Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2015

Posted by Jason Baum on December 29, 2015 in Lists

Contributor Post


Hello everyone in music video land! I am back to share my thoughts again on the past year— the year formerly known as 2015. Was a great one methinks. Hey, even the NYTimes felt compelled to chime in!

If you weren’t around last year, my criteria is simple and is as follows— what videos really stayed with me and were truly memorable? It was tough once again to narrow this down, but lets just start right at the top, with the #1 spot...

Don’t act like you forgot! Riri made this year’s video game her bitch, and has my money for the number one. No question— an instant classic, an epic to remember. Don’t just take my word for it, Katy Perry agrees! It’s a check list of #goals— celluloid, drones, boats, cars, mansions, drugs, cash, models, squad, Hollywood actors, Eric Roberts, blood, tattoos, piercings, guns, fashion, suitcases, 90’s Mann vibes. Brrap, brrap, brrap.

I hate Carlos Lopez Estrada. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard enough to make a great video when you have money. But, try doing that with less than $5k and I’d call you crazy and politely try to stop responding to your emails. So Carlos you suck and now I have to sheepishly admit that you can make a jaw dropping video with an iPhone, a few train tickets and After Effects. (for the record, I do actually love Carlos, he’s a great guy)

I can't think of a music video that has had such an effective political statement since Chris Milk's “The Saints Are Coming" video. I feel like someone is going to call me out on that lofty statement #sorrynotsorry. Back on topic— while this video is relatively simple, the message is strong and beautifully executed.

This was a surprising delight. Transcendently straight forward. Je t’aime.

Sometimes my criteria for video greatness is-- does this video make me want to learn how to make GIFs? will this inspire a great SNL parody? and will it be a meme that will last forever? bonus: does it also inspire Halloween costumes? In all seriousness, X was the perfect choice for this concept. Shout out to James Turrell! Now we can all stop ripping off your images in our treatments for the next year or two. Did everyone also catch Doug’s cameo?

This might be too specific of a reference even for the Los Angeles audience here, but I relate to the girl in this video sooooo hard. Everytime I'm at Zankou Chicken, I’m like "who are these crazy people here?” and "why does the wait have to be so damn long for a kebab plate!?!?!?"

Vince Haycock had me waiting with baited breath as The Odyssey series was dolled out. This one was by far my favorite. Steve Annis once again taking us to church.

You know what they say about hairy palms… What’s not to like here?! It’s CANADA at their finest. The colors, the movement, the set pieces, the cast, the sexiness… Also, can someone tell me how they aged Sissy Spacek to her 15 year old self? Am I right?

Young Replicant's work is just so sublime. Team him up with a cinematic maestro like Fly Lo and you get this beauty.

I always hate the tenth spot. The ones before are usually no brainers. Then this spot is like splitting hairs and there’s so much pressure to pick the absolutely right one. I’m going to go with this. It’s that classic Hollywood musical vibe with a captivating star. Ryan Heffington killing it as always.

There you have it. Ten for 2015. But, please oblige me as I have to shout out one more. I mean, you guys, TOM HANKS aka FORREST GUMP was in a music video?!?!

Jason Baum is a music video producer and director based in Los Angeles.



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