It's time to line up a handful of new pop videos, see what we like about them and then award them imaginary MTV Moonmen out 10 (I wish I had a Moonman :(((( I really do) It is a battle of sorts, so apply some sports reference to this showdown and let us begin!
Usher - Scream
What Is It? Single no. 2 from Usher's latest album Looking 4 Myself (Plug alert. It's this week's GCN album of the week, full review from myself here). The upbeat tune with co-writing help from Max Martin has been kicking around for a while now, a slightly different vibe to the first single Climax (Which. was. AMAZING). This manages to stand out from similar dance-pop tunes with some sprightly production, surprisingly raunchy lyrics and spirited vocals from the man himself. The video has finally arrived this week.
Is It Any Good? Um, it's a bit BORING if we are being 100% honest with you all. The clip looks budget (You get the impression they blew all the video budget money on that gorgeous clip for Climax awhile back) and has an odd concept. Usher runs around a black tunnel and does a few dance steps in a nice white suit, a hot girl swims above, which implies Usher is perhaps stuck downstairs in an aquarium. Then he flaps about in a Balmain-y jacket, a high-street knock off of which you probably bought 3 years ago. Then in the closing moments Usher has a dance with Aquarium Girl and suddenly appears at a live show where lots of punters flail around. If it sounds exciting it's really not and for someone with so many moves it's odd how little dancing there is. Sigh.
Do Say: "Usher sure can pull off a white suit"
Don't Say: "WHAT IF THE GLASS BREAKS ON THE AQUARIUM AND YOU DROWN USHER?? WHAT IF??"
MTV Moonmen out 10: 5
Sky Ferreira - Red Lips
What Is It? The new clip from the buzzed about singer-model-blogger favourite who has had many fawning over her quirky electro-pop and beautiful, husky voice for a few years. Still only 19, Sky has struggled to find a style and identity as an artist that lets her speak for herself. This track is the lead single from forthcoming debut album Wild At Heart. Red Lips, co-writen with recently-returned rockers Garbage is a scuzzy, gritty guitar-pop number with a snarly, aggressive momentum that will win you over.
Is It Any Good: Well yes. And no. It's directed by photographer Terry Richardson whose infamously sleazy style has made him a huge name and seen him shoot basically everybody for the cover of every magazine ever. As such, it looks exactly how you'd expect a Terry Richardson music video to look. Sparse, lo-fi lighting and plenty of uncomfortable sexuality. The imagery veers too much between a satirical take on the sexualisation of young women in pop videos and just being a few minutes of a young girl flapping about in her knickers. Ferreira is an intelligent and underrated talent and the way the video is set up as poking fun at the presentation of beauty in pop videos is interesting but ultimately it feels like Ferreira isn't really in control and the result is somewhat uncomfortable to watch. Not least because the whole thing features an ENORMOUS SPIDER CRAWLING AROUND : (
Do Say: "Isn't it nice to have Sky back?"
Don't Say: "I would love to have a tarantula crawl all over me!"
MTV Moonment out of 10 : 6
Wynter Gordon - Still Getting Younger
What Is It? The 4th single from the underrated US dance-pop queen's With The Music I Die Album/EP (depending on what country you're in.) Wynter had a huge hit with Dirty Talk but her other tracks haven't quite been as big. Which is a shame because her track record is pretty great and this one is no different. A breezy, 80s tinged number with a beautiful sense of yearning strewn across it's thumping beat, it's a pitch-perfect summer pop song.
Is It Any Good? Yes. This isn't a huge splashy pop video but it completely brings the track to life. Wynter frolics on a building rooftop, having a water fight with her beau and looking cool in various lovely outfits. It moves at a great clip with Miss Gordon serving both sultry looks and an easy, knowing joy that is a welcome relief from the sexual posturing and would-be raunchy moves most pop divas are pulling at the moment (not that we don't love that kind of thing, but still).
Do Say: "I really want to have a water-fight now"
Don't say: "I prefer Rihanna grabbing her crotch 23432 times in 3 minutes to be honest"
MTV Moonmen out of 10: 8
In this battle we our handing all the kudos to Wynter Gordon for not only wearing some nice denim cut-offs but proving that water pistols will always have a place in pop videos.