Category: Music Video Reviews


It seems it was yesterday Rihanna released her billionth single off Loud, now it is a whole new album preceded by the basic/half cooked ‘We Found Love’.

Surprisingly, the video is not as half cooked, and basic as the song in itself, neither  the everyday packed club themed visual, but is instead a very good graphic metaphor of the deterioration of a relationship, compared to that of the self-destruction of drugs.

With a Chris Brown look-a-like, and a similar instance to that of what happened previously to the 2009 Grammy’s, Rihanna seems to be tackling the bittersweet journey she underwent with Brown.

The video opens with a British-accent delivered monologue about looking back and trying to get the ‘good’. She sings in a solitary corner with projected clouds, as her past relationship is recounted in remembrances, such as trashing a supermarket, rough sex, dancing in an open field, smoking into each other’s mouth, and extensive arguing.

It is worth noting the beats of the song match the video sequences, and some pretty rad effects incorporate in the course of the visual; a consuming cigarette in varying color hues, dilated pupil close-ups, and the high energy scenes complementing the fast paced rhythm of the segment before the chorus.

Even though it is not a dance-driven video, Rihanna gets away with it. First, because the song is not build for proper choreography due to its overtly repetitive pattern,  and second, because for once it seemed to carry a message, instead of scenes thrown for shock value.

If this video delivers anything else than how her romance died out, it also communicates how much she LOVES to smoke. For once we can say Melina really thought outside of the box; great shooting angles, and on-point illumination.

This is Rihanna’s ‘Teenage Dream’ gone beyond corrupted and out of context. It is raw, and makes the song tolerable.

Probably her best yet.

★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘We Found Love’ below!

Completely shot and directed by Lady GaGa herself, ‘Marry the Night’ sheds some light on her musical origins. The video portrays her struggle in the music industry, the process of breaking through personal hindrances, and landing a record deal. In the opening electronic instrumentation, one can almost hear lament and triumph all at once.

The ‘Thriller’-esque length time of the video is a bit pretentious, and this time it could indeed count as a mini-film, as the background interlude presented is extensive, covering her stints in rehab, and constant daydreaming of superstardom (which were exuberantly well put). All criticism aside, Stefani Germanotta is uber talented, so no less could be expected from her.

Props go to editing; some of the dance sequences are obviously edited carefully to cover up any mistakes in the dance routine, but nonetheless the
scene remains an spectacle. GaGa hadn’t moved like this since ‘LoveGame’. No more lethargic moves, no sloppy steps, and a lack of random monster-paw references, are elements to be much appreciated and welcomed.

Yes, some angles and shots seem amateurish, and distract the viewer, but it still remains probably her finest as far as the Born This Way era concerns. If she would’ve only threw this from the very beginning, her album could’ve lived up to the hype.

The video wouldn’t be GaGa enough without her antics, such self-applied peroxide, runned down mascara, and utterly high heels that could break anyone’s ankles at mere sight. Other attention seeking components include nude sequences in a bathtub, and a seriously violent scene involving cheerios. The acting is a bit corny, but she can’t be blamed for her theatricality, when drama is what defines her persona.

The video perceptibly draws inspiration from ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and ‘Fame’; which are great references; she finally got it right.

If this proves anything, it proves Lady GaGa shines best when she’s not trying too hard. Effort does not equal an over intricate plot, or overtly done dance moves that may be perceived as convoluted, hopefully she learned her lesson; its ironic how this song is not what became the record’s biggest hit, when it is the strongest song in the whole set.

Standing ovation.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Marry The Night’ below.

LMFAO have taken radio and everyone’s ear by storm since the heavily dub-stepped ‘Party Rock Anthem’ made chart splash, and made the Australian dance step of the shuffle more popular globally, or probably more than it already was (other than being an online attraction). The duo sit on their sophomore record and are still with their energies ready to party and keep everyone moving no matter the cost.

After depicting the ’28 Days Later’ superbly inspired video for ‘Party Rock Anthem’, and the vampire-hunt ‘Champagne Showers’ with Natalia Kills’ appearance, the boys have taken themselves to Venice Beach to have a full flashing experience of their bodies to commemorate the work-out hymn that is ‘Sexy And I Know It’. For starters, it is a ‘WHAT?!’ inducing video, which means it’ll probably grab one’s attention whether they like it or not.

Sand, a sunny Venice beach prowl, beach towels, insulated skin, public gymnasiums in the midst of basketball courts, male vanity, jealous exaggeratedly hunky men, cameos, and sparkling speedos bring ‘Sexy And I Know It’ to life, changing perceptions as to what the song stands for. Originally as a self-indulging body idolization upon mere listen, now as a cherishing of one’s own physical particularity upon mere view.

