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Thirty Seconds To Mars Loves LA: Music Video Roundup

Mara Hyman |
November 11, 2013 | 12:03 a.m. PST

Associate Entertainment Editor

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

Thirty Seconds To Mars - "City of Angels"

It's hard not to like this band, but their latest single gives you another reason to love them. "City of Angels" is essentially a love song to LA, highlighting powerful vocals and a piano melody consistently flowing through the song.

The video is powerful because it's not as much a typical music video as it is an 11-minute confessional/interview with several stars talking about why they love LA or how it has impacted them. Some of the celebrities highlighted are Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan, Selena Gomez and Olivia Wilde. What really makes the video stand out however, is that these stars are juxtaposed with Hollywood Blvd. street performers struggling to make it as they emotionally talk about their hopes and dreams. We see the band members included in this confessional as well as them jamming out amonst the beautiful landscape of the LA skyline at night. It's easy for people to condone LA for being fake or a city of lost souls with silly dreams, but the song and video are inspiring because they are positive and show people's journeys to the city. What are your thoughts on the video's message?

Pentatonix - "Daft Punk"

The a cappella group does it again! To celebrate their sophomore album "PTX Vol. 2," Pentatonix released the video for their medley of Daft Punk hits. These songs include "Technologic," "One More Time," "Get Lucky," "Digital Love," "Harder Better Faster Stronger," "Television Rules The Nation" and "Around The World." The medley allows all five voices to shine and highlights a more robotic, futuristic sound that we got a taste of during their time on "The Sing Off." It sounds like they may have used Autotune in the recording, but from seeing their past covers, they could just be that talented.

The video matches the futuristic vibe of the medley as they all (except Kevin in killer sunglasses) have blue contacts, and Kirstie has cool blue hair and eye makeup. The editing incorporates quick cuts and even glow in the dark shots for a different effect. The shots of their faces flow seamlessly to create a smooth transition between songs. Are you a Pentaholic?

One Direction - "Story of My Life"

After coming off of the success of their more upbeat previous single "Best Song Ever," One Direction brings us a more stripped back ballad. It has a stronger alternative folk influences than their past work with guitar-driven harmonies. Harry takes the lead on this song, perhaps too much and overshadowing the other members, but he doesn't sound bad.

While the lyrics focus on a relationship, the video quite literally shows the stories of the band members' lives as it highlights photos from their past. The stand-out scene in the video is of the five boys standing in a large circular room with old photos of them strung throughout the walls and above them. We also see them bringing old photos to life as they sing while their family members stand still, until they break free and move at the end. Whether you're a fan or not, the video is touching and gives people a glimpse into their family life and where they came from. Do you like the video or should it have focused more on the actual meaning of the song?

Justin Timberlake - "TKO"

Justin's latest single highlights the JT we all know and love with his falsetto and iconic pop style. "TKO," which stands for Total Knock Out, is about a rough relationship where his girlfriend is not the same person he knew at the beginning of the relationship. The song is more angsty than his other newer hits, with a slight nod to "Cry Me a River."

The video is a mini-movie that is both simple and complex in nature at the same time. Co-starring Riley Keough (Elvis Presley's granddaughter), the scenes flash between the couple going through highs and lows at their place and Riley driving a car, dragging Justin on the ground by a rope. It's very slow-moving and arguably a bit repetitive in parts, but the song speaks for it self up until the ending where Riley drags him over the edge to his death. It's definitely a darker video for Justin, but it's a unique concept. What do you think of this eery video?

Olly Murs - "Hand on Heart"

The Brit is best known for his hit "Troublemaker" with Flor Rida, but he is back with a more vulnerable ballad about a strong relationship lasting through tough times. The song has intricate lyrics and allows Olly to show off his vocals more than he could in his more upbeat singles.

The music video is interesting because it is an homage to Robbie Williams and his classic ballad "Angels." In fact, it almost matches that video frame for frame. Like the original, it's shot in black and white and shows slow-moving of shots walking in different settings. It would've been more interesting for Olly to bring new life to the video concept, but it's obvious that Robbie is his idol, so he wanted to express that. Robbie even makes a cameo in the video, throwing around a football with Olly. Is imitation really the best form of flattery or is the video too copy cat?

Reach Associate Entertainment Editor Mara Hyman here.



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