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Top 10 Music Videos of December 2016

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Quinn Hough In December of 2016, these music videos had our office and the world abuzz. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Music Videos of December 2016. For this list, we’ve selected out favorite music videos of December 2016 – productions that stand out in both style and substance. Got any ideas for our next countdown? Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your suggestions now!
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Top 10 Music Videos of December 2016

 
In December of 2016, these music videos had our office and the world abuzz. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Music Videos of December 2016.
 
For this list, we’ve selected out favorite music videos of December 2016 – productions that stand out in both style and substance.
 

#10: “Mrs. Potato Head”
Melanie Martinez

Beautifully grotesque, this timely video speaks volumes about societal pressures on modern women. New York native Melanie Martinez offers up a strong visual statement with “Mrs. Potato Head,” as her conceptual character falls victim to her own insecurities. There’s a visual balance of adolescent imagery and melancholic surrealism, producing a jarring effect as “Cry Baby” distorts her own reality and ultimately faces the consequences. Shot by cinematographer Josh McKie, it’s a bold commentary for a Kardashian world, and it’s even more impressive given that Martinez directed the video herself.
 

#9: “Better Than Me”
Blood Orange feat. Carly Rae Jepsen

 
So, here’s another dynamic production that was also directed by the artist, otherwise known as Dev Hynes. Shot in a sun-lit warehouse, “Better Than Me” features a poetic group dance, choreographed by Juri Onuki, with Carly Rae Jepsen hypnotically staged on the outside to complement the organic imagery. On one hand, it’s a minimalistic production reminiscent of early 90s art rock, yet Hynes infuses his distinct modern style while showcasing a multi-faceted collaborative performance. It’s a highly stylized music video, at least in terms of dress and movements, and the roaming camera of Garrett Hardy Davis captures the lyric’s existential angst.
 

#8: “Bounce Back”
Big Sean

 
Featuring the colorful visual palette of directors Glenn Michael and Christo Anesti, this trap production balances the earthly elements with a little Big Sean bravado. Overall, it’s a lavish and far-reaching music video, staging the artist in his natural setting while offering a look into his inner psyche. Contrasting the unorthodox vocal delivery, the controlled editing lends weight to the song’s relatively uplifting chorus as Sean navigates the neon landscapes. “Bounce Back” is far removed from classic hip-hop clichés, at least aside from a few booty shots, and it’s something wholly unique and loaded with vibrant imagery.
 

#7: “Blame”
Bastille

 
Directed by Elliott Sellers, this satirical video explores the psychological effects of cult thinking. Given the subject matter, it could have been easy to force a variety of shocking visuals upon the viewer, yet Bastille and company take more of a Kubrickian approach, focusing on symmetrical framing and the underlying drama of the narrative. It’s more high art than hard rock, and “Blame” allows fans to experience the song in a different kind of way, troubling as the illumination may be. Sure, it may not be as accessible as some of your standard pop rock productions, yet that’s what separates good bands from the truly innovative ones.
 

#6: “Ride ‘Em On Down”
The Rolling Stones

 
For the visual complement to their Eddie Thomas cover, the Rolling Stones keep it simple with just a badass girl in a blue mustang. Of course, that girl is Kristen Stewart, and it’s her charisma that fuels the collective storyline of “Ride ‘Em On Down.” Directed by François Rousselet and filmed by “Drive” cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, it’s a high-octane production that keeps it simple and straight forward, at least aside from a random zebra. No, it’s not the most innovative of music videos, but it got a Hollywood A-lister acting like a rebel without a cause, and K-Stew most definitely knows how to work a camera.
 

#5: “False Prophets”
J. Cole

 
For conceptual reasons, the song itself didn’t make J. Cole’s 2016 album “4 Your Eyez Only,” yet the video’s day-in-the-life narrative captures the spirit of the artist.  Whether Cole’s rhyming on the corner or riding the bus, Scott Lazer’s direction highlights the lyricist’s truth as he deconstructs posers and false prophets. Given the changing scenes and quick cuts, there’s an urgency to the music video, which falls in line with the tone and pacing ofCole’s words. It’s not a glamorous production, but it gets the point across as Cole keeps it 100 from beginning to end.
 

#4: “Party”
Chris Brown feat. Gucci Mane, Usher

 
Yet another video directed by the artist, this music video takes a simple concept and dresses it up with style and grit. Thanks to the medium-shot staging and well-timed camera shakes, “Party” relays the feel of a warehouse dance off while utilizing some angular images to establish atmosphere and space. And so, Brown provides a full snapshot of his party, with Gucci Mane and Usher receiving the close-up treatment for their standout verses. While some party videos go over the top with questionable antics and the usual clichés, Brown delivers a tightly-directed video; one that relies more on precision and pace rather in-your-face visuals.

#3: “My Favorite Part”
Mac Miller feat. Ariana Grande

 
Directed by “Underscore P,” here’s a slow jam production with a dividing line between the focal man and woman. Yes, there’s a literal wall between Mac and Ariana, and it’s the personal space that allows each to reflect on a potential romance. Musically, “My Favorite Part” strays from Millers’ usual vocal delivery, and the distinct color palette shows him a new light. In addition, the split screen visuals create an intimate vibe, enhanced by the subject close-ups and certainly with the water leak. It’s all equates to a sexy and playful feel, as both parties involved become more and more ready for some late night lovin.’
 

#2: “Alone”
Alan Walker

 
Touching on timely issues – both digital and personal – Norwegian DJ Alan Walker treks the globe with this eye-opening production. Directed by Rikkard and Tobias Häggbom, “Alone” captures the claustrophobia of being confined to a small room, yet the subsequent visuals open the subjects‘ universe while expanding their minds in the process. There’s plenty to contemplate with this EDM music video, and the various filming techniques and image formats offer some texture to complement the jaw-dropping drone footage. Plus, the narrative pays off with the naturalistic climax, which poignantly touches upon the central message of Alan Walker’s production.
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
 
“Bad Things”
Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello
 
“Pipe Dreams”
Nelly Furtado
 
“Dog Years”
Maggie Rogers
 

#1: “Million Reasons”
Lady Gaga

 
Contrasting the more contrived Gaga videos of years past, this one keeps it genuine and raw. Directed by Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin, “Million Reasons” builds up on the narrative of “Perfect Illusion” and establishes a personal tone with an early cut to black and white. The contemplative imagery locks into Gaga’s state of mind, and the minimalistic visuals further support the idea that she’s far more than just her pop star persona. And so, “Million Reasons” represents a major turn in Stefani Germanotta’s videography, as she communicates the uncertainty and self-doubt that everyone experiences at one time or another.

So, do you agree with our selections? What is your favorite music video of December 2016? For more musical Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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