It follows Red foo across Venice beach delivering exercised-based choreography to the thumping beats of the single while drawing attention along a mini troupe of dancers, before they shed of all clothing and shake their ‘cheese’ to the beat. Sky blu notices Redf oo and follows along, before they have a cock-a-rrific NSFW wiggling showdown, which then turns into an exhibition of shiny speedos and briefs across a bar runway. It reminds of a non-CGI’d version of ‘California Gurls’, minus the candy landscape (but actual California), bare chests, sweat, and of course guys instead. Talking about Katy Perry, if she ever made a video for her Teenage Dream track ‘Peacock’, this could give an idea of how it would be like.

If this video makes any proper form of a statement, is that LMFAO are…crazy, and proud of their bodies. All the visuals they’ve been treating their singles with have been magnificent, and ‘Sexy And I Know It’, despite being ridiculously random and a crotch pointer, portrays a pretty good frame of the guys’ humor and how bouncy (no pun intended) and fun their music is.

Everyone may frown or cringe at the sight of this, but they know they will be wiggling their junk or at least emulating what goes on in the video when they play the song. If someone says otherwise or deny ever hip swiveling during the ‘Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah’ segment, they’re probably lying.

Overall, it is a good video, pretty cool angles, definitely summer-charged, upbeat, humorous and colorful. Hell, this proves guys are also allowed to flaunt and be playful with their sexuality as well, so girls…take it for what it is.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Sexy And I Know It’ below.

Remember last year’s Teen Choice Awards? If anyone does, Katy Perry hosted the ceremony and performed ‘Teenage Dream’ for the first time, while plugging promotion for the single and its ensuing album. Also, she dressed-up as prom queen, a hippie, a hot-ass cheerleader (who cracked a perfect split on stage and a lesson on unpronounceable words), AND a school nerd, throughout to announce nominees and presenters. The metal braced character then went down as another poke at fun by Perry…until now.

Perry has turned the turtle-necked persona into ‘Kathy Beth Terry’, a 13-year old eighth grader who is neighbors with online viral sensation Rebecca Black, and serves as the protagonist of Katy’s latest visual for ‘Last Friday Night (T.GI.F.)’.

The video centers on Kathy solving Sudoku puzzles, who is disturbed by Black’s hosted party on a Friday night. Kathy knocks on Black’s door so the volume is turned down, but is instead pulled in for a make-over, which results in a perm-haired, neon clothed version of Perry who parties hard until she drops. The story is developed in a flashback, and starts by alluding to blockbuster film ‘The Hangover’.

Hanson, Kenny G, Corey Feldman and Debbie Gibson, make appearances in the video; it seems Perry and Director Mark Klasfeld got their 90’s nods just about right and on point. But she also keeps it current by featuring Glee‘s Kevin McHale and Darren Criss, as a matching nerd madly in love with Kathy Beth, and as a popular party goer respectively. The bloopers at the end are worth watching aside the video in itself, which has Feldman making references to his role in The Lost Boys, for instance, a wardrobe malfunction, and also presents a deep voiced Perry trying to explain herself.

Katy stays true to the song, which consolidates the concept of the video, but also gives it an element of surprise, by pulling off a side-plot line to what the song describes, meshing it with humor at best. The way she has worked Teenage Dream has been ideal. It is worth noting Perry still manages to look hot and amazing in a perm and braces, and of course, classy while puking in a roller skate.

The eight-minute mini film is an incredible watch, and might give a hint Katy Perry should definitely grace the big screen some time in the future; it somewhat feels like a teen flick straight out of the 80’s or at least early 90’s. She sticks to her character and keeps it consistently with sloppy smirks that reveal her braces, and awkward arm movement no more than appropriate for a socially uncomfortable geek. Every bit of the video is a perfect laugh, from her facial expressions to what she undergoes throughout the make-over.

Her confounded faces the morning-after are the major highlight, it is hard not to crack a laugh at the woman; she definitely knows what she is doing.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Enjoy Perry’s celebratory mischief of the best day of the week, in ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ below!

Britney Spears has taken her charisma and quirkiness times a hundred, in her new video for ‘I Wanna Go’. The subject matter of the song is well disguised in its insanely catchy whistles during the pre-chorus and breezy beats, but by now it shouldn’t shock anyone it is her deliberately updated version of ‘Touch Of My Hand’; meaning it is about inhibiting oneself and masturbation (‘I’ve been told who I should do it with, to keep both my hands above the blanket, when the light’s out‘). The video also hides it well, by every now and then making random references, which make sense when the song is best understood (i.e. sea shells, and the pouring of milk at the song’s climax).

The video extensively alludes to pop culture in the likes of Spears’ debut film ‘Crossroads’ and Michael Jackson’s iconic video for ‘Thriller’, and captures Britney being inappropriate, by telling off the press at a conference, grabbing a fan’s butt-cheek after signing a copy of Femme Fatale and flashing a cop. There’s also a side-story taking on her done-to-death theme of the paparazzi, this time depicting them as Terminator cyborgs; its a refreshing twist.  There is a lot going on in the video, which makes it compelling to watch. It conveys how Spears cannot be freed from the media, but it is a good spin off on the typical allusions to paparazzi done by herself and other pop contemporaries.

