The Grammy’s 50th anniversary ceremony might be a bit flat this year, as the Writers Guild of America threatens to picket the thing.
Whatever the case, here are the videos up for a Grammy on Feb. 10. Some are good. Others simply confuse.
Johnny Cash — “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” — Directed by Tony Kaye
There’s something wrong about a clip that begins with an explanation of why Johnny Cash wore black — because he identified with the downtrodden — and then cues up a bunch of A-list celebrities. I think I hate this. Wait, wait — yes. I hate it.
Feist — “1234” — Directed by Patrick Daughters
Feist’s iPod-friendly video helped raise her profile in 2007, and with good reason. The song is infectious and its video, employing CGI in fairly subtle ways, is clever.
Gnarls Barkley — “Gone Daddy Gone” — Directed by Chris Milk
Gnarls Barkley is cast in the role of CGI fleas in this odd video that finds the little blood-suckers falling for a housewife. It then somehow works in a reference to a “Fight Club” sex scene. Crazy indeed.
Justice — “D.A.N.C.E.” — Directed by Jonas &Francois &So-Me
Look like somebody reads the New York Times! Another CGI-heavy clip, the video has fun with all those goofy of-the-moment T shirts that the yoots love so dearly.
Mute Math — “Typical” — Directed by Israel Anthem
The OK Go award for well-executed gimmick goes to Mute Math. But haven’t Coldplay done the whole backward video thing before, and with significantly more emotional impact? The answer is yes, although “Typical” is a frothy bit of fun.