MUSIC VIDEO CRITIC AT LARGE
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",
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.
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, 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.
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
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
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
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.
To Videos #50-41
Back to the eMpTyV Homepage
Copyright 1997 Andrew Hicks / Fatboy Productions