|20. Backstreet Boys Ė
Everybody (Backstreetís Back)
(**) The first
lyric is, "Oh my God, weíre back again." That about covers it. "Everybody"
is the Backstreet Boysí "Thriller," complete with deranged claw dance.
The fun starts as the Backstreet Boysí bus breaks down (BUS: Too much
Must abort.) and they end up staying at a creepy castle while their ghetto
bus driver disappears. ("Yeah, Iím just going to go back out to the
Cue squealing tires.) As the castle gets creepier, one of the boys turns
into a werewolf, another into a phantom, one into a hideously scarred
one into a mummy and the last one turns into a Spice Girl. Oops. I see
the premise behind this videoÖ everyone thinks weíre a bunch of talentless
pretty boys. So letís disfigure our faces and rip off some Ď30s horror
movies. Iíll admit it, though Ė as far as this kind of shit goes, itís
the top of its genre. Itís well photograped, well staged, well
and well oiled (the male chests anyway). --AH
(*1/2) If that
bus driver had any sense of civic responsibility, he would have left them
to die at that old mansion. This would be the Backstreet Boysí Magnum
obviously, because it has their name in the title of the song. Itís kind
of like Pink Floydís The Wall, with all the talent and integrity removed
from it. Also, notice that the old and ugly Backstreet Boy is the one who
has to wear the metal plate over his face. How fair is that? I know no
better way to put it except to say that this video sucks. It gets an extra
half star because itís not the choreographerís fault his work was
19. Marilyn Manson Ė The
(*) Damn, Marilyn
Manson has some nice tits. Too bad theyíre plastic. I guess heís softened
up some in the last two years, but heís still just too pseudo-freaky for
me. You know he watches the TGIF lineup when no oneís around. But when
the cameraís on, he has to be creepy, cryptic and cheesy. To anyone
this in the future Ė no, this isnít the music everyone thought was cool
in 1998. Donít judge us by our MTV countdowns. --AH
(**) Oh, I get
it Marilyn, you want to be David Bowie. You want it so bad, and you know
itís not going to happen. The androgyny, the homosexuality, the gyrations,
itís all reminiscent of glam rock, but without the appeal. Not even an
entire roomful of Marilyn Manson dummies can make one David. Try again.
18. Barenaked Ladies Ė
(***1/2) The lead
singer from Harvey Danger went and joined another band. Or was this just
a good year for geeks? I had a good year, anyway. Another garish McG
this is an ode to late Ď70s TV, Evil Kneaval and the chambers of medieval
queens. Three cultural references anyone can appreciate.
(***) This album
was my one impulse buy last year. I bought it on the basis of this song,
and actually ended up liking the rest of the album a lot better. Is it
possibly because MTV hit me over the head with this video every five
Yep. Will I like it in a couple years when itís forgotten and just happens
to pop up? Yep. The "Dukes of Hazzard" car, references to dirty thoughts
about "Sailor Moon" and a female Evil Kneaval jumping over the band. ĎNuff
17. Madonna Ė Ray of
(**) Iíve been
a Madonna fan through the ages (until Evita, anyway) so I find it hard
to competely abandon her now, especially when itís cool to like her again.
I think thatís whatís wrong with her, though. Sheís growing up; sheíd
have a few gray hairs by now if she wasnít dying it a different color
week. But she thinks sheís 20, wearing a jean jacket with nothing
and trusting that the post-production will take care of those stretch
on her stomach. The video itself has a manic energy to it. There are
of quick-moving objects, Madonna not the least of them, and it looks good.
Itís just sad that she has to reinterpret herself for 13-year-olds every
few years. Pick an image and go with it. About the only constant is that
you can still see her nipples through the shirt. --AH
very own "Day in the Life". When you watch her shamelessly gyrate,
you can almost see the frustrated 20 year old stuck in a 40 year old body
frantically clawing to get out. I think this is supposed to be a day in
a sorority chickís life, seeing as how it ends in a dance club and all.
They should show her the next day waking up in some strange guyís room
with a massive hangover. In fast-forward, of course.
Oh my God, Madonna has become Alanis and Alanis has become Madonna!
I wish I had mood hair like Madonna Ė Happy = Yellow, Deep = Black, Horny
= Shock White.
16. Will Smith Ė Just the
Two of Us
(*1/2) You know
youíre not completely hip anymore when this video comes on and you ask
a roomful of people whatever happened to "Parents Just Donít Understand"?
