The Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up – 4/6/16 – Sam Tsui, Jhameel, Jhene Aiko, JL x Lyricks, Chase Bars, J. Lately, Dawen & More

Good evening, friends. Glad you could join us for the first Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up of Q2 2016! I really enjoyed this batch as there really isn’t a “bad” video in the bunch. In fact, there are a couple of very enjoyable ones including our “coveted” VOTW honors, which go to Sam Tsui. But along with the traditional music videos are a few dance routines and lyric videos for you to check out too so don’t neglect those at the end of the post!

[VOTW] Sam Tsui – “Secret”

This seems to be the biggest promotional push for Sam Tsui’s original material yet. I’ve even heard drops and teases on the radio for this song, a first for Sam as far as I’m aware. The good news is, this song plays perfectly in line with Sam’s strengths and remains true to his brand of squeaky clean, uber-catchy Pop. The video has bold, vibrant colors that pop and keep your attention well enough. Let’s hope this gains a little traction on Top 40 radio!


Jhameel – “Bomb Digga Woo”

There’s something about Jhameel’s artistry that is a combination of August Rigo meets Michael Jackson with just a tiny touch of Lady Gaga-esque surrealism. It’s a tad bizarre but always entertaining to watch and listen and I’m completely buying into this toned back, minimalist approach to this track & video. The sight of an attractive girl with crazy eyes wielding around a big kitchen knife is enough to bring up the Vicky Mendoza diagonal – a line that several people I know love to flirt with.

Jhene Aiko – “B’s + H’s”

With the announcement of Jhene’s new project group with Big Sean, Twenty88, it was easy to overlook and forget about this video but you’d be mistaken to do so. It’s a perfect slice out of contemporary R&B pie, and the bitter and rash tone of the lyrics is an engaging contrast to Jhene’s trademark angelic voice. The video is kind of a random assortment of editing effects and cuts, a telltale sign of it’s likely small budget, but it’s an adequate watch. The song is where it’s at though.

JL x Lyricks – “Check 2 Check”

JL x Ly = boom bap rap. That hasn’t changed and it thankfully pretty much never will. The simple production is the perfect backdrop to let their bars take center stage. Non rap fans need not apply, bad rap fans can move along, but Bad Rap fans would love this, yours truly included. The video ain’t perfect but the long takes are fun to follow and make use of a limited set. Overall, a pretty strong outing from two of the Beautiful Cycle members.

Chase Bars – “When I Begin to Flow”

The video for this Hip-Hop track is more of an exercise in new media trends and special effects. It capitalizes on the face swap capabilities of nearly every selfie-centric app that is currently popular. That being said, it’s a humorous watch but not exactly a fully fleshed out MV. I enjoyed it for about 30 seconds before I lost interested and moved on.

J. Lately x Della – Higher

If JJ Abrams was an indie Hip-Hop music video producer, this would probably resemble the result. There’s lens flare and lighting effects galore, and while slightly overdone it’s a nice distinction from the otherwise all nocturnal scenes. Otherwise it’s your standard guerrilla style rap video affair, set to an above average track that should manage to keep you entertained for it’s sub 3-minute run time.

Dawen – “資格不符” (Not Qualified)

One thing that Asian pop seems to do exceptionally well, is ballads. And as Dawen crosses further and further into Taiwanese Pop stardom, it only seems appropriate for him to release these type of songs. And I can’t betray my various Asian roots as there will always be a part of me that appreciates this style of music and thankfully Dawen does it well. The video is a great watch too, with the dancers adding a great visual touch to it all.

The following are either lyric videos or dance videos and will thus contain no commentary from yours truly. Enjoy =)

Kinjaz – “El Chapo” by The Game & Skrillex

Poreotics – “Call Me” by SteLouse

Tessanne Chin – “Love Suicide”

Jannine Weigel – “Raindrops”

inCH – “Dust That Moves”

Travis Atreo x Aftrhours – “Excited”

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