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Beyoncé Does It Again: Music Video Roundup

Mara Hyman |
December 22, 2013 | 5:20 p.m. PST

Associate Entertainment Editor

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

John Mayer feat. Katy Perry - "Who You Love"

We all knew this was coming, but the couple has joined up for a sweet duet. "Who You Love" is a soft love ballad about an unexpected couple that works itself out. The "who you love" portion is extremely repetitive, but the song has a very relaxed vibe so it's hard to notice. One wouldn't expect that John and Katy would be a good musical pairing given their different styles, but somehow they work well together with John taking the lead.

The video fits the song perfectly with a simple format. The shots go between couples riding a mechanical bull (including Katy and John) and the two singing as they look lovingly at each other. While some might consider the video cheesy or mushy, the mechanical bull is an interesting choice of symbol for holding onto love through tough times. There are several authentic moments between Katy and John where they seem to forget that the camera is there. Are you a fan of this duet?

Britney Spears - "Perfume"

In a very dramatic turn since "Work B*tch," Britney's second single off of her "Britney Jean" album shows a more vulnerable look into the singer's life. The song is a power ballad about feeling as though her partner is being unfaithful, as we hear a piano riff and violins in the background. Though likely taken over by Autotune, it sounds as if Britney's actually trying to sing which is refreshing, and her voice isn't too bad!

Surprise surpsise, the music video advertises one of Britney's fragrances, "Fantasy." That aside, we get to see some of her acting chops as she nervously walks with her boyfriend to their motel, where the two lay on a bare mattress. This video has a more mature vibe as it cuts between happy shots of her boyfriend and the other girl and Britney sitting in the room surrounded by dim lights. While her album has received mixed reviews, it sounds like this song and video are a success. Do you see Britney doing more ballads in the future?

Eminem feat. Rihanna - "The Monster"

It makes sense that these two have decided to team up again after their success with the hit single "Love the Way You Lie." This song is very catchy yet powerful as Rihanna's soulful vocals shine through. The lyrics highlight two different stories: Rihanna dealing with her inner demons and Eminem examining the bad side of fame.

The music video is pretty dark, showing Rihanna as Eminem's creepy psychiatrist. She observes him in a dark room as he watches old clips of his past performances, news footage and music videos. Eminem then finds himself stuck in an elevator as he sees even more old images of himself. Rihanna sings in a dark room with bright lights peeking through the cracks in the wall. The video includes several images of feeling constrained and claustrophobic, including Eminem banging the walls of the elevator and him struggling in a straightjacket as he's being observed. Is the video too creepy or does it work for the song?

Beyoncé - "XO"

Though she is still on her world tour, Beyoncé proves why 2013 is her year as she recently released her latest self-titled album without publicity as a surprise to her fans. In addition to a full album, she included a video for each of her songs which is quite rare. As one of two songs she released videos for on VEVO, "XO" is an inspiring feel-good ballad about summer love which showcases her vocals. 

The video is very fun and light-hearted as we see Beyoncé and her friends at the Coney Island amusement park. She sings in front of a backdrop with colorful lightbulbs as the video cuts to images of the group on a roller coaster, playing arcade games, and meeting fans. She seems really happy and carefree in the video which is nice to see. Towards the end we see her on a concert stage, spelling out "X" and "O" with her hands in unision with her fans. Are you a fan of this new song?

Beyoncé feat. JAY Z - "Drunk in Love"

This song is very different from "XO" with a slower, more steady beat and a more senual, raw feel. In a surprising twist, she also has a rap verse in it! Perhaps she's getting some tips from her husband. While their song and video collaborations are rare (i.e. "Crazy in Love,") there is much more rap and hip-hop influence. It sounds more like a freestyle studio recording than a single, but it works.

The video is shot in black and white, highlighting Beyoncé and JAY Z on the beach at night. She starts walking on the sand with eery music in the background holding a trophy (a common metaphor in her new music videos - especially "Pretty Hurts") as the video fades in and out of close-up shots of her in a bikini. The couple is surrounded by crashing waves and smoke - while a simple and slow-moving video, it definitely fits the feel of the song. What's your favorite song on Beyoncé's self-titled album?

Reach Associate Entertainment Editor Mara Hyman here.



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