Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
With the year she’s had, there’s no way we could have compiled this list without including Miley Cyrus. And since her “Wrecking Ball” video kind of made sense and her “Wrecking Ball” performance at the AMAs (which made no sense) doesn’t count as a music video, the bizarre montage that is “We Can’t Stop” will be representing Miss Thang. In the video, there are classic Miley moments — lots o’ suggestive gyrating and strutting around in French-cut bottoms — but the eccentric starlet managed to out-Miley herself with oddities like constructing a french-fry skull, getting mildly pornographic with a giant Barbie, devouring hot dogs off the floor and dancing with giant teddy bears.
Kanye West, “Bound 2”
It’s not like Kanye West hasn’t confused us before. As a matter of fact, we can’t make heads or tails of most things he spouts off. But with all the hype surrounding his “Bound 2” music video, we were hoping for something… else? Once again, West has us wondering what in the hell is going on. It starts off beautifully — a herd of wild horses tear across a wild land. The music here is haunting in a lovely way. And then West enters the picture, his staccato rap disrupting the ethereal vibe of the mustangs and the lilting hook. And then Kim Kardashian enters the picture, straddling West as he faux-rides his motorcycle through the wilderness. Did we mention she’s naked? Not to mention the ride is apparently very bumpy. The whole thing feels like two different songs Scotch-taped together.
Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”
Go ahead and fix yourself a stiff drink before you sit down for this one, because you’ll need it after trying for a whopping seven minutes and 42 seconds to figure out what is going on in this music video. Do you ever feel sometimes like perhaps something is more arty than you understand? Like maybe you just don’t get it? Yeah, we felt like that for the entire almost eight minutes of our life it took to digest this music video. From the moment the band puts on gigantic papier-mâché-type replicas of their own heads, we knew we were fighting a losing battle. The only thing we can say in our defense is that — between the man made of mirror shards, the giant disco balls, the mirror shard shack and the mirrored casket — we did catch the whole “reflektor” reference. Hey, we’re not entirely without our merits.
Bat for Lashes, “Lilies”
This one starts off innocently enough. Wearing a black bikini, Bat for Lashes singer Natasha Khan writhes in front of a backdrop of stars — seems like your typical hipster fare. But then the wild rumpus starts. A trio of monsters à la Where the Wild Things Are show up and start circling Khan, at first aggressively and then affectionately-bordering-creepily. The strangeness doesn’t stop there, though. Throw in a Claymation land being struck repeatedly by lightning, a rumbling cloud cage apparatus, weird prisms with eyeballs, some flapping wings and a C3PO-like bodysuit, and the video feels like a Where the Wild Things Are meets Labyrinth meets Black Swan meets Stars Wars mash-up.
Beach House, “Wishes”
What do you get when you combine Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame, twerking cheerleaders, parkour-esque acrobats and a whole bunch of other weird s***? Apparently, Beach House’s music video for “Wishes.” Like a bizarre high-school halftime of epic proportions, the entire scene — which also includes water bottles simulating urination, nunchakus and was that a double-sided light saber? — plays out in front of bleachers full of people eerily cheering on the “athletes.” As for Wise, he sings Victoria Legrand’s vocals throughout and rides off on a white steed as fireworks explode behind him. Surreal.