The camera angles are excellent, and it seems non-calculated for a Spears move. On the contrary, the video comes across as genuine and not forced on her. The simple concept fits, and even allows her to discharge all those negative sentiments towards the paps in the midst of the video, as she strikes a fab pose before crashing the camera on the ground; her expression couldn’t have been more real. It is relieving to be able to see this side of Spears once again, without cue-card speeches or absent minded choreography that only serves as a catering element to the fans, but at the same overshadows the pop artist everyone fell in love with in the first place, becoming a distraction from the woman behind the fantastically produced music.

Once again the video gets the treatment of not dubbing the obvious, as ‘Hold It Against Me’, which recounted Spears rise, downfall and comeback in the industry. This time ‘I Wanna Go’ gives a piece of Spears’ mind on the paparazzi, on how insistent and vicious they can be, while showing her true feelings towards her lack of privacy, which is quite obvious, but the interesting part is it at times seemingly tinges at what looked like the situation with Sam Lufti; evident in how the character who saves her from Terminator-like paparazzi cyborgs, turns out to be what she did not expect. For those of you who don’t know your Britney Spears history, Lufti came out of nowhere and followed Spears throughout 2007, claiming himself as her manager; it was later revealed he was one of the causes of Spears’ meltdown and brief career setback, due to the influence he exerted on her. But past is past, and the video is easily enjoyable for what it is.

Dance routines are not present, but Spears gets away with it since one is instead treated with playful flirtation and her infectiously loud humor, introduced in backstage footage from her early years in showbiz. The visuals are just as care-free and sassy as the song, and fit to it like a glove. It is good to see Britney enjoying herself, and not taking herself seriously for once. Spears’ facial expressions are priceless and bring about her humanity, which seemed to have been lost throughout the years of extensive media exposure and scrutiny.

Spears looks timelessly young, the only flaw in the video may be the wardrobe selection, which misleads the video to think its an Avril Lavigne video. Either way, Avril Lavigne could never.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch Britney get her groove-freak on below!

Britney Spears has just made the screen thump everyone had been waiting for. ‘Hold It Against Me’ had a well mapped-out artsy concept, but Spears looked slightly dead in the eye at times and the choreography was not edited properly, creating the illusion there was intricate choreography when it was just plain and simple.

‘Till The World Ends’ is also a dance heavy video, and its what you’d expect from Britney, lots of arm movement and seductive struts. She blows up a notch by giving a much more energetic delivery, which to a certain degree, still remains slightly above the ‘Hold It Against Me’ standards, yet the difference is Spears looks more into it in here, just like her In The Zone days.

The title to her fourth studio album couldn’t have been more adequate to describe ‘Till The World Ends’, she was definitely in the zone. She brought back that wide smile everyone fell in love with, and oozed charisma and real energy into the sequences of the video. All at once, while looking strinkingly fab.

The plot is very apocalyptic, and finds Spears poking fun at the alleged end of the world in 2012 at the beginning of the clip. She enters a packed underground scenario, which then is revealed to be a sewer, as the world collapses outside. Spears dances fast paced routines, whips her mane and flirts with her dancers, sits in a relatively small flashmob and pops her chest á la ‘Slave 4 U’ to the chanted chorus, until it climaxes in a large group dance scene as fire splinker systems explode to the hotness before them; it resumes with a bright sunrise and Spears peaking outside the sewers.

The video draws several similarities to the visuals of ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ and a glare of ‘Me Against The Music’, just darker and grittier. It could easily be considered an update or a much modern version of ‘Slave’ (Take a look at the bright background lit sequences throughout, reminiscing the empty water bottle racks in ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’, and the maze like sets and large-troupe dance sequences from ‘Me Against The Music’). It seems the constant allusions to Britney’s past work are working in her favor. The video is stunning and has a tongue-in-cheek factor to it.

The lightning is splendid, with hues of red, orange and sparse electric blue, which is predominant in Ray Kay’s videos. The choreography is far from being earth-shattering, but its a definite step-up and fun, it emmits the highs of the track. It is incredible how charisma and actual enjoyment in execution can change perceptions.

If she danced her way to make it rain in the sweaty video for ‘Slave’, she certainly danced to save the world (and herself) in this one. This proves Spears is slowly getting comfortable to her spotlight. She keeps getting better and better.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Dance with Britney ’till the world ends’ below!

Everyone had their hearts pulsating to the images of Lady GaGa’s previewed scenes of her new music video and single, ‘The Edge Of Glory’, in a Google Chrome ad. The commercial showed GaGa running in the Brooklyn bridge in heels, with little makeup, and other scenes depicted her with a jeweled head ensemble, but to everyone’s dismay, that version was scrapped, due to alleged creative differences with Director Joseph Kahn. GaGa ended shooting the video herself.

