Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee have all of NYC dancing along as the camera zips from location to location, before ending at a set-piece that adds an African edge to the already bouncy mix of Latin and Caribbean vibes.
Those New Orleans floodwaters may have receeded, but there's still anger and style a'plenty left behind, especially when Beyoncé busts loose with a surprise, yet unsurprisingly strong video that reconnects her with her roots.
Here's a good one in the "how'd they do that" genre where you need to be careful not to spend too much time pondering the logitics, otherwise you'll miss the fun in this possibly maybe one-take, but definitely maybe backward video.
Welcome to Fall Fest, as hosted by Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and film director Edgar Wright. Despite the intergallactic leanings of all involved, things are kept fairly natural as they pay homage to the breeziest element. That's not to say they entirely stay earthbound: We have a troupe of ribbon dancers who could have blown in from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remake and the (forgive the pun, please) very rocking Daft Punk cameo takes flight as well.
“We don’t view [music videos] as promotional materials for the ‘real’ thing, the song. To us the song is the real thing when you’re listening to the song and the music video is the real thing when you’re watching the music video.” - Damien Kulash, OK Go [source]
I moderated a panel the other week at the New Music Seminar where a big part of the discussion was about how in an era where people are consuming music via devices with screens attached — computers, mobile devices, TVs — there needs to be a visual for every song. And ideally that visual should be a video, and it should be compelling. It should either reinforce the meaning and appeal of the song, and it should inspire you to stay tuned, rewatch and share it with others. That's a lot to accomplish, especially if you're deaing with the typical budget and timeline of a music video production.
OK Go have certain luxuries and attributes that should make other bands envious — none more so than a relentless commitment to creativity — but it's still awe-inspiring that "The Writing's On The Wall" checks off every need from my usual video wishlist. It's the kind of video that you can appreciate without knowing anything on the "how'd they do that" tip, but becomes all the more impressive the more you see the moving parts behind it all (some of which are provided in this Making Of)...
The writing is indeed on the wall. You need a video for every song. Nielsen may proudly boast that radio is still the primary means by which people "discover" music, but even they also note that the #1 source for teens is YouTube. And just watch those numbers continue to flip over the next few years... If your potential fans are initially experiencing your music through a visual platform, then shouldn't the visual be prioritized?
OK, go watch this video right now. Don't read my nonsense. Just watch it, because OK Go have made all their previous videos look like mere sketches compared to this utter brainteaser. "The Writings On The Wall" us filled enough illusions and perspective gags to carry many music videos, let alone just one masterpiece like this.