Music Videos

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The 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’00s: The Top 40



VH1′s The Greatest continues its weeklong countdown of The 100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s tonight with entries 40-21. Plain White T’s, comedian Godfrey, and others weighed in on why “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys deserves to be at #22. “She was, like, in a class by herself,” Basketball Wives star Tami Roman says. “She was rocking the fedora and the bandana and the cornrows, and it was just so, like, ‘I’m feeling you right now,’ you know?” Comedian Dean Edwards phrases it a little differently: “[She] was like O.D.B., you know what I mean? But, you know, a little cuter.” After the jump, check out #40-21 from tonight’s episode, as well as #20-1 from tomorrow’s episode (at 10 p.m. ET/PT). Or check out the complete list, where a spirited debate is already taking place in the comments: The 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’00s [COMPLETE LIST].
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Beyoncé’s “Countdown” Is Destined For Our (Top 20) Countdown



What’s better than a new video with Beyoncé? If you answered “a new video with multiple Beyoncés,” you’re going to love “Countdown”! The single is a standout from 4?not just a refreshingly uptempo jam among ballads, but a darn good one?and director Adria Petty certainly does the song justice with this clip. Petty combines intentionally stilted choreography with multiple frames and multiple exposures (and, yes, multiple Beyoncés) to create a sort of “Flashdance” by way of “Rockit” spectacle. Alternately, think of it as a Gap ad made by Mondrian, and starring robots. Words don’t do this video justice.
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Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Team For “The Lady Is A Tramp”



Perhaps the most anticipated collaboration from the now chart-topping(!) Duets II was Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga‘s rendition of “The Lady Is A Tramp.” To begin with, Gaga is as monocultural as they come these days. Plus, as Bennett told us, “she has the same gift as Ella Fitzgerald.” Then none other than Gay Talese profiled the duet for The New Yorker.

With the album in stores, naturally a video for the lead-off track has followed. Gaga is no less showy?that’s her nature?but her performance is in sync, not in competition, with Bennett’s. The duo riff on the lyrics, very much in a vocal jazz pop tradition. The least surprising change: a shout-out to songwriters Rodgers & Hart replaces one to Walter Winchell. Even if the redoubtable columnist had a 2011 equivalent (Nicki Finke plus Perez Hilton?) we doubt committed anti-bullying campaigner Gaga would sing his praises.

She’s also a smart fit for a vocal partner in this musical-theater tradition?so much so that the song seems well-chosen, until you realize how many others would have worked just as well (except perhaps for the titular pun). For all her outré accoutrements, Gaga fits snugly into this tradition, as someone seriously committed to her art yet mercifully unconcerned with Baby Boomer-born ideas of pop “authenticity.” It’s no wonder that Tony Bennett “gets” her.
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Drake Makes “Headlines” With Boss-Style Video

How powerful can a guy be in a sweater? Drake’s new video “Headlines,” which premiered yesterday, goes a long way towards answering that question. The clip is a departure for Drake, whose previous videos largely, for better or for worse, eschewed well-worn rap-video tropes. “Headlines,” however, fits the gangster-boss mold to a tee. The introspective shots familiar from previous Drake videos are gone, aside from a shot in a high-rise’s glass elevator, in which may as well be Gordon Gecko. Elsewhere, Drake smokes a cigar (and yes, rocks a sweater) at the head of a dinner table, his all-male entourage arrayed around him. The sequence attempts to subvert what’s often been read as an unintentional Cosby Show reference into something more like Rutger Hauer in Surviving The Game.

Most notably, the video takes place in Toronto. In fact, parts of the video are shot at the Rogers Center (formerly, the SkyDome)?including a shot of its roof retracting and several of the title of Drake’s upcoming album (October 24th’s Take Care) on the JumboTron. The clip gambles that Drake’s Canadian background can be used as an asset rather than a liability. In other words, rather than responding to those who would take shots at parts of his image, he’s used them as essential elements of a “Boss”-type video. That sort of unapologetic reimagining doesn’t often fly in hip-hop culture, but when it has worked, it’s been crucial in reaching iconic status (think Tupac). “Headlines” is hardly Tupac-level, but it’s much more successful than we’d have anticipated.
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Adele Brings Simplicity, Sorrow To Paris In “Someone Like You” Video



Shorthand is useful. Just ask the director of Adele’s new video for “Someone Like You,” which premiered last night on MTV. Paris indicates love. Window-boxed black-and-white footage offers a retro vibe. And a heavy coat means it’s really cold. Voilà! Three essential characteristics of the appeal of “Someone Like You,” without taking any attention away from Adele’s performance. And she’s inarguably front-and-center in this simple clip, the majority of which is a single tracking shot of walking by the river. Don’t turn away just because it’s simple, though?you’ll miss the last minute, a flashback, told in a single 360° pan, to the moment when the song’s object leaves Adele behind in a coffee-shop. This in itself could have made a great concept for the video…not that we don’t understand the reasoning behind keeping it simple. It matches the song.