I’ve been slacking lately and haven’t been as diligent in hitting the “mid-week” in our “Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up” series, but let me fix that today. It’s Wednesday, firmly in the center of the 2nd week of March, and we’ve got a decent short-list of videos for your to catch up on and check out. You know the deal, you also get a free helping to my inconsequential opinion which you have the freedom to love, hate or ignore as your please. But don’t let that stop you from missing out on our Video of the Week pick – the long awaited return of AJ Rafael.
[VOTW] AJ Rafael – “Beautiful Escape”
This song may be a few years old, but it’s always a welcome sight to have AJ back in the spotlight. As I was watching the video, I was honestly ready to write it off as another cliched, indie chick-flickish, singer-songwriter type video but I came away impressed by it’s heart and it’s charm. Sure, it uses many of the expected tropes in this type of production but it also captures the whimsical, overly-self-important-but-undeniably-special feel of falling and being in love. AJ and the female lead (Jeserey Sanchez) have a very believable chemistry and it lends itself well to the video as a whole.
Yuna – “Places to Go”
Yuna x DJ Premier… who would have thought!? DJP hasn’t lost a step and brings that classic boom bap sound to back Yuna’s airy, light vocals and it’s an unexpectedly brilliant match. The video is more of an exhibition in high frame rate, slow motion footage but it actually works considering the theme of the song. It’s not exactly edge-of-your-seat enthralling but I think you’ll be too wrapped up in how dope the song is to care anyways.
Kahlee x Digital Martyrs x Uptown Swuite x Odessa Kane – “For My People”
Hip-Hop and social commentary is something that has gone hand in hand since it’s early days. There’s something powerful and convicting when artists use their talents to stand behind a cause and message that they believe in – whether you agree with it or not. That being said, you’re either gonna love this track, or you’re going to be put off by it. The topics raised in the song have been a part of the general social conversation for a while now, so I doubt this will sway you one way or another but nevertheless, it’s a dope rap track on it’s own.
Andrew Huang – “Good Mythical Morning”
I’m starting to think Andrew Huang’s talents would allow him to make music in a space, where there is no sound – he’s just that good. This one’s a quickie but it never fails to impress me how easily he can make a beat out of pretty much anything. This guy is too creative for his own good, I can’t even fathom how much time it takes to both make a track like this and edit the crap out of the video… the sequencing must be mind numbingly tedious.
Heesun Lee – “No Limits”
Heesun has skill, there’s no questioning that – but what I haven’t seen much from her is versatility. All her tracks tend to be intensely serious and always calling out what’s wrong with this world – which is fine – but I wouldn’t mind hearing her spit from a place of joy at least once. Song is OK. Video is OK. Everything is OK, here. If the track or the video were stronger, than it’s easier to overlook the repetition. But in the mean time, if Heesun can get a more polished video team behind her and find some variety in her sound, she could be on to something special.
Samantha Mendoza – “Walk Away”
It’s a beautiful thing when a singer ain’t afraid to flex her pipes and let their talent shine through. Song wise, that’s what we get from Samantha Mendoza and her video premier via ISA. Soulful R&B is largely underrepresented in popular media so this is a tune that hits the spot. As for the video… unfortunately it’s not quite as strong. It’s largely uneventful with mixed production values. I enjoyed the throwback western feel of it all, but it left a lot to be desired in terms of overall execution.
Here are a couple of dance videos for your enjoyment.