Anything That’s Rock ’n’ Roll

Music writers rate their favorites from 2017

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Top five music videos of 2017

By Brett Callwood

We've been spoiled for choice this year, a point highlighted by the fact that wonderful videos by Lorde, Arch Enemy and Lana Del Rey, among many others, didn't even make the final five. But still here are some of the amazing videos musicians blessed us with over the past 12 months.

"Venus Fly"

Just when you think Grimes is at the top of her game, the multitalented Canadian steps it up another level. "Venus Fly," which features the sassy vocal talents of Janelle Monae, was already a banging electro-pop tune, blessed with bags of attitude and an insistent hook. The video, which seems to combine '90s LSD-inspired imagery with a weird Mad Max dystopian future, all somehow entirely contemporary, is spectacular.


To be fair, who wouldn't feel awkward if they found themselves in an elevator with a down-on-his-luck Thom Yorke? That's the theme of this video, adding to what is already a gorgeous, melancholy song. Typical of Radiohead, this thing soars on the strength of Yorke's vocals, and some technically brilliant, delicate musicianship. And the video is fittingly bizarre. Yorke remains in the elevator while other people pass in and out. It's deliciously awkward, working with the song perfectly.

Iced Earth
"Black Flag"

This one came out in December, just in time to make lists like this one. But you can always count on these power-metallers to put out a song that is epic and operatic. This pirate-themed video has the band performing on an old sail-ship, out on the open seas, while they, pillage and plunder, and drink. It's wonderful, overblown, ludicrous fun.

St. Vincent
"New York"

A pulsing electro-pop beauty from Annie Clark, who gets better with every passing month. The video is beautifully weird—a sort of day-glo version of a utopian New York, passed through a terrifying filter. It's almost as if somebody is having a nightmare about a Katy Perry video. The "Los Angeles" video equally magnificent.

"The Gate"

When Bjork is in top gear, she's simply unparalleled. This video starts with some sweet folkish, otherworldly singing and Bjork blowing a few notes out of a flute while weird floating creatures look on. From there, it only gets more bizarre. Bjork morphs into some sort of digital flower fairy as she carefully enunciates this slice cyber-folk gorgeousness. More an experience than a mere music video.

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