MTV Top 100 of 1996 -- Reviews #60-51

60. Spacehog -- In the Meantime 1/2

These guys look like they belong in the late 60's. If only I could invent a time machine for them and Oasis, because I think I hate Spacehog as much as Oasis. The horrid video for "In the Meantime" has the freaky, fashion-violating band members performing in a drab, cement-walled room while a bunch of freaky, fashion-violating people watch. This stuff is bad, but don't take my word for it. It's never a good sign when the director of the video removes his name from the project.

59. 2Pac featuring K.C. and Jo-Jo -- How Do U Want It **

Note from Mike M.: These screenshots come from the "version with a budget", ostensibly.
2Pac featuring K.C. and Jo-Jo -- How Do U Want It

Of the four 2Pac videos on the countdown, "How Do U Want It" is the most bland. I don't want it... It's a performance video, which is even more boring in rap music than plain old rock because there's nothing for them to do except sing along to the backing track. No instruments or nothing, just 2Pac on the stage with K.C. and Jo-Jo, two guys from Jodeci along to soul up the song.
2Pac featuring K.C. and Jo-Jo -- How Do U Want It

If I'm not nuts, I'd swear I saw another version of this video on MTV one time that actually had a budget. Why not show that instead of this one-set concert video? The only interesting thing about it is that, even though he never leaves the stage, 2Pac is shown in at least eight different outfits during the video. Weird how he could form such amazing instantaneous clothes-changing transformations but couldn't ward off a few bullets. Go figure.

Did you know Snoop Doggy Dogg's new Doggfather album is dedicated "in loving memory of my homeboy 2Pac Amaru Shakur"? Everyone in the music community is mourning in their own way. "Weird" Al Yankovic is even working on a parody of Dean Martin's "That's Amore," retitled "That's Amaru." The tentative lyrics are, "When six bullets hit your head and you soon end up dead, that's Amaru. When you're buried six feet down and Ice Cube's got a frown, that's Amaru."

58. Bush -- Swallowed *1/2

The first #1 hit of 1997 on the MTV Top 20 weekly countdown was this video. All I can say is the year's off to a pretty bad start. I've never liked these guys, which places me firmly in the minority. These guys come off as a bastard love child of R.E.M. and every Seattle grunge band. If this is Bush, I'm voting for Clinton...

Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer, is some kind of sex symbol for the ladies. Maybe they can overlook his annoying whine, but not me. No sir, all this band makes me think is that nothing good's come out of Australia since that Crocodile guy. And I wouldn't mind if Bush was "swallowed" by one of those.

Speaking of "Swallowed," the video features, as always, lingering close-ups of his studliness, Gavin. There is also a lot of cross imagery, making me wonder if these guys have been watching too many Billy Idol videos. George Michael was a heartthrob the last time someone stuck a bunch of crosses in a video. Makes me mad... cross, you could call it.

57. Monica -- Before You Walk Out of My Life **

Monica -- Before You Walk Out of My Life

Monica, a teenage Toni Braxton look-alike, delivers a good R+B tune with a mediocre accompanying video. "Before You Walk" is a eulogy to a dying relationship, with Monica agonizing over the man who is about to leave her for Toni Braxton. The video shows Monica singing from a couch, a roof and a sidewalk while intercutting shots of Mon and her beau in their happier days. This is the shortest review I've written so far.
Monica -- Before You Walk Out of My Life

56. Sublime -- What I Got **1/2

I guess the name Sublemon was taken... These 311 sound-alikes frolick shirtless on the beach while a dalmation runs loose (where are the other hundred?), in an alternative song that actually features record scratches. Told you all music was merging into one massive genre. Okay, this is the shortest review I've written so far.

55. Alanis Morissette -- Head Over Feet 0

I don't hate Alanis nearly as much as I used to, but I am going to have to nominate "Head Over Feet" for worst video of the decade. It's four-and-a-half minutes of her head (over feet, of course). It looks like rehearsal footage, she doesn't even lip synch through the choruses, she just sits there. The only action in the entire video is when she breaks out the harmonica for ten seconds. She fixes her hair once; that's the climax. And this is an actual video, if you believe it.

We've all got our theories about how this got released, from it being an accident or originally just one part of a much bigger concept video to Alanis trying to make a statement about the frivolity and complexity of music videos. Either way, it sucks, and if I was MTV I would have put the big stamp of rejection on it.

I don't care if you have sold thirteen million copies of your debut album, spend more than five minutes and ten bucks on your music videos. You owe it to us, Alanis, to make every effort you can to distract us from the fact that you can't sing worth a damn.

54. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony -- Days of Our Lives **1/2

After the massive success of "Tha Crossroads," can you blame Bone Thugs-N-Harmony for making their follow-up song sound exactly the same? This one features the same rapid-fire rap with an elevator music soundtrack -- only these guys could make the two go together.

The video for "Days of Our Lives" features sands emptying from a giant hour glass... No, of course it doesn't, it's got clips from Set it Off, the bank robbery movie. It's also got the Bone Thugs reenacting a robbery of their own in a long chase scene that culminates outside their Corinthian mansion. Yeah, the Thugs are known for their taste in architecture.

53. The Cranberries -- Salvation ***1/2

Like I said, the recent batch of Cranberries videos has surpassed the previous ones. "Salvation" is hands-down the best they've made. Like Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me," it's got so many varying artistic images, it's impossible to describe but also impossible not to like.

Among the images is a woman with a light bulb swinging back and forth in front of her, and a demented clown on a roller coaster ride to hell. The song's lyrics are less creative, as Dolores O'Rierdan pleads, "To all those people doin' lines: don't do it... Inject your soul with liberty." This trite just-say-no message provokes nothing but unintentional laughs. She might as well change her name to Nancy O'Reagan.

52. Primitive Radio Gods -- Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand **1/2

This was the longest, most ridiculous song title of the year, and those words never even pop up in the song. It should have been called "Doo-Doo, Doo-Doo, Doo" and it is basically doo doo, but I like it. Primitive Radio Gods is one guy and his synthesizer, and this song is two verses, the doo-doo chorus and the repeated "I been down" sample. Just mindless enough to earn its place on the Cable Guy soundtrack.

The one guy is seen through the entire video standing outside a broken phone booth with money in his hand. It's not an entire loss because the booth switches location several times through the video. One minute it's in front of a building, the next it's on a beach. Booths like this don't work cheap.

51. Hootie and the Blowfish -- Old Man and Me *1/2

Hootie and the Blowfish -- Old Man and Me

The title of this song got me thinking... what do Hootie and an old man have in common? Let's see, they're both uncool and wouldn't know rock music if it bit them on the ass. On the other hand, what old man has sold sixteen million albums? Besides Mick and the Stones, that is... I think it's telling that Hootie and the Blowfish sold all these albums and the only person I know who bought one is my mom.

"Old Man and Me" was the first single from Fairweather Johnson, the follow-up nobody bought. This time, Darius is wearing a stocking cap through the whole video, which isn't much of an improvement. For one, it doesn't cover up his entire face. The "Old Man and Me" video is also shot in blue-and-white, which got me thinking... what do Hootie and a blue-and-white video have in common? Easy, neither have any blackness.
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Copyright 1997 Andrew Hicks / Fatboy Productions