Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Video Album

While I realize it's not something entirely new, 2011 seemed like the year for video albums. Musicians weren't releasing albums in video format only, but there were a few prominent artists releasing videos for every song on their releases. The three that really seemed to herald this trend were TV on the Radio, PJ Harvey and Bon Iver.

TV on the Radio

TVotR released their video album back in April as a single You-Tube video. The movie starts with some somewhat random musings from people (not the band) on life, love and almost everything in between. These interviews continue in between some of the music videos. The music videos themselves run the gambit from animated to live-action, emotional to humorous and low-budget (in feel, the entire thing was low-budget) to glossy. The video is one of the last appearances of the band's former bassist Gerard Smith, who had passed away earlier that month.

If you watched until the end, he band is still together, the scene in the coffee shop was purely hypothetical.

PJ Harvey

Polly Jean completed her video project for Let England Shake in May, resulting in 12 videos, one for each song on the album. Most of the videos were simple in concept, showing shots shot around PJ's native England or a group of performers singing the song. A DVD of all the videos (directed by Seamus Murphy) was released about two weeks ago.
  1. Let England Shake
  2. The Last Living Rose
  3. The Glorious Land
  4. The Words That Maketh Murder
  5. All & Everyone
  6. On Battleship Hill
  7. England
  8. In the Dark Places
  9. Bitter Branches
  10. Hanging in the Wire
  11. Written on the Forehead
  12. The Colour of the Earth

Bon Iver

Bon Iver released his video album as a deluxe version of this year's Bon Iver in November. He included videos for each of the ten tracks from the album. Most of the videos centered around nature and our manipulation of it. The videos for "Calgary" and "Holocene" were in addition to official music videos released earlier this year.
  1. Perth
  2. Minnesota, WI
  3. Holocene
  4. Towers
  5. Michicant
  6. Hinnom, TX
  7. Wash.
  8. Calgary
  9. Lisbon, OH
  10. Beth/Rest

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