What makes a great music video?

Kettlemag, Music, videos, Al Smith
Written by Al Smith

Recently beatboxer Roy Kafri produced a contender for most creative music video ever with his new single ‘Mayokero’. In this video he brings classic vinyl artwork to life with graphic design and a high level of ingenuity. You can see Madonna, The Beatles and plenty more beatboxing on their original album sleeves.This begs the question though, what makes a good music video? Evidently it has to be engaging and entertaining to watch, but other than this, is it possible to create a winning formula? Here are three of the best music videos around and the reasons they’re so popular.

Here it Goes Again- OK Go

If we’re starting with the best it has to be OK Go. This band is synonymous with brilliant music videos. My personal favourite is ‘Here It Goes Again’, where they created a masterpiece using just eight treadmills and some basic choreography. This incredibly simple video fits perfectly into the theme of creativity. If you don’t finish watching this thinking, “I should buy some treadmills” and “this is a fantastic video”, then you weren’t really watching it.

Breezeblocks- Alt-J

Another good theme for a music video is the storyline, they don’t always have to have one, but when they do it should be involving. That’s just what Alt-J did with ‘Breezeblocks’. In this reversed video, you’ll be trying to figure out what’s going on all the way up to the end, when it’ll suddenly become crystal clear. The special effects used are excellent and again, it’s very creative. The storyline explains the song, but manages to shy away from being boring with the use of the reverse feature.

Bittersweet Symphony- The Verve

Finally, another form of great music video is one that replicates the sound of the music. ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, despite not being particularly creative, is a fantastic video. The theme of the despair in the song is evident in the video in almost everything, from the speed of Richard Ashcroft’s walking, to the dull colours used. The video is an extension of the song and the two fit together perfectly, just like a single and its video counterpart should. You can understand the sense of carelessness inherent in the song by watching the video alone, and this is what makes it such a success.

Obviously there could be plenty more than three videos on this list and many more reasons for them to be good, such as humour, originality and innovation. However, what we can see from the three samples is that there is no one way to make a perfect music video. The only rule is it must be entertaining!

What’s your favourite music video? Let us know in the comments below!