‘The Edge Of Glory’ lost its seemingly simple (yet beautiful) representation for even a more simplistic approach, with GaGa dancing on a fire escape, and prancing in a New York street, with cameos from the late Clarence Clemmons.

GaGa literally kept it way simple, wearing a leather-metal studded piece, and looking like a much younger and appealing version of Cruella Devil. She exits an aparment from its window, dances on a fire escape and walks seductively in a wet-red lit desolated street; the video climaxes with her showing her love for New York, by slowly pressing her lips against the concrete.

The video is lit in an amazing manner, the moisture reflects incandescence and conveys melancholy and vulnerability. The camera work is good, and captures GaGa perfectly in the dark-smokey set, yet the dance sequences are reduntant and to a certain point, random, which make the video a little boring to watch. Guess one just really got used to her wacky costumes, convoluted imagery and plots.

The inspiration behind the song was the death of her grandfather, and the video seems incongruent with that (judging by what she’s wearing), but GaGa has never been known for taking the obvious approach either way; she seems instead to be celebrating New York and life.

In GaGa standards, this is a bit of a letdown, since she is always over the top and blows everything out of the water. This isn’t exactly what one would expect from GaGa, one would expect more. The video is actually good, but maybe her audience wasn’t ready for this maneuver on her part.

★★★

C.Perez

Watch Lady GaGa on the edge of a fire escape below!

Watch the Google Chrome ad below, featuring ‘The Edge of Glory’ in the background, which also previews the originally intended video. This seemed more fitting for the song and its overall feel.

Lady GaGa has managed once again to surprise, not only with the overall sound of her new record Born This Way, an electrical serving of glam metal pop, but also with the already expected heavily bible-referencing visuals for her single ‘Judas’.

Even though the obvious is in the video, for instance, a sparkly crown of thorns, 12 bikers denoting the 12 apostles, crosses, allusions to baptism, an apparent representation of Jesus, and the unavoidable Judas kiss, GaGa has meshed the biblical depiction with the underground sub-culture of bikers to pull off a storyline which minimizes what some would consider offensive, and bring about a slice of creativity.

The video opens with a highway with bike riders alluding to Jesus’ apostles. GaGa rips out a page of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and plays Mary Magdalene (fulfilling Brown’s outrageous fictional depiction of Magdalene as Jesus’ mistress). GaGa dances like there is no tomorrow, in the midst of shown sequences where she is betraying the head of the gang with his alleged right hand (Judas), until GaGa is forced to prove her loyalty and fails to fulfill the gang’s leader demand of her terminating Judas; she is casted stones at the end, noticeably confirming her Magdalene role. The biblical story is there, intended to be confused with the loyalty expected in a bikers gang.

The make-up is slightly toned down for ‘Judas’, it seems GaGa took a simpler approach; though some ‘eclectic’ elements still linger, like the incorporation of mid-western garments in leather biker attire, her surreal mole, and her meticulously stylized nails. The choreography is the same presented on The Ellen DeGeneres Show performance, nothing too intricate, but definitely with a lot of work and synchronization. Nonetheless, GaGa gives her all as per usual, and it is worth to highlight she does it in all GaGa-fashion, with ridiculously high heels. The sets nods to Jerusalem, but at the same time to alleys and secret congregations where bikers are supposed to gather.

The highlight of the video is seeing GaGa’s eyes gleaming along with a widely luminous smile at the beginning as she rides with her representation of Jesus. The camera work could use improvement, but concerning Lady GaGa is not really a director, it is justifiable; that ‘professional director oomph’ is palpably absent, but considering it’s GaGa’s first time behind the camera, she certainly put out a damn good shooting. The video breaks don’t exactly make the video a mini-film unlike her past video releases, ‘Telephone’, ‘Alejandro’ and the recent seven-minute long clip for ‘Born This Way’. Despite the video being long, it is amusingly gripping and worth the watch.

Lady GaGa has definitely brought back the interest in music videos, and has set the pace (and pressure) for her contemporaries to inevitably also do so.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch GaGa’s regretful betrayal and allusive baptism below!

Rihanna was named the ‘next Britney Spears’ by the ignorant Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic band frontman and producer), and hey similarities in their careers are close but by no means is Rihanna a star in the caliber of Britney Spears, who’s sole flashed appearance equals ridiculous loads of money made. Rihanna is certainly a star, she just doesn’t reach as high; close if one will. A song like ‘S&M’ is very Britney-esque, and the video couldn’t be any more Britney as it gets.

Rihanna slaps the media and all the criticism she has been inflicted upon, ranging from personal attacks to the sound and style of her music. The video is very ‘Piece Of Me’, and very David LaChapelle at the same time, for similarities to his overall catalog of work. The feud between LaChapelle and Rihanna is not hot news, so that shall be left behind. The concept works mighty wonders for the song, which doesn’t go straight to the obvious but keeps it meshed with a kiss-off underlay to the paparazzo and the media. LaChapelle should consider it a homage, because it is so well put and shot, it makes his work be brought to lusher ground, since it is LaChapelle’s imagery blended with a huge amount of color and oozing jaw dropping sensual teasing. This is higher ground for Rihanna (and LaChapelle, if he only felt flattered rather than ripped off).

