Jason Baum's Top 5 Music Videos of 2021

Posted by Jason Baum on January 1, 2022 in Lists

Contributor Post

Hello out there in music video land.  I don’t want you to think I’m getting lazy or that I’m sleeping on my responsibilities to the faithful followers of my annual blog.  But, I really had a hard time doing most things this year, let alone getting to ten videos on this list... and I’m not gonna start gerrymandering my standards so I present to you, my top FIVE of 2021.

The Weeknd – Save Your Tears (“Live” on The 2021 Billboard Music Awards)

Some people are gonna give me flack because this is technically a “live” performance video for an awards show.  But, it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen all year.  Year after year, my picks do seem to represent a greater body of work and I have to acknowledge Abel’s ability to continue push us into brand new worlds time and time again.  This one from Cliqua and this from Hajime Sorayama in particular deserve some praise.


A new Gavras video is always a global event. But, is this a global warming parable ala Waterworld? What happened to everyone’s eyes?!? Romain or Greta— please tell me what to do, I don’t want swirly marbles for eyes! And don’t tell me it was the mRNA! [Editor’s Note: Global warming is real and mRNA vaccines saved millions of lives]

Dua Lipa - We're Good

Vania and Gal always leave me speechless. They can paint me like one of their French girls anytime. (and yes, the door was definitely big enough Rose)

Harry Styles - Treat People With Kindness

I’m still mad that I didn’t personally come up with the punny scenario of having Phoebe Waller-Bridge do a Phoebe Bridgers video. So I’ll settle with Phoebe Waller-Bridge dancing with Harry Styles. When does Harry get knighted so we can call him Sir Styles?

Paul McCartney feat. Beck - Find My Way

Speaking of knights, Paul McCartney is an international treasure. Do yourself a favor and check out McCartney 3,2,1 or The Beatles: Get Back and tell me otherwise. Peter Jackson might have put us in the room with the fab four, but Andrew Donoho took us back to what Beatlemania felt like. Just chuffed to see Paul move like that in 2021. But for the end, it was really a missed opportunity for Tom Cruise to be underneath the Beck mask (like this, but also like this). Don’t tell other artists about deepfake tech or else they’ll never show up on set again!

Bo Burnham - All Eyes On Me

Honorable Mention: All of 2020 and into 2021, I was looking for the perfect pop cultural milestone to sum up this time that we all want to forget. This film is that and I’d almost go as far to say it makes the pandemic worth it-- just so we can get this incredible piece of musical genius. [Editor’s Note: the pandemic will probably never have been “worth it”] Get your hands up and get on out of your seat!

Welp that’s 2021! I’m very much looking forward to 2022 as it’s the tenth anniversary of the best year for music videos since the turn of the millennium. Catch up on that here. It was like 1999 (party over, oops, out of time!)

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

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