warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

The Next Rebecca Black? Nicole Westbrook And More: Music Video Roundup

Mara Hyman |
November 18, 2012 | 8:33 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Every other week, writer Mara Hyman takes a look at the buzzworthy short films coming from the music video universe. Here’s her latest picks:

Kelly Clarkson - “Catch My Breath”

On November 12th Kelly Clarkson released the video for her newest single, “Catch My Breath.” The song is a dynamic pop anthem about empowerment and letting go of a bad relationship, which may seem like a repetitive theme among many of her hits, but the song is certainly very catchy and shows off Kelly’s impressive vocals. The music video is also really impressive as it’s simple but eye-catching at the same time. It shows Kelly being surrounded by elements like light and water. The use of smoke is also interesting because the video shows different colors that almost seem to collide and have a kaleidoscope effect. Is the video concept too simple or does it have a cool artistic flair?

Ludacris ft. Usher, David Guetta - “Rest Of My Life”

David Guetta’s next major music collaboration includes Ludacris and Usher. The song “Rest Of My Life” has a message about how we have one life to live and should live it to the fullest and take chances. Like Kelly Clarkson, the video plays with the elements as they cut to images of smoke, crashing waves, an arctic tundra and fire. The video is an interesting visual component that matches the themes of the song perfectly, something with which many artists often struggle. Also, towards the end we see a young boy who cups his hand together and forms what appears to be a bright light or flame as he looks onto the horizon. What are your thoughts? Do you think Ludacris and Usher mix well together in the song?

Ke$ha - “Die Young”

Ke$ha is back with the first single off of her album “Warrior,” called “Die Young.” It’s primarily an anthem about making the most of life and having fun (common theme?). While the song is a bit repetitive in the mix of her other hits, the music video seems to be getting the most attention. Filled with an ‘80s flair with the colors and film effects, the video is filled with overt symbolism that seems to hit the viewer over the heat with repeated images. In particular, the Illuminati image is constantly in the background of her dance breaks, something that is not commonly in mainstream music. We also see her arriving in town emerging from a hearse at the beginning of the video as she breaks into a church with her friends and wreaks havoc. Do the visuals hit you over-the-head or do you think Ke$ha is trying to make a point about the craze surrounding the Illuminati symbol? 

Jermaine Paul - “I Believe In This Life”

After seeming to disappear from the spotlight for a while since his win on the last season of The Voice, Jermaine Paul is back with his single “I Believe In This Life.” The song is an upbeat club hit that seems to have influences from artists such as Usher and Ne-Yo. However, while the song is fun and catchy, a lot of fans and critics have attacked Jermaine for appearing too generic and completely straying from the slower ballads and powerful anthems he was known for singing on The Voice. Since he was a former back-up vocalist for Alicia Keys, it is surprising that he went this direction with his music – perhaps his next song will be a ballad? The video incorporates a lot of flashing lights and shows Jermaine dancing and having fun with his friends in a club. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a bad direction for Jermaine or is it nice to see him having more fun and letting loose?

Nicole Westbrook - “It’s Thanksgiving”

Last but not least, the video for “It’s Thanksgiving” by Nicole Westbrook has become the next viral hit and has received over 9 million hits on YouTube in just 10 days since its release. Produced by Patrice Wilson, the same person behind “Friday,” many people are comparing the two songs and are even calling Nicole the next Rebecca Black. The song has very cheesy and lackluster lyrics, but I must say it’s catchy and will definitely be stuck in your head whether you like it or hate it. Like “Friday,” the video for “It’s Thanksgiving” incorporates a calendar but instead of going through the days of the week, it takes us through different holidays that lead up to Thanksgiving. We see Nicole cooking dinner for a group of children and Patrice dressed as a turkey who, like in “Friday,” makes several guest appearances in the song. What do you think - is this song like “Friday” or is it even worse?

Reach Staff Reporter Mara Hyman here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.