The video is eye trance and a spicy treat in its whole. Rihanna is laced on the floor pounding and making contort faces, she teases with a white whip while putting handfuls of pink candy in her mouth seductively, and goes even further as playing with an ice cream cone and slowly putting a peeled banana fellatiously in her mouth with a suggestively inviting stare; boys, doozy anyone? It is absolutely hot tamale.

Truth is no one can get enough of Rihanna, and this proves it; she has the media begging for more. Perez-Hilton’s appearance in the video comes across as unnecessary at first, but it validates Rihanna’s video argument against the media. It is funny how she even makes fun of herself and the whole Chris Brown issue, at the end by wearing band-aids, a black cross on her cheek, a smiley face on her left eye and a Rolling Stones lips sticker on. The frenetic or fast paced movement of the video is a great touch, and the symbolic imagery (even though obviously rehashed from LaChapelle) conveys where is Rihanna standing right now, and gives a piece of her mind as to how much the critics and tabloids affect her (if at all; she’s having a blast).

Rihanna is strikilingly good looking, and her physical feats are flaunted in here in latex body suits and short skimpy dresses, ‘censored’ tank tops exposing her mid-riff and low rider jeans; the video does her justice. The girl is glamorous to tears, and the dazzling red afro worn throughout gives the song the ‘Loud’ concept her record carries. It is a brilliant execution to a vociferating song as ‘S&M’ is, everything, from the styling, camera work to the colors is in perfect mold. If anything could top the colors and elating vibes from the Guetta featured ‘Who’s That Chick?’ video, ‘S&M’ is the answer.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘S&M’ below!

Katy Perry has managed to pull yet another ace up her sleeve, with the stunning spacey visuals for her latest  #1 Teenage Dream smash, ‘E.T.’. The concept was obvious just by merely listening to the song or by the title alone, but Perry and Floria Sigismondi have brought the obvious to a shocker and sudden ground. The video may appear to be all about style upon first watch, but there are several details flashed in seconds throughout which give the video the plotline and substance it appears to lack.

Floria Sigismondi crafted Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’, hence the similarities, but the concept for ‘E.T.’ aside from being space-inspired, also has its Earthy element to it of transformation through eyes. Just like Aguilera underwent her metamorphosis in ‘Fighter’ showcased through stylized eyes, so does Perry in ‘E.T.’, but with much improved effects and finer detail.

‘E.T.’ opens with what seems a dump, as a recording of Perry singing over what sounds like a dusty piece echoed in the background. Kanye West makes his appearance for his verse in a spherical spaceship as he gravitates and gyrates. A silver skinned alien floating in space with dramatically air swirling clothing appears, as clips flash showing earthily processes of flowers blossoming, and the alien turns into Perry wearing a flower-esque inspired red gown, futuristic root like patterns across her face, and upward Medusa-like braided hair. Perry undergoes a second transformation as blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-clips of decay and birds are shown, while Perry now wears a white ensemble, before her eyes turn reptile to prepare a third transformation, as felines preying gazelles are shown. Suddenly she lands on a littered Earth during the song’s break, now in an armor chested brown-black feathered gown, with meticulous print over her forehead, and robust straight hair. She finds a broken robot which turns into the futuristic lover she sings about throughout upon her kiss, Perry gets her shock value on after a part of the gown unveils her lower half, their hands intertwine and they walk into the sunrise.

It is an amazing flashy fest, not only for the looks she sports and her camera interaction in the video, but the special effects also being major quality. This was obviously shot against a green screen, but the picture and cinematography are beyond awesome; the landscapes are breath-takingly beautiful. The lightning is moody and faint, and the representation of the extraterrestrial couldn’t had been better played by albino Shaun Ross, who seems creepily out of this world. Regardless of the eerie make-up and twisted ending, Perry looks gorgeous in the clip, and displays her erotic persona 100%, with her stares and seductive delivery; Katy Perry makes aliens (and gazelles) look hot.

The space gravitating sequences took too much screen time, which could’ve been used to explore more the visuals, but are justified by the idea behind them. Kanye West is the only off place prop in the video. It could’ve easily done without West, as he doesn’t add anything neither to the song or video. The overly auto-tuned voice is annoying and his presence doesn’t go with the perceived storyline. His spacecraft isn’t any cheap though and the effects they also use on him, are brilliant. The product placement of the Vogue sunglasses doesn’t take anything from the video either, and is creatively incorporated in it, in comparison to how Britney Spears blatantly whored out products in ‘Hold It Agaisnt Me’.

