The Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up – 07/06/16 – Yuna, Laura Mam, Yung Koconut, Jessi Malay, Derez, Sam Tsui, Trus Real, TOKiMONSTA, Lions Ambition, Megan Lee, August Rigo, iNCH, Mila J

I know, you’ve heard this same old story before… but it’s been a few weeks and we got backed up on videos so we have a larger batch to share with you today. Listen, life gets busy… but I want to make sure not much slips through the cracks and still give you my 2 cents on the latest and greatest videos from some of your favorite artists. The total comes out to $0.36 today, seeing as how we got 13 clips for me to chime in on.

Oh and our coveted (not really) award for VOTW goes to…

[VOTW] Yuna – “Lanes”

When artists use the opportunity to tell a story with their videos as opposed to singing at me, that is a huge automatic plus in my book. When it’s done so with the use of flourishes of creativity, even better. Thankfully that’s exactly what we get here with Yuna’s latest. Groundbreaking? No. Entertaining, most definitely. And that reminds me, I have yet to hear anything from her latest Chapters album to suggest that it’s not worth picking up. I think I need to get it ASAP.

Laura Mam – “For My People”

I’m always inspired by how much love Laura has for her motherland, and dedicating an entire song to show it is certainly a definitive way to do it. Aside from the heart-warming sentiment, the song itself is a decent pop ditty, though the mixing is a bit uneven for my tastes. The video is serviceable but I think it would have used more b-roll type footage of the scenery and people of Cambodia.

Yung Koco x HDthe1 – “Rollin Up”

Truth be told, I’m still adjusting to Furis’ transition to Yung Koconut but all things considered this song wasn’t too bad. It’s a smooth listen and while it’s not something I’d bump all the time, I can appreciate the chill vibes. The MV isn’t really all that memorable and has some questionable FX choices, but it didn’t really do the whole package much harm either.

Jessi Malay – “Do It”

J. Malay’s latest is on some low-key earworm type of status. I honestly can’t say I loved the song but I unexpectedly found myself humming it days later. It’s just got this catchy (and somewhat repetitive) quality that lodges itself into your brain. On the V end of A/V, Jessi shows off her strong dance skills and I can’t help but impressed by how sharp some of her hits were. She also relies on her sex appeal a good bit here but I’m sure a lot of you won’t complain about that. While it just barely remains visually interesting, I wouldn’t put this in a year end’s list of superlative videos either.

Derez – “Undeniable”

The artist formerly known as city boy has a tendency to bring a mixed bag to the table, and unfotunately that doesn’t change here. Song wise, I can dig it, despite the fact that D gives off the impression that he thinks his punchlines are more clever than they actually are. Don’t get me wrong, some are pretty witty… but not all of them hit with the hubris he presents. As for the visual front… I’m frankly pretty tired of that same friggn hallway in Little Tokyo being in so many videos and pictures… never mind the fact that his entire video takes place here. If variety is the spice of love, then consider this video under seasoned. Give the song a listen but skip the watch.

Sam Tsui – “Perfect Storm”

It’s a lyric video. So I can’t say much except that it’s decently done, even if the constant change in typography was kind of distracting. Now the song is definitely the star here, with it having an Ariana Grande-a-la-Dangerous-Woman-bluesy-pop kinda vibe. More songs could use a little bit more soul; so I’m glad Sam delivered.

Trus Real – “100 Bars of Gold”

TR is the kinda dude who would be at home on Sway in the Morning but wouldn’t crack the Billboard charts. He’s a Hip-hop purist, choose to flex his skills with wordplay over adlibs, and punchlines over auto-tune. I will always, always, have love for those who choose to make their mark the old-fashioned way. On top of that, Trus brings us what would have been the hottest video from 1994. OK, music over everything so I don’t care that much since the song is some strong, old-school boom-bap but really that video looked like it belonged in Yo! MTV Raps.

TOKiMONSTA x a l l i e – “Wound Up”

OK this isn’t so much a music video as it is a 90’s era supersize in CGI, turned visualization. I’m pretty sure I had plugins for Winamp that did something very similar. I really enjoyed the mix of soul and electronic music and I do think TOKi and allie have found a winning sound here. It’s a minor shame that they didn’t bring something a little more dynamic with the video though I won’t complain too much. At the very least, I’m glad I never know what to expect when TOKi drops a video.

Lions Ambition – “Sorry to Say”

The doodle effect has seen an huge spike in usage the past year or so, and while it can be kinda cool and it also be kinda annoying. LA doesn’t quite overdo it here, but they do straddle the line pretty closely. That being said, it’s a fun video and it makes the most out of somewhat average looking footage. I’m looking forward to the day when their videos match the standards of quality set forth by their music, but this will do for now.

Megan Lee – “Make It Pop Acoustic Mashup 2”

At first glance, this seems like your studio layered music video, but there are subtle touches that colored me impressed. For one, there is a surprising amount of small, coordinated moments between the four squares, from choreography to cross-frame interaction. So, I’ll admit that as much as I’ve plugged Megan’s show in the past, I have yet to watch a single entire episode. But this acoustic break-down gives the bubble gum pop a little more grit and a sound I can better appreciate. Well done, Megan.

August Rigo – “Easy to Let Go”

As someone who desperately misses the days when R&B singers… sang, I always look forward to new releases from artists like August Rigo. Now let’s talk about the good – it’s a great R&B tune, and August sounds as good as ever yet still maintaining elements of a modern sound. And the bad? Well video production quality has always been Rigo’s Achilles heel… and I can’t wait for the day when his videos don’t look like they were shot with a iBook webcam.

iNCH – “Mousedeer”

Ever since iNCH moved her base of operations overseas, it’s been a bit of a mystery as to what she was up to. Due to licensing issues, I couldn’t listen/view much of her new material here from the good ol’ United States of ‘Murica. Now that I’ve seen this video… I gotta say I’ve been missing out! Her sound and productions values have only matured and I can only hope that we’ll be able to hear more over here in the States. I loved the song though I can’t say the video was quite as entertaining as “Artful Dodger” from a couple years back.

Mila J – “Kickin’ Back”

Did you know Jhene Aiko had a sister who was also a singer? Cause I didn’t… but I’m glad I found out she did. While Mila J shares space in the same genre as her younger sibling, you could argue they are on opposites end of the spectrum. While the latter has a softer, more serene and angelic quality to her, Mila comes in with a little more aggressive energy, even spitting a few bars in the middle of the track. This is a small sample size but… I’m liking Mila so far.

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