2011 may not have been a great year for the economy, peace, or the elder Kardashian, but it was an exceptional year for music videos around the world. From France to Jamaica to Korea, artists came up with flashier, sexier, and overall weirder ways to stimulate our senses while the music played. But only ten of them stood out of the crowd with a vengeance.
Here are this year’s top 10 music videos from around the world!
10. M83 — “MIDNIGHT CITY”
From French group M83’s brand new album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming comes “Midnight City,” a visually stunning tale of telekinetic, white-eyed schoolchildren. Between this and Skrillex’s “First of the Year,” it seems that magical, creepy kids are this year’s black.
9. GHOSTPOET — “SURVIVE IT”
UK’s Ghostpoet is known for his quirky, high art videos, but 2011′s “Survive It” might be our favorite, namely because its weirdness sneaks up on you from an otherwise normal MV. Surprises are fun. Just keep watching.
8. LA VIDA BOHEME — “RADIO CAPITAL”
Venezuela’s La Vida Boheme dashed through the streets and over the rooftops in their new video for “Radio Capital.” But they’re not just paint-splattered marathoners goofing around. This video, off their debut Nuestra, was meant to reclaim the streets of Caracas for a youth with scanty places to party.
7. THE SUZAN — “DEVILS”
J-Rock favorites The Suzan looked the part in this grindhouse video for “Devils,” released for Halloween this year. Hell just looks better in super 8.
6. VYBZ KARTEL — “GO GO WINE”
Vybz Kartel, a Jamaican dancehall mogul now in prison awaiting trial for murder, isn’t without his controversies. But before he hit the slammer, he dropped one of the few full-length dancehall albums in history. Check out one of his last appearances as a free man in his sexy new video for “Go Go Wine.
5. ASA — “WHY CAN’T WE”
This list needs a little more pastel, don’t you think? The video for “Why Can’t We” from Nigerian pop singer Asa can provided some colorful, feel-good reprieve on your grayest of dasy. The song casually proposes: why can’t we be happy? Probably because there aren’t enough pink balloons in real life.
4. HELLO SEAHORSE — “ME HAS OLVIDADO”
2011 got crazy arty with “Me Has Olvidado” by Mexico’s Hello Seahorse. Operatic lead singer Lo Blondo plays a sadistic femme fatale who would never come to your aid…not even if a giant sheet of saran wrap was trying to suffocate you.
3. DAS RACIST — “MICHAEL JACKSON”
Some might have said “too soon” when this video came out, but most of us just said…”ummmmm…what?” Das Racist has once again managed to make the world perplexed and uncomfortable using speedos, priests, and freaky MJ impersonators. For that, we salute you.
2. 2NE1 — “UGLY”
The lyrics on 2ne1’s “Ugly” might sound a little self-loathing, but the video is all ass-kicking grrl power. These K-pop legends tear it up with pyrotechnics and punk rock outfits that are kind of anything but ugly.
1. NEW LOOK — “NAP ON THE BOW”
Canada’s New Look showed the world that Kinect isn’t just for awkward dance video game parties anymore. The electropop group made their 2011 video for “Nap On the Bow” out of Kinect technologies, resulting in a hypnotic, goopy effect.