The watery, reptile eyes Perry flaunts are key in the video, as they enhance the different transformations she undergoes based on the short clips flashed throughout. The alien character seeks for form and finds it eventually, as a ‘prey’ at the end upon watching gazelles hunted by felines, thus surmising itself as a victim. The ending is brilliantly wack, and best understood when perceiving the sources of transformation of the alien. Perry and Sigismondi have achieved the literal without being too literal, and giving a little extra to avoid what was to be predictable.

The make-up and hair styling are another step up for Perry, and even though there may be several Lady GaGa comparisons, the make-up despite being real edgy and outside of the norm, as well as ‘not so Katy’, differs potentially from anything GaGa has ever done. Katy worked it, and made it her very own. It is original, subtle yet on one’s face, classy, visually stunning, artistic, and finest at best.

Katy Perry is not showing any signs of stopping anytime soon. Epitome of a hit-maker.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch Katy Perry’s intergalactic journey below!

Lady GaGa has been known for turning pop music world and culture around, and for bringing amazing music videos which are high bar in comparison to the half ass productions made on this day, along minimal effort. Whether GaGa makes way abstract nonsense, or she wears a crazy outfit, she is by light years different, not because of her style, but because of the evident input she puts in her work, or her ‘art’ as she likes to call it.

She is original even if she draws inspirations from pioneers in the music industry over the past decades, because she makes it her own with her own twists. Artists like these is what pop culture needs. Whenever GaGa will premiere a video, make an appearance, release a song on radio or will plainly walk on the street, bet it is going to be an spectacle, but even though her latest video, ‘Born This Way’ is, it isn’t as out there as her past videos have been, putting aside the shock value imagery and unconventional makeup.

‘Born This Way’ is not short in budget apparently, neither on GaGa’s artistic (or eccentric) contributions, as the style is extravagantly eerie, despite the short in number proposed sets; the main bulk of the video centers on a dark room group dance siege, where a dark paint drenched scene also takes place. In comparison to her past work, this is easily her most simple execution despite some imagery; in GaGa terms that is saying a lot.

The video starts with GaGa declaring her manifesto, giving a bit of background history on how the ‘mitosis of the future began’, a race with boundless freedom, as she is portrayed as an alien gurú giving birth to several heads amidst kaleidoscope effects. At the same time, she announces the birth of evil, as she pulls out a machine gun off her crotch, giving start to the menacing strings of ‘Born This Way’, before she walks in between, bows and joins the rest for the initial contemporary-ballet-esque dance segment.

The dim illumination in the dark set is perfect, the camera work is superb, the makeup is oddly bizarre but really elaborate; the skin-color horns and pointy shoulder pads are quite particular and give GaGa the uniqueness she constantly battles for, and manages to go in line with the motifs and outer space-like representation present in the video.

GaGa’s dancing skills are not her forte, other than her theatrical pipes but she is able to pull off a couple ballet-esque moves combined with high kicks and contemporary arm movement to enhance her dramatic delivery. The little-close to nothing ensemble she wears throughout is over the top and unnecessarly revealing, but the bod she is displaying is definitely toned and much worked out compared to how she initially started. At least it is the most normal clothing (if one can call it that exactly, other than a bikini) she has wore in a long time.

It is basically a major stab at catering to the fans, by dedicating and flaunting differences and individuality. The Michael Jackson and Madonna references are really off place and don’t really fit with the perceived concept of the video. Guess GaGa must have her reasons, as she always has a reason for everything she does; take the bubblegum at the end for example, which was revealed to be a tribute to her video-guest, Rico and his skin art, as a representation and definition of beauty in an artistic way, since he explained he got his whole body tattooed because of Bazooka gum stick-on tattoos. Go figure.

The video’s turn off estabishes itself at the beginning. Despite the gooey head-birth scenes being slighty censored with a kaleidoscope like split screen, it does not make it any less gross and crude as it is. It is quite graphic, it does not swirl on the offensive, but it is also too much. The concept of the song and video are clear when she introduces the opening lines and the positions she finds herself at, there is no further evidence needed the song entails birth.

She does want to make a statement of a new ‘race’, with lesser restrictions and who are able to express themselves freely in whichever way they desire, but it comes across as midly pretentious and over self indulging, though her conviction when saying it gives it a different perspective. The video is certainly not a joke, but if GaGa wouldn’t have played her cards right, it probably would’ve been.

It is a good video, and the execution has its quality of its own, as well as its odd originality, but the video could’ve done without some scenes, and it would’ve been cohesive and not a tad bit random and digressive. She does not need to do extensive videos everytime she puts one out, but they are certainly entertaining and worth a watch either way. Lady GaGa is here to stay, and having a video focused on her other than her prominent style, is a nice variation.

★★★1/2

C.Perez

Watch Lady GaGa’s latest below!

A long awaited moment is here, and it is an unexpected one. Not because of the slightly stiff dancing and fast paced editing, or because of the tone-tight physique Britney Spears is sporting lately, but because this marks Spears’ first video where she goes symbolic and subtle, by pulling off a storyline recounting how she got started in the business, how she developed and came to hit rock bottom in her dark days, to then emerge as the popstar she truly is.

