Kanye West’s Daft Punk-aided Stronger video

I am no fan of Kanye West. Let it be known before you dive headfirst into this intriguing column of mine. He is cocky and irreverent of any other musical artist on the scene. Remember when he ran onstage to ruin Justice and Simian’s award for “We Are Your Friends”? No? Well that was my last straw, and the video is after the jump.

So, this new video for Kanye West’s song “Stronger” has been talked about for a long time. It has a Daft Punk sample! It’s an expensive video! It’s off his new album! Directed by Hype Williams! Too bad the video amounts to some eye candy and a plot just as confusing as Justin Timerlake’s “SexyBack”… Putting Daft Punk in BOTH your song and video is quite a feat, but it won’t get you video of the year.

The video features some futuristic looking animation with Kanye being reborn by some kind of a Matrix-type machine. It looks cool, but it’s a bit literal of a translation of the song title. Like I said, Daft Punk is sweet anywhere they are placed. Kudos for that one. The sun(?)glasses are equally awsome; I wish I had some. Here is the part that frustrates me: the lack of continuity. There are some great scenes, but they don’t amount to anything. The video for “Jesus Walks” was amazing because it told a story (all three versions were powerful). I don’t feel that there is anything holding “Stronger” together.

The Knife + a Trannie: Pass This On

Usually I prefer to watch music videos before I read reviews for them, but that’s just what I prefer. It usually happens that the reason why I watch a video in the first place is because of a review I read. So if you want, go ahead and watch the video above before you read this… Oh, in case you care, what you are watching is Pass This On by The Knife released in 2006.

OK. That is one of my favorite music videos for many reasons. Reason #1: It’s dead simple. There is nothing here that isn’t essential to getting the video’s mood/feeling/perspective across; no wasted time.

Reason #2: It’s fun and awkward at the same time. With a transvestite trying to swoon the random audience the whole time, and with everyone ending up doing their own variation of a dance in the end, can it get much odder? (The answer is yes, just watch some of their other videos.) It’s odd because teenage boys are dancing, but it’s fun because they seem to be really into the music. It isn’t some contrived choreographed routine; it’s what they are feeling, their movements.

Reason #3: There’s a trannie. Come on, who doesn’t love a trannie? Especially when he/she is used in place of the original artist. Rickard Engfors, the transvestite in the video, does a great job of making you believe that he is really singing the song (just as he does in the live performance.) His extremely bony body sort of freaks me out, but that’s partially the point.

Reason #4: It stays true to its artists vision. The Knife, which is comprised of siblings Karin and Olof Dreijer, does not reveal the faces of its artists. They are always seen with strange masks on; currently they are on the crow’s beak idea. The fact that they are not in the video sticks with their hidden identity persona.

This video just makes me smile. Oh, and I haven’t really mentioned the song. I think it’s amazing as well. But then again, this is a review of the video, not the music. Take away what you will, just try to appreciate it at least. Be ready to hear more about The Knife in the coming weeks.