It's a busy week for music videos. There's pop biggest star Rihanna unveiling another surefire winner, the slinky high-fashion visuals delivered by Little Boots and the return of UK popstrel Cheryl Cole. If you need to catch up and get some rapid fire knowledge on the latest pop videos than you've come to the right place.
Cheryl - Call My Name
What Is It: The video for the first single from Cheryl's (because she has dropped the surname for pop purposes it seems) new album A Million Lights, her 3rd (!) solo album. The track is helmed by Calvin Harris and has all the hallmarks of a summer smash.
Is It Good: YES. Yes it is. This is a perfect example of how to do a big budget, dance-heavy pop video that sums up why the star in question is in fact a star. There's a faintly ridiculous opening 50 seconds of slow-mo Cheryl, the song slowed down and a Marquis de Sade quote (!!) before the high energy dancing kicks in. Cheryl does her best Janet Jackson circa Rhythm Nation moves in a pair of leopard-print parachute pants (WE'LL TAKE 10 PAIRS PLEASE) while she buzzes around LA in a car and saunters down a tunnel. It's equal parts choreography driven pop fun and fashion spread beauty shots and it's a real treat for the eyes. And unlike Rihanna's new video (See below) Cole looks confident and in control of her moves. Great stuff.
Do Say: "I COULD DEFNITELY PULL OFF THOSE NEON PLATFORMS IF I WAS DANCING IN A TUNNELL"
Don't Say: "Is she not a bit cold running around in her leopard-print knickers?"
MTV Moonmen out of ten: 9
Rihanna - Where Have You Been
What Is It: The video for the 4th single from Rihanna's Talk That Talk album (although the title track's run as a single was somewhat undermined by no video being made), the Calvin Harris/Dr Luke produced cut Where Have You Been has all the makings of another Riri hit. So, the video comes just in time to make it contender for song of the summer.
Is It Good? : Well, here's the problem. It's not really. Rihanna has nailed the art of the big pop video in recent years. We Found Love was a near perfect mix of storytelling and controversy baiting imagery and Rihanna has developed an ever-changing sex kitten persona that leaves the blogs buzzing. This video though lacks much of the pulse of the song itself and while it's nice to see Rihanna try her hand at dance routines, she never quite pulls them off. The Rihanna-in-the-swamp bits are undeniably great (more popstars in swamps please) but it never quite lifts off the way it should. Basically combine Beyonce's Run the World dancing, with Amerie's video for Touch, a smidge of Kelis' Acapella and Nelly Furtado's Turn Off The Light and you have this video.
Do Say: "Well, at least it was nice of Rihanna to TRY dancing I suppose"
Don't Say: "WOW RIHANNA REALLY IS THE BEST DANCER IN POP RIGHT NOW NOBODY ELSE CAN TOUCH HER WOWOWOWOWOW"
MTV Moonmen out of Ten: 6
Little Boots - Every Night I Say A Prayer
What Is It: Little Boots is slowly building momentum towards her eventual second album release with promising dance tracks that combine her pop nous with cutting edge production that still doesn't try too hard. Every Night I Say A Prayer was released as a free download for Record Store Day, with Andy Butler, he of Hercules and Love Affair, given this tune plenty of classic house-music flourishes and plenty of club-kid cool. Thankfully there's a stonking chorus too that suggests that Little Boots has found her groove again.
Is It Good: Yes. Very very very good indeed. This isn't a hugely lavish affair but the sleek vogue-infused choreography works a treat and the minimal but stylish presentation of both Little Boots and her turbo-cool dance troupe is spot on. It's a nice art-y take on your typical "people dancing around to an upbeat song" video that doesn't bash you over the head with pretentiousness.
Do Say: "I could definitely whack a few of those dances moves out after a few vodka and cokes"
Don't Say: "LOL DOESN'T IT REMIND U OF D MDNA SONG VOGUE"
MTV Moonmen out of Ten: 9
What a merry band of pop clips. here's hoping that this rather strong start, leads to a Summer of equally strong numbers!