The video starts with a firey meteorite making its way to the Earth (allegedly Spears), which upon crashing, ignites lights of yellow and purple. Spears opens with a mild dance sequence on a circular platform with several propped cameras in tripods flashing intermittently.  Then it switches to Spears in a white long dress ascending inside of a metallic structure tower of monitors, where past videos of hers are being played. Right after Spears is shown with a red bejeweled skull shoulder ensemble, in the center of circularly framed microphones; the scene is insterspersed with a full dance sequence at the initial platform, while allusions to Rocky Horror make brief appearances on the screen.

From under Spears’ gown at the monitor tower, white-hooded eye-less dancers emerge in loose fitting before she shoots multi-colored paint from Ivs attached to her arms and fingertips, to stain her dress and spray the monitors, where her work is being displayed, while she simultaneously battles herself as the song reaches its climax in a dubstep breakdown. She falls on the tinted dress and right next to her alleged other self in the breakdown scene, before she gets right back up and appears in an elaborate set ornated with vibrant speakers as fire, smoke and confetti are shot across the room in the last dance sequence.

Spears looks fantastic, in shape with a lush blonde mane and glossy lips, with a fierce stare which seems to have never been away. The opening sequence is such a major boom; its stunning and introduces how improved and glowing Spears is these days. It is jaw dropping, to see how young and beautiful she has kept herself aside the fact of almost pushing 30.

Overall, the direction of Jonas Åkerlund, is beyond incredible in the visuals for ‘Hold It Against Me’, the angles are on point and the circular shooting of the first dance sequence is mesmerizing, as it gives a full view of the set and what is happening on the platform. The ascending maneuver of Spears in the white gown, and all the monitors representing her past work are superb, and the spraying of paint through intravenous tubes attached to her arms and dress is insanely epic, as it reaches the climax on a one-on-one combat against herself, is just wowzers; Lady GaGa could never.

The hair, makeup, and coutoure-ish ensembles further Spears into more stylish and visually stunning ground; the fashion is fresh and appealing. The illumination is abundant and complimentory, the dancing is not as elaborate as Britney’s past choreographies, but allows her to match the energy of the track; considering a knee surgery, a public meltdown and being a mother of two, the dancing is quite good either way. Brian Friedman’s overtly hyped dance sequences are a let down, taking into account how sky high he set them to be, yet they somehow still work for a visuals driven video.

The symbolism and diverse allusions to pop culture are very artistic, something Spears had not implemented fully before. Not only ‘Hold It Against Me’ is very futuristic in terms of its sound, but the video brings to life that conveyed future mixed with a lot of bright color. Despite general disagreement, Britney does seem to be having a good time throughout, and her on-screen charm, which was mostly absent during the Blackout era, seems to have finally come out after warming it up during promotion for Circus; she looks playful, confident and extremely sexy.

The only flaw in the video is the editing and blatant product placement. It is too fast paced; a scene can be missed in a blink; though the effects somehow remain ace. It was either done to cover up for Spears’ slightly stiff movement or to stay true to the beat of the track. Spears had advertised her fragrances in the video for 2009’s ‘3′, where she sprayed Circus Fantasy at the beginning, but in ‘Hold It Against Me’, not only Radiance makes an appearance but MakeUp Forever, dating site Plenty of Fish and several Sony flat screens also do, becoming a minor turn off and distraction from the flashy scenery.

It is an outstanding video in general, an improvement from the already amazing and high budgetted videos from Circus. ‘Hold It Against Me’ becomes her redemption from the lack of energy and input she should’ve poured on the dance-ready music videos for Blackout. It is everything ‘Piece Of Me’ should have been mixed with a whole new vision of Spears, which seems to conceptualize what is not obvious.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Hold It Against Me’ below!

Femme Fatale available March 29th.

Katy Perry just keeps the strings of hits coming, with all of her three Teenage Dream singles going #1 and multiplatinum certified, as her album also approaches a platinum certification.

‘Firework’ happens to be Perry’s favorite track on her sophomore offering, and it is one of the obvious highlights, so, it was only natural she would release it.

The video opens with Katy glancing at the night sky in Budapest, as she sings and the song gains momentum, sparks blow off her bosom and inspire the rest to also ignite their own light themselves; the video is turned into a talent, acceptation and self expression fest, as well as a celebration of particularity, where the characters break through fears, shame, preferences and show themselves for what they really are. They accept their condition and identity, putting across Perry’s message of the song most lucidly. She looks exceptonally beautiful throughout.

Upon listening to the song, the video concept is slightly expected judging by the lyrics, and the idea behind the fireworks motif Perry explained of the track in particular, before it was released. But she gives the concept for the video a whole new perspective by not only adding the obvious fireworks, but by also presenting a before-and-after transformation of different scenarios where people let their true selves come afloat and ditch their inhibitions, while they literally ignite their personal spark. Perry makes the concept more tangible as the sparks burst off her chest and invites the rest to follow. The final firework show is quite a spectacle, as Perry dances and a troupe of fans cavort around her.

