old was re-invented as the new with shocking, tongue-waggling results. As we count down the final days of 2013, let us recap some of the year’s best music videos. In no particular order, the following is a list of the top 10 music videos that 2013 had to offer.
1) The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) – Ylvis
Touted as this year’s successor to “Gangam Style,” Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis took the reins from Psy to claim the dubious title of 2013's unexpected international megahit. Is it annoying? Yes. But the Fox Phenomenon cannot be ignored — in fact, the song was popular enough to inspire a children's book of the same name, already a bestseller. While I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of "The Fox," I will say it gave me one of my most memorable ringtones to date (and in the end, isn’t that all that matters?)
2) Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
I would be remiss to not mention Miley Cyrus, who all but dominated the latter half of 2013 with her headline-grabbing antics, stealing the spotlight from the likes of Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga — NOT an easy feat! She first shocked us with her dramatic departure from her squeaky-clean Disney roots with her music video for “We Can’t Stop,” then twerked her way into the public’s eye at this year’s MTV VMAs. But she topped all of her previous stunts with the infamous “Wrecking Ball” video, where she rides au natural on the titular piece of construction machinery. This video sparked a very public argument between Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor, as well as several parody videos and some blatant cries for attention from other celebrities (I’m looking at you, Rihanna). What will the future hold for Miley Cyrus in 2014? Only time (and her twerktastic tongue) will tell.
3) Chris Hadfield – Space Oddity
When David Bowie made the video for “Space Oddity” in the 1960s, he never could have imagined it would be covered over forty years later by a Canadian astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Hadfield accomplishes just that with this beautiful and mesmerizing homage (though we can forgive him for taking artistic license with some of the more depressing lyrics). There are no Gravity-defying special effects here — the now-retired astronaut was actually floating above Earth in the ISS while recording, in essence, his space swan song.
4) Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
I held off a few months before watching the music video to the unequivocal winner of “Song of the Summer” for 2013. I’m not 100 percent on the exact definition of the Yiddish word for “plotz”, but I’m sure that’s exactly what I did when I saw “Blurred Lines” for the first time. Over three solid minutes of unabashed, unapologetic nudity connected to a sexually-charged, infectious beat. Fun Fact: Pharrell is the feature artist in not one, but two hit singles for 2013 (the other is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky"). The NSFW version has since been removed from Youtube, but even the PG-13 version was effective in drawing the ire of feminists, who accused the lyrics of condoning nonconsensual sex.
5) Work B**ch – Britney Spears
It’s Britney, bitch! Britney Spears reminds everyone that she still got what it takes to leave her mark on the pop charts. With its high-energy electronic beat and simple yet effective mantra repeated over the raunchy visuals of exploding mannequins and whipped dancers, “Work Bitch” is the ultimate workout song. And no, I have no idea why Britney still insists on speaking with a British accent.
6) Bound 2 – Kanye West
“Bound 2” is beyond explanation — slow-moving stallions, West riding an obviously-stationary motorcycle behind a green-screen backdrop while simultaneously mounted by a topless Kim Kardashian. I’d be hard-pressed to find any deep, philosophical meaning behind these images, but perhaps it’s the blatant absurdity coupled with the fact that Kanye West is playing it totally straight that makes this music video so egregiously bad that it’s actually transcendentally brilliant.
7) Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake
The former 'Nsync alumni Justin Timberlake has come a long way from his days as a 1990s teen heartthrob. “Suit and Tie” is a culmination of that evolution. The video itself is a lyrical film noir that stands as a testament to how much Timberlake has matured in both style and sound over the years. Bieber, a fellow Justin, would be wise to take notes.
8) Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan finally gives us a proper music video to his 1965 classic. But it’s not what you'd expect — Israeli multimedia firm Interlude collaborated with Dylan’s team to create a truly unique, interactive experience; you could channel surf through an array of stations, and no matter which one you select, Dylan’s song is lip-synced by whoever is on the screen at that moment. Keen eyes will spot several cameos peppered throughout the video, most noticeably the host of The Price is Right, Drew Carey. The actual music video is on Dylan’s official website, but a teaser of the project can be found on Youtube.
9) Roar – Katy Perry
Katy Perry serves up the obligatory "girl power” anthem of 2013. With some obvious nods to Sheena of the Jungle and The Lion King, Perry shows off her impressive vocal chops in this campy, colourful music video.
10) Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
Last year, Macklemore captivated the cash-strapped masses with his frugal-funk hit “Thrift Shop,” but it’s his second hit single that not only affirms that he won’t be relegated to one-hit wonder status, but also establishes him as a legitimate tour de force in the rap world. With its Rocky-esque brass solo and artistic, cerebral imagery, "Can’t Hold Us" plays like a Mad Max sports anthem. but it’s Macklemore’s rapping that steals the show and makes the video an enjoyable experience that revs up its audience.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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