Rihanna (feat. Calvin Harris) - We Found Love
How long before Rihanna shows up in a movie? She seems interested in acting, with many of her videos depicting stories. "We Found Love" is the most fully formed we've seen from her yet, the story of a passionate but deeply troubled young couple on a drug-fueled course to self destruction. It has the look of a grimy art house film.
Beyonce (feat. J. Cole) - Party
Wow. This video is really cool and kind of shameless. It takes the beautiful (and filthy rich) Beyonce and recasts her as a trailer park girl. Love the grainy '80s look. The best bits--the girl who drinks from a hose, Beyonce smiling with the frying pan, the crimped hair, and the yellow faux fur jacket. Look for cameos from lil sis Solange and cousin Kelly.
Beyonce - Countdown
This video, dressed in '60s chic, couldn't be more different from "Party." As fun as that one is, this is really the better of the two, with a lot of interesting and retro visual film elements. The Audrey Hepburn homage works great. Check out the clearly pregnant Beyonce at 0:36.
Olly Murs - Dance with Me Tonight
I hadn't even heard this song yet until I just watched this video. What can I say? Great '50s swing-influenced song and a super cute video. Olly's looking better than ever.
Lady Gaga - You and I
This isn't exactly recent, but I hadn't watched it yet. It's definitely worth checking out. After the lo-fi production of "The Edge of Glory," "You and I" sees Gaga return to a more typically epic video. It's inspired by the song's lyrics about returning to Nebraska to salvage a failed relationship, but takes that story to an extreme, with imagery of a cybernetic chic Gaga, mermaid Gaga, and even a male Gaga, along with a ripped mad scientist (Taylor Kinney).
Nero - Crush on You
At first blush, it looks like this is going to be some gauzy teen love story set at a boarding school. Then--bam! It morphs into a '70s style horror movie, complete with cool lo-tech effects and lots of creepy images.
The Saturdays - My Heart Takes Over
Beautifully shot on location in Iceland with imagery that compliments the ballad nicely.
Loick Essien - Me Without You
"Me Without You" tries to do for Los Angeles was "How We Roll" did for London, but unfortunately doesn't pull it off. I think this video is dull, which is a shame, because I really like this song.
Labrinth (feat. Tinie Tempah) - Earthquake
This is mostly uninteresting computer animation with a blatant Mini product placement. Although I do like the weird robed guys that show up at about halfway.
David Guetta (feat. Usher) - Without You
Speaking of earthquakes...This video is awfully silly. The premise is that people all over the world dancing simultaneously to David Guetta's irresistible music cause massive tectonic upheaval that sends the continents on course to merge, allowing the people dancing on the various shores to unite and dance together in harmony. Of course if this were to really happen, they all wouldn't be smiling, they'd be dead.