Seeing the sparks coming off Perry’s chest upon first watch, might have one thinking this record concept is all about her jugs, but the literal idea is stunning and well tailored for the video, which conveys a huge embrace for diversity. It is in fact very inspiring as it leaves the watcher on a high, as the video ends in the climax without a resolution. It is a solid video, it has its tinge for cherishing individuality, and there is an emotional value to it.

The camera angles, lighting and landscape picture are fantastic, the fact all the extras are fans gives it a nice touch, and the effects for the apparent Roman candle inspired ignitions are far from cheap. All in all, it is ah-ah-ah-mazing!

‘Firework’ is yet another indication Perry and her label are making all the right moves with Teenage Dream. The record has been successful despite steady but consistent sales backed off by her singles, a series of much improved visual and vocal performances, and the recent announcement of her upcoming (and mostly already sold out) California Dreams Tour.

Perry should be revealing a new single after the current one is dethroned from the top Billboard Hot 100 spot, and it isn’t looking like it will be anytime soon, as it has been atop for three consecutive weeks. If this success is anything to by, she should not be worried for a thing; whatever she chooses next, will surely be quite an event.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Firework’ in its whole colorful incandescence below!

It had been quite a while since radio and music channels were flooded with Natasha Bedingfield’s positive messaged songs and videos. Now she is back with ‘Touch’, the first offering off Strip Me to be released this December 7th.

Lyrically, Bedingfield makes sure the listener knows just about every single thing she did on a day, with a cause and effect undercurrent. The song is brilliant and by no means is low-bar, the production is superb and so is its video. It is simple, and has a Butterfly Effect stint going on, but it certainly works for the song and goes in line with its addressed matter.

‘Touch’ starts off faithfully to the track, by having Natasha perform in casual clothes, before focus is shifted to a glamorous ensembled Bedingfield performing in a dark-incandescent lit empty room along with her band. The viewer is treated with visuals of Natasha’s doings in a morning while doing her errands and eventualities taking place while doing so. Childhood videos are shown throughout, which give the video a melancholic feel, and the blurred white scenes do convey and emulate thoughts or a remembrance.

She has her lyrics fulfilled before she shows the other side of the page, and brings the opposite of what could have been, if she would not have her ‘spilled coffee on a man’. The video is literally a love-story which never happened, and its delivery meshed with The Butterfly Effect inspired plotline is magnificent.

The concept is quite well elaborated, brilliant and cute. She incredibly gorgeous, as if time never affected her. It is an enjoyable video as much as the song is. This is proof Bedingfield never lost her charm in crafting catchy songs with lot of sentiment underlaid. Wish more music videos were like this, instead of having plotless scenes, with unnecessary and flashy couture every second possible.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch Natasha attempt to follow her love fate below!

Initially starting off randomly and quite awkward with a pointless booty shake, the watcher is misled into what the video for ‘Gimmie Dat’ actually is, and it is just Ciara showing off what made her reign the charts back in 2004: her flawless dance moves. ‘Gimmie Dat’ is the third single to be released off Basic Instinct.

Ciara crawls, steps, slides backwards on her knees, grinds, delivers crunk, bends backwards and goes wild in the rain all at once as she rides the bass, along male dancers who match her style and talent. The whole thing yells amazing and extraordinary, and proves she is not playing. It isn’t just some watered down couture centered video where there is unnecessary catwalk; this is the real deal, no computer enhanced imagery, no green screen, just Ciara doing her thing.

The effects would be considered somewhat cheap but considering how insane and plain sick the choreography and Ciara’s input are, whether the multiplicity effect at the end, or the negative tint in the milieu of the video are cheap, does not become significant. She has gone back to her heydays and blown her ‘1, 2 Step’ out of the water once again with this, as it is a non-stop dance rollercoaster ride where she only cools off to look glamorous in high heels and a bodysuit, as she poses and contorts provocatively.

There are Janet Jackson influences present, as there are short sequences of stepping á la ‘Rhythm Nation’ accompanied with male ‘bass’ chants. The light in the video is faint and focuses mostly on Ciara’s body, the camera work captures her in ways she hasn’t been before and make the video quite an experience. The warehouse based set is pretty bad ass and the box stepped sequence is top notch, as well as the overall synchronization of the choreography. Ciara wears similar attire to that one used in ‘Ride’; she is really pulling off the tank tops and black leggings; she is looking more street, more out there, more urban, more her.

She went all the way down and marked ‘Gimmie Dat’ as one of her best videos to date. Her voice may be bland, but she has not been this confident since her first record came out. It is going to take some serious balls to knock this off for what it is, as no other performer outdoes Ciara when it comes to her moves.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Preview Ciara dance the balls off her single below!

Basic Instinct now scheduled for a December 14th release.