Now that Kanye West is making 35-minute videos for his songs, and every dense, new Lady Gaga clip must be endlessly dissected for cultural references, there is something undeniably refreshing about a simple, straightforward music video. In a recent ArtsBeat post, Dwight Garner confesses, “I was always a minimalist – give me a concert clip, or even a bit of straight-on lip syncing to a good song” and asks readers for their favorite no-frills videos. Commenters over at The New York Times came up with quite a few suggestions, but we couldn’t help but compile a list of our own (which overlaps slightly with theirs). Add your picks in the comments.
Sinead O’Connor — “Nothing Compares 2 U”
Aside from a few (frankly distracting) cuts to scenes of O’Connor moping around in a picturesque, statue-laden churchyard, this classic video is simply a static shot of the singer’s face. A painful, Prince-penned missive to her mother, the song is packed with emotion, and all of shows on O’Connor’s expressive face. When she tears up, four minutes into the video, we absolutely disintegrate.