Even pop rapís Golden Boy has his embarrassing moments, but at least you
can dance to the faster ones. This is one of those emotional "Itís so cool
being a father" numbers thatís better left to private performances at
gatherings. All the while, there are pictures of other celebrities and
their children, mugging to the camera and shaving a few more hours from
their community service sentences. --AH
(**) Oh great,
now not only is Will Smith a lucky bastard, heís also a good single
I mean, Iím glad he loves his kid, but does he really need to prove heís
a good father this way? They need to forget all of this caring and sharing
rap and get back to wholesome anthems of irresponsibility, like "Knock
My Bitch Up" and "The Kid Ainít Mine (You Canít Prove Nothin)."
15. Korn Ė Got the
band that figured out you can go platinum if you write one catchy song
and make a McG video to go with it. This is standard
shout-rap with a few appalled authority figures thrown in for good
up with all the metal and punk bands trying to be Master P this year? This
is another great example of a song I like being cheapened by a really
video. So, let me get this straight: they stole JDís cars from "Money
a Thing" and decided to go joyriding in them? Wonít he get broke enough
on his own? The song is great, the album is decent, but this video needs
to be deep-sixed. --JW
14. Jay-Z Ė Can I Get
(**) A what? A
brain? A bank account? A job? A pair of size 14 shoes? You gotta help me
out here, Jay-Z. While this isnít as embarrassing as "Hard Knock Life,"
itís from the Rush Hour soundtrack so it doesnít have much credibility
where Iím concerned. And at least thereís another random pecs-and-headband
rapper distracts from Jay-Zís mealy-mouthed verbal tripping.
(*) Can you get
a rap, rap Jay-Z? No, Iím pretty sure you canít. The best thing about this
cheap advertisement for Rush Hour is the cameo by Sean Penn, and how sad
is that? Can you get a job, job, Jay-Z? Youíre going to need it in about
a year when your career flops and the welfare runs out. Sorry, but you
made it personal with "Hard Knock Life." You canít rap; get a clue!
13. Lauryn Hill Ė Doo Wop
picking the Lauryn Hill album as the best of 1998, and Iíd be inclined
to agree, if every song didnít start with "Yo yo yo uh huh uh huh yeah
yeah check it out." The video, a classy split-screen effort that puts
to shame, shows a Diana Ross made-over Lauryn singing the songís lyrics
while a current-day, dreadlocked Lauryn does the rapped lyrics. Since the
singing and rapping overlap throughout the song, itís interesting to see
them both done separately in the song. The partyís equally cool on both
sides, but Iíd sooner go to the 1966 party. Less people whoíd want to kick
my ass at that one. --AH
the contention here is that black women used to have class in the Ď60s,
but not anymore. Itís a dumb concept anyway, because we all know Lauryn
Hill would have spent the Ď60s begging for chance in Port Au Prince, not
partying in New York. I bet you "That Thing" is the raft she didnít want
to cross the Caribbean on. That said, itís a catchy song, and at leat half
the video is decent. Literally. --JW
12. Green Day Ė Time of
Your Life (Good Riddance)
theyíre only too willing to sell out, Green Day eschews their punk roots
in favor of this ballad that actually includes a string section. Yesterday
all his troubles seemed so far awayÖ The video is just a bunch of forlorn
people looking around and I can rag on it, but I like this song enough
to give it the thumbs-up. You know youíve arrived when your song pops up
in the last episode of "Seinfeld." --AH
has a friend like Billy Joe. Heís fun to be around, he eats all the food
in your fridge and you know heíll be living with his mom until heís 40.
I guess Billy got lucky, especially considering he apparently only knows
two chords. Itís got a good melody though, and my adventurous roommate
can learn to play it in under two minutes, and stoned to boot.
11. Pras f/Olí Dirty
and Mya Ė Ghetto Supastar
not a good omen when Warren Beatty shows up at the beginning of a rap
wearing a suit. It is a good sign, however, when he turns into one of the
Fugees. Of course, when that happens, they usher him away from the stage.
Letís be honest, thatís what exactly would happen in real life. Pras
ends up performing in front of an audience, but I end up watching Mya
in front of those red, white and blue globe lights. Great look, good
(***) I have to
admit, I like this song. Even during its overkill in the summer, I liked
this song. I think I may be turning into some kind of Fugees solo artist
fan. Oh my God, Warren Beatty is really Pras? Well, I never did see them
both together, and it would explain the death of Warrenís acting career
so he could concentrate on rap. Of course, this video could just be good
because it activated that pleasure center of my brain called "catchy pop
tunes of the 80s." Either way, you canít help snappiní to it.