2016 has been a bit of a funny year for music; a few eccentric entries, a large total of deep house bangers, some swift one-hit wonders and catchy-as-hell hooks and moments. Whilst the year has brought us many tears and utter gut-wrenching moments with the loss of several music legends such as David Bowie, Prince, Lemmy, amongst a gigantic number of other icons, 2016 has also been a great year of success to many newcomers and current musicians. So, for every December 1 of each year (yes, I know… I’m late… give me a break!), I will be conducting a year-end list that compiles some of the best work in a glorious 365 day streak. But don’t worry December numbers, you will get your chance for next years inclusion… or will you? (Nah, I’m just kidding, of course you’ll get the opportunity… or will you?) ALSO, there is not particular order, although in alphabetical structure, just plain inclusions of some moments. So, without further-ado, here we gooooooooo…
Beyonce – Lemonade
Bow down to Queen B! As weird as the title may sound, the R&B-defining record sure did make some waves across the globe because it was in fact published as an exclusive hour-long movie that showcased diverse accounts of themes such as racism, woman empowerment and movements, love, and many other moments that honestly snatches all our weaves and wigs off! I’m no over-the-to fan of the pop diva myself, but if any visual of musical artistry deserved to be mentioned here, it’s B’s iconic Lemonade.
David Bowie – Lazarus
A bittersweet end to one of the greatest pop stars on earth (or on Mars, if you followed with David Bowie’s incredible discography). The artist, whom sadly passed away in January this year, released his final single “Lazarus” of his album Black Star, and was an extraordinary revival of terrific gender-bending and quirky nature that had always been there throughout the singers career. Packed with a melancholy story in a hospital-like room and cloudy tone, “Lazarus” has been added to my book of Mr. Bowie’s iconic moments ever.
Joel Adams – Please Don’t Go
To me, Australian singer Joel Adams maybe your average teen-onto-adult artists these days that throws out a couple of notable hits every then and there like those holiday bundles that come around a number of times each year. But to his support, one thing he mastered really well was the overall package to his debut single “Please Don’t Go”. Whilst its a chill-out pop number that blends a stylish slice of acoustic sounds, it’s the futuristic video that had me hooked. Filled with airy-like elements all beautifully featured in a large forest (don’t forget the intensive light force in the middle of a river), it could be quite an intriguing future for this young lad!
Kanye West – Famous
Okay, I added Kanye West here for a reason. Number one; No I don’t really like his music. Number two, no, the narcissistic hip-hop number “Famous”, which features vocals by Rihanna and other unspecific samples, sure in hell is not one of my best picks of the year (No shade, just the truth). But come on, out of any video here, the most notorious entry is definitely this one; a bed filled with prosthetic dolls that are composed of various celebrities in one bed (Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, to name a few), and heavy static footage of numerous locations? I rest my case in full coherence.
M.I.A. – Border
Yes, I know this video was released back in November 2015 (at the end, give me a chance lol), but British musician M.I.A. sure knows how to get your full attention… any year, any time. Having constructed some stylish experimental music with heavy concepts and narratives, this chick sure made some headlines with her political number “Border”. And to top it off, the video is something not to miss; it shows an exodus of refugees escaping, alongside an interpretation of real events that deals with refugees in controversial movements. This gurl sure has some courage!
Every video by Namie Amuro
I ain’t even gonna bother mentioning singular videos by Japanese Queen for Pop Namie Amuro. Because, to tell you the truth, every visual she released this glorious year has been fire. And that’s the realness right there. From the sophistication of agile hit “Mint”, to a colony of grand cityscapes in “Hero”, the gentle and uplifting visuals of a seascape and imagination in “Dear Diary”, and the pure fierceness of a castle and recoco-influenced surrounding in “Fighter”? Yeah, search these videos up and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about, because, with the help of the directors, stylists, visual editors, etc., their skills , along with the choreographic and singing skills by Ms. Amuro, made these videos fire.
Rihanna feat. Drake – Work
The Rihanna re-invention is strong in this one. Bearing a more casual chic with a banging club-oriented location, the Barbados beauty struts a seductive performance with co-star, Canadian rapper Drake, in their sensual anthem “Work”… or, as we all know it as, “Work work work work work work…”. The club visuals are pretty straightforward, but the scenes with the two singers in a pink-and-blue/green lit room shows a pretty staggering contrasts between each location, making it quite intriguing and interesting to look at. These two strike again!
Troye Sivan – Youth
Whilst most of these young artists are getting drunk, flipping a bit of drugs here and there, getting out there extremely thigh-high boots and muscles popping out of there shirts, Troye Sivan’s dreamy pop number “Youth” is a little more of an alternative root. A calming video showcasing some pretty and subtle fairy lights and
hardsoftcore partying (and slumber parties), this cute little video really is something to watch.
Years & Years feat. Tove Lo – Desire
Known for their youthful yet experimental expressions through body language, British band Years & Years teamed up with Swedish star Tove Lo to show a little “Desire” in their bizarrely interesting video (get the pun). A variety act of cultural twists,youth and various areas, the video hints a… well, diverse orgy when a large group of men and woman, all different ages, ethnic groups and races, come together and express sentimental gestures towards each other. Again, bizarrely interesting.
Zayn – Pillowtalk
Having released his debut album back in March, and the first One Direction member to do so, British singer Zayn Malik—known professionally as Zayn—spread his wings and channelled his bad boy realness with model Gigi Hadid in the intoxicating video “Pillowtalk”. The visual is sure intense; a mixture of trippy kaleidoscopic twists, and a variety of specialized graphics and visual editing, “Pillowtalk” was sure to be a hit to reckon with.
- Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
- E-girls – Go! Go! Let’s Go!
- Fergie – Milf Money
- Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla Sign – Work from Home
- Grimes – Kill vs Maim
- DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine – Middle
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