Bunji Garlin - Brave [Directed by ForceFed Productions]
Call it the leader in the house in terms of videos that I’ve seen so far in 2010 (and by no small margin either) and it’s also one of the best tunes that I’ve heard recently as well, Bunji Garlin’s MAMMOTH Power Soca shot, ‘Brave’. The video, Bunji’s first in quite awhile I believe, reflects what’s going on LYRICALLY in the tune as well and does so in an almost inspiring way. The lyrics of the tune, at least for me, are of the sort where Garlin seems to be saying that if YOU are the only one in the position to jump for Carnival, then it is your responsibility to do it! Doesn’t matter if no one else is doing it, YOU show the ’stomach’ and do it yourself and of course, should enough “yourselves” participate, a good time and an intoxicating one is to be had by all. The video follows three seemingly despondent and depressed revelers, who after locating their own personal “brave buttons” and after heavy prodding from Garlin, eventually decide that in order to lose one’s mind, one need only a mind to lose! The video is chockfull of highlights, but I have to admit that my own personal favourite is the brief cameo by ‘you know who’ (repaying the favour from ‘Get On‘), who joins her husband on stage at show and. . . Yeah. MASSIVE VIDEO! TELL DEM WI NO FRAID NUTTIN!
Video Rated - 5/5
Video/Song Link - 5/5
JW & Blaze - Palance [Directed by ForceFed Productions]
You may very well be tired as hell of the song by now, but really who cares? NO Carnival Season should ever have a dominant tune which doesn’t have a video (and I guess we’ll forgive Mrs. Garlin from last year, she was after all, 10½ months pregnant at the time) and thankfully that wasn’t the case this year as the apparent geniuses at ForceFed Productions strike again with a video for THE tune of TnT Carnival 2010, ‘Palance’ from the world’s baldest man, JW, & Blaze. This video is also VERY good. The tune itself isn’t one which inherently lends itself to an immediately graspable concept as does ‘Brave’, but the one developed for it - JW being stuck at work, with Blaze on the road somewhere with girls and a dude in a gorilla costume (and who doesn’t LOVE that???) - in my opinion more than adequately captures the utterly illogical and just downright DUMB (but WONDERFUL) actions the tune promotes. It also shows off a bit of the artists’ great personalities, including JW’s which highlights the video early on where he explains his inability to maintain his workload by saying that “I know, but I have been Palancing” and does so with a straight face. The office ensuing office madness is brilliant and while I’m damn tired of this tune, sitting here, I feel the need to tell you exactly how much I love this fucking tune (oh and all that ass in the little skirts too) (wow).
Video Rated - 4.5/5
Video/Song Link - 4.75/5
Lil’ Bitts - Careful
The adorable Lil’ Bitts, the world’s smallest human being, while not certainly not one of my absolute favourite Soca artists currently, is one I have always found myself taking an interest in for the last few years due to a HUGE combination she had a few years back with Bunji Garlin, ‘In My Country’. This year Bitts had a very nice season on the strength of what was one of the biggest hits of her entire career, ‘Careful’. This was a beautiful little tune that took a lil’ while to get going but when it did, it really sounds SO NICE and was one of the best Groovy efforts of Carnival 2010 altogether. The video here is fairly simple and in my opinion has too much in the way of close ups and semi-close ups throughout, but really it’s OK. Certainly a more varied change of setting would have helped as well, but it’s highlighted of course, by Lil’ Bitts and her hypnotic lil’ tune.
Video Rated - 2/5
Video/Song Link - 3/5
Maikal X - Best Of Me [Directed by Mike Fugers]
Sensational young Dutchie (and Tone Loc look-a-like) Maikal X is well on his way to becoming a HUGE star, much in the fashion of his label mate (I THINK) and good friend Ziggi (biggup Regatta on the 7th!). Slowly but surely the world is starting to take note of his wonderful talents and with this recent effort, ‘Best In You’, which appeared on VP’s recent Strictly The Best 40 release. This beautiful and romantic tune is reflected and displayed as such in video form by State31. You have to love this thing! First of all the video is even more GORGEOUS than the tune itself which is saying quite a bit actually. Also, the video has a bit of ‘flashback’ type of imagery which is also in the tune and it has a prevailing theme as well as X is seemingly on the way to his girlfriend’s home (and DAMN! Look at her! DAMN!). It is very well done in every way and OF COURSE, the fact that it was filmed at the heart of paradise in the second greatest place on Earth doesn’t hurt none at all.
Video Rating - 5/5
Video/Song Link - 4.5/5
Etana - August Town [Mayhew Enterprises]
Sometime later this year Roots Princess Etana is expected to drop her sophomore album for VP Records which may very well earn her (from me) her second album of the year honour in three years and is just generally one of the most anticipated releases of the year. In ‘pre-support’ of the moment, Etana recently rather surprisingly (as if her album was to be released like tomorrow or something) released three videos for tunes which are probably going to be on the forthcoming album. The first of the three is a tune for Etana’s home, ‘August Town‘. The tune is somewhat ominous and inspiring at the same time and that is definitely reflected in the imagery of the video, showing some of the harsher parts of the community and some of the most BEAUTIFUL sections as well. The video notably features the police terrorization which was reportedly the basis of the tune itself and of course, also featured is a cameo from August Town’s most well known musical disciple (and I shall most disappointed if He doesn’t join Her on a tune on the album).
Video Rating - 4.75/5
Video/Song Link - 5/5
Etana - Free [Directed by Jay Will]
Next is the video for ‘Free’ and. . . Yeah this one will definitely pull at the heat strings a bit. Besides the little girl walking away to hide into the field from her approaching belt-wielding father and then dropping to her knees to pray to escape (and seemingly IMMEDIATELY being granted her wish), the video goes on to revolve around a troubled woman at the ‘end of her rope’ who is contemplating ending it all (she even appears to pack a bag for her death) (you can’t take that with you Mama) (Leave Everything!) (Biggup Gailann). I have to say that the video is somewhat depressing. Etana’s appearances are the ones for which light is reserved, but she isn’t made to appear ‘angelic’ (at least not anymore than usually does) and largely appears to be neutral or ‘calming’ and I think that woman ultimately deciding against ‘flight’ might’ve been stressed more than with her just kind of strolling away. Perhaps the most moving moment, however (besides the beginning) is when the woman actually does ‘free’ herself from the articles (wig, drugs, cream) which have hastened her depression.
Video Rating - 4.25/5
Video/Song Link - 4/5
Etana - Happy Heart [Scorpio 21]
Lastly (and skillfully chosen (WRONG) to cheer me the hell up after watching ‘Free’) is the video for Etana’s cut of the Sweet Riddim, ’Happy Heart’. This video is much more of a ‘concept’ video than the other two and features theatrics from Etana herself. It is seemingly set in the 1700’s-1800’s and it fines our star of fittingly regal ilk, seemingly smitten with a servant of her rich family. The two secretly carry on their romance until Etana FUCKS IT UP by marrying some other rich dude (call it an ANTI-love story). Seriously do not watch the ending of this video, particularly if you, like me, are a moody individual. Still, the video itself is done very well, it’s very pleasing on the eyes with the wonderful colours and such and were it not for the atrocious ending, I would have been fan. Still, VERY looking forward to the album, although I do suddenly feel very, very dirty.
Video Rating - 4.5/5
Video/Song Link - .00000000001/5