Aural Fixation (Music You Need to Know) 9/8



The music video is the quintessential companion to the modern pop song. A great video can play an absolutely instrumental role in cementing a song forever in pop music history: “Thriller,” “Like A Prayer,” “Toxic,” “Bad Romance.”

This week there have been quite a few flashy music video releases by big stars on an even bigger budget, so I decided I’d share some of the most happenin’ eye candy with you all in an Aural Fixation music video recap.

I, for one, am a massive music video fan. Executed properly, they can take a song to all new heights—but one misstep and they can really alter your perception of an otherwise awesome song in a not-so-awesome way. I personally don’t advocate hearing a song for the first time along with video, so if you haven’t checked out any of the songs below, give the tracks a listen through before you view.

Otherwise—enjoy, Darlings, and have an awesome Monday!

P.S.: #WerkBitch

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Katy Perry: “Roar”

We all know by now Katy loves herself a theme, and she isn’t making any exceptions for the music video for her wildly (ba-dum-tss!) successful “Roar,” which is her eighth song to top the Billboard Hot 100. If nothing else, it’s definitely fun; the clip is a bit cuter than it seems many fans and pop music afficionados were hoping for, and between this and her theme-tastic VMA performance, it’s looking like Prism may be every bit as tongue-in-cheek as Teenage Dream. Looks like Katy’s not back to Kansas just yet, Toto.

Iggy Azalea feat. T.I.: “Change Your Life”

In case you missed our feature of “Work” last month to celebrate Iggy’s nomination for the Artist To Watch Moonman at the MTV Music Video Awards, here’s another visual feast from the femcee. With aggressive sexuality, some wickedly sharp choreography, and a rainbow array of blazing Vegas neon, “Change Your Life” is the most captivating kind of trash-glam: sticky-sweet and self-aware.

Lady Gaga: “Applause”

Though this clip is already old hat by Internet standards, I included it in this week’s music video recap because it’s still fresh if you haven’t seen it (or if you’ve only caught clips). Gaga’s vision for “Applause” is a dizzying array of symbols ranging from Botticelli’s Venus to her fire-breathing head on a CGI bird body, but it shines brightest at its most stripped-down; the Lady is in top form in the black-and-white shots, both by herself and with her army of dancers, highlighting the singer’s return to pristine physical shape after dropping out of the game with a devastating hip injury that forced her to end her Born This Way Ball tour many shows too early.

Ariana Grande: “Baby I”

Much like her musical stylings, Ariana Grande’s “Baby I” is a visual reference to all things Mariah, complete with an abundance of soft-focus lighting, wind-blown curls, and plenty of longing glances at the camera. (There are also some attempts at simple choreography, which, although appreciated, are ultimately unnecessary.) It’s straightforward enough, not really adding anything to the song, but also not taking anything away from it. What say we, Darlings: Does Ariana Grande’s on-camera presence match up to the hype about her rivaling Mimi’s pipes?

Eminem: “Berzerk”

Taking a small detour from the world of pop divadom, Eminem has also released a music video for this new song “Berzerk,” which came crashing out of the gates to debut at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. The rapper disclosed that he wanted a “throwback” feel, and compared to the high-charged (and high-dollar) production of the contemporary music video market, it’s all but bare bones in some respects. What do you think of Em’s vintage clip?

Miley Cyrus: “Wrecking Ball”

In-your-face nudity and an oversexualized construction hammer aside, a number of the shots in the video for “Wrecking Ball” are truly lovely—most notably the head-on shots of only Miley’s expressions as she sings, which are surprisingly tender and genuine in comparison with all the tongue-wagging and grinding that’s been so under the microscope recently. Much of the camerawork is visually arresting, and though there could’ve been a more compelling narrative (even in an abstract sense), it definitely echoes the song’s sense of raw exposure and vulnerability in a glamorous, polished package.


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Aural Fixation runs new music every Monday, right here on Literally, Darling.
Tweet and follow me on Twitter @Litzwich to give your feedback, comment on the column, or just to share your favorite Britney .gif.

I’d love to hear what you’re listening to.
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