Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2016

Posted by Jason Baum on December 31, 2016 in Lists

Contributor Post

Hello IMVDB land! It is I, Jason Baum, back to bring you my top ten list for 2016. (see 2015 / 2014) I’d like to think that my annual list is now a crucial staple of the music video community. Something certain in a world of uncertainty. Right there next to impossibly low budgets, Beats product placement, and Beyonce visual albums.

If you are new to the party, let’s restate the goals here—what music videos crossed the social feeds this year that really made my head turn. Kinda like a good Boomerang.

Man oh man. Where to even begin. First of all, you know you have a kick ass music video when your BTS is legitimately more amazing than your actual video. (aka Hearts of Darkness syndrome) I would have done anything to just sit and watch this shoot in person. It’s just spectacle in the purest form with the most delicate execution. I love it so much that I would have dressed up as these guys for Halloween if more than two people would have understood the joke.

They are the band that essentially founded the concept of a viral music video. So it’s kinda crazy to think that they are still making the most impressive videos ten years later. It truly is a testament to the genius that is Ok Go and Trish Sie. The Smithsonian even took notice! As much as I love this video, I wouldn’t have produced it if they asked me. I just don’t have the stomach for it. (their Netflix BTS is equally queasy) Gravity aside, I’ve watched this video so many times and am still amazed. It was easily the most monumental thing created by Russians in 2016… well until the US Presidential election. Sad!

Honestly, I almost put the end credits for “Mania” aka “I Feel It Coming” on my list, but I felt like I had to only pick one Weeknd video and this one had to be on it. xo

Massive Attack must have really wanted to make an indie feature length film in 2016 and somehow folded it into making a bunch of solid music videos instead. They had some of the biggest indie actors ready to bring the group’s inner demons to life-- Cate Blanchett, John Hawkes, Kate Moss, Arta Dobroshi and last, but not least, Gone Girl herself. When you realize how little actually happens in this video, you can’t help but bow down to the genius that is Rosamund Pike.

I know, I know. One person contemporary dancing in a room has become an embarrassing music video trope (frustrating dance fans everywhere). But, this is just a beauty, unless you’re trypophobic. It also stars Sonoya Mizuno who I have a huge crush on. You might remember her disco skills in Ex Machina? You should also check the behind the scenes for this too! (Trend Alert: BTS crews killed in 2016)

I’m actually kinda mad at Method Studios for this. I could have made at least 50 individual music videos with them if they didn’t put all these damn characters into this one project. And surprisingly—no BTS for this video!?! Also, for an entirely different vibe, make sure to check out Sam Pilling’s version of the same track—it’s pretty dope.

Well here is the obligatory Hiro Murai spot. As I say every year, all of his videos from this past year could easily have made the final list, but for the sake of spreading the love, I chose this one as my favorite. It’s crazy to think he has time to drop these gems on us when he is off creating great television.

Nez delivered two beautifully impressive, yet deceivingly simple videos this year (as did Michael Kiwanuka). This one and another for Flume. I chose this because it’s just so engaging. Not stilted at all.

I love the moment when you hear a song for the first time and you’re nodding your head… Thinking ok I could like this… Ok yeah this is getting good… Wait this is really good… Damn don’t screw it up now… Crying, dying, DEAD… If that makes no sense, basically it’s what happens in this video here. I love Maggie’s more famous song “Alaska” so much, but this video had a little more for me at the end of the day. In a dog eat dog world, it’s nice to see something pure just exist.

Gahd damn gawd damn. I’ve been in Kanye’s corner since the first time he was at Cedars for a car accident, but it’s hard out there for a Ye fan these days. I’m going to disregard the alternate dimension that he’s living in right now as I love this video for what it is. It’s that bold IDGAF attitude that made me love him in the first place. The video is kinda too long/repetitive to be honest, but there’s no way of denying it’s power. 21st century schizzzoooooo

Well there you have it friends. Looking forward to seeing all your post-apocalyptic videos in 2017!

I don't blame you much for wanting to be free

I just wanted you to knowwwwwwwwwww

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

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