As part of the SKPop GRAMMYs roundup of 2022, we look at the category of Best Music Video.
Music videos began as humble live performances accompanying a song as promotional material before creative minds pushed the medium into the stratosphere with narrative short films and abstract interpretations of the song they accompanied.
The age of MTV made music videos a force to be reckoned with. And today, rarely does a mainstream act skimp on providing listeners with a visual treat for a chunk of their tunes.
This year's Grammy nominees range from no-nonsense performance shorts to intricate, grandiose productions.
Nominees for this year's GRAMMY Awards for Best Score Music Video
1) AC/DC - "Shot in the Dark"
It is indeed commendable that Australian arena-rockers AC/DC perform and put out original music well into their seventies and stay true to their original sound. Johnson's screams and Angus Young's shorts seem immortal.
In the music video, the band shreds in their staple fashion. It is a red-bathed all-out rocking jam, perfectly encapsulating the "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" intentions visible on their entire album.
2) Jon Batiste - "Freedom"
11-time Grammy nominee Jon Batiste has forever walked a graceful tightrope, putting out virtuoso jazz records while hobnobbing with celebrities on The Late Show. He has been a compelling voice of optimism while being a socially conscious artist.
In the music video for his anthemic Freedom, Jon dances and shimmies around in a bright pink suit as a vibrant community surrounds him, singing, dancing, harmonizing. It is an upbeat explosion of energy that would make anyone tap and groove along.
3) Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - "I Get a Kick Out of You"
Lady Gaga has constantly stood out with pulsating, bombastic music and visuals to accompany her edgy avatar. Her fashion choices have been a blessing and a curse, often overshadowing her evident musical chops.
But when she pairs up with Jazz legend Tony Bennett, Gaga sheds all show, and the music flows with ease. The video of the joyous duo simply performing the duet in a studio is magical due to the sincerity, simplicity, and grace of it all.
4) Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon - "Peaches"
Peaches is a sure highlight off Justin's widely uneven recent album Justice. Star players Daniel Ceaser and Giveon, who have created plenty of ripples through their solo projects, deliver sultry, bluesy energy to this track.
While Bieber was annoyed that his album was labeled "pop" instead of R&B by the Grammys, his chorus is as pop as pop. The music video sees the trio cruising through various locations in a vintage car while a neon, technicolor aesthetic fills the frame.
5) Billie Eilish - "Happier Than Ever"
Billie sets the moody, opulent tone of her downtempo, mature follow-up to the Grammy-winning When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go in the title track. It is haunting Hollywood melancholia at its finest.
The sepia-toned, slow-paced music video featuring Billie idly walking as she whispers into a telephone encapsulates it all...
Until the two-minute mark, when the warm lights begin to flicker, and the song's bridge transitions into sweltering guitar riffs, and the frame is flooded with icy-blue water. The desired impact is achieved. The change is color-warmth is sensory.
6) Lil Nas X - "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"
MONTERO's music video is a masterful compilation of biblical imagery with a rebellious, edgy twist that riled conservatives to no end. It is an undeniably intricate concept video littered with Easter eggs. And the final shot of Lil Nas gyrating over a dispassionate Satan is an image no one forgets quickly.
It was a resounding announcement from Lil Nas that he wasn't just a one-hit-wonder; he was here to stay. His outrageous video for Industry Baby could have easily taken another spot on the list.
7) Olivia Rodrigo - "Good 4 U"
The upbeat rock, punk, grunge energies of Good 4 U shine through as a highlight from SOUR, an album that contains Olivia's myriad pop influences, from Avril Lavigne to Billie Eilish. The album is contending for the Album Of The Year Grammy as well.
The music video looks to capture the edge of the tune as it features Rodrigo as a cheerleader exacting revenge, visually alluding to the 1990s and 2000s' cult classic films Audition, The Princess Diaries, and Jennifer's Body. Olivia shines as a performer, cementing the anthemic status of the song.
Who do you think will take the Best Music Video GRAMMY home?