The MVD Review of the Year 2014

U2’s unwanted gift, Robin Thicke’s public meltdown, that Nicki Minaj video – all that and more as we look back over the best and worst of 2014!

2014 has been quite a year. We celebrated our first anniversary and posted our 100th post for starters. Outside of that there was lots of depressing stuff like wars and death and Ebola and poverty and the continued presence of the Kardashians as a ‘thing’ in our lives. Thank the stars we have lots of great (and not so great) music and films and television and social media with which to distract ourselves. So without further ado here’s our picks of 2014!

Funkiest video of the year:

‘Picture Me Gone’ by Ariel Pink

There were a number of contenders for the funkiest (which of course means the best, it’s just that we liked the whole ‘funkiest and funniest’ thing, so we went with it…) but in the end we went for this, at least partly to make up for the fact that we never got round to writing about it already. Ariel Pink is an artist who has really come on to our radar this year, as he has with a lot of people, and 2014 has seen him establish himself as one of the most talented, unique and interesting leftfield artists around.

‘Picture Me Gone’ is a perfect example of why, a torch song full of despair and hopelessness it’s accompanied by Grant Singer’s seductive and peculiar vision of various plastic-masked people trying to escape mundanity through various pursuits. The plastic masks are disconcerting and intriguing although we’re not entirely sure what they actually represent (something about hiding our true feelings in a world of urban alienation we’re guessing) and the overall effect is wonderfully arresting.

We like Ariel Pink, lots, and predict great things from him in 2015!

Funniest Video of the year:

‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj

So of course there are a lot of funny videos out there, but we decided to pick something that was a commercial success because that in itself is also funny, that something like this could be a hit, the marketing geniuses behind these artists, videos and songs amaze us!

The funniest video of the year was the infamous Anaconda, by Nicki Minaj

Is there a more produced performer out there (there’s no way she gets us to call her an artist)? Onika Tanya Maraj was born on Dec 8th 1982. She is a rapper, singer and songwriter. She was the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. (we respect the team behind her! 7! that´s producing your ass off). She has been called the most influential female rapper of all time. Anaconda is her highest charting single in the United States, it was released on August 4, 2014. Anaconda samples Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a lot and is quite explicitly about big asses. The video was released on August 19th and broke the 24 hour streaming record on Vevo with 19.6 million on the first date. Anaconda beat the also infamous video Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, which had 19.3 million views.

“My anaconda don’t, my anaconda don’t
My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun

Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
(Look at her butt)
Look at, look at, look at
Look, at her butt”

Yes,  if you don´t think it´s hilarious that this is the most influential female rapper of all time then you don´t share our sense of humor and might not make a lot of sense of the rest of this post!

Besides the lyrics and the “singing” there´s the video wich is basically Minaj´s desperate attempt to tell us all she feels comfortable in her body, while giving a lap dance to Drake. It is tasteless and tacky and Ellen did a much better version:

Unwanted gift of the year:

Songs Of Innocence by U2

In an age where the financial value of music has plummeted due, basically, to consumers deciding they weren’t too fond of actually paying for music you would think that any band who decide to gift an lp to everyone with an itunes account would be lauded for doing so. Not if that band is U2, who it seems quite literally can’t give it away these days. It should be said that the reaction to this stunt was a little disproportionate with some people behaving as if Bono had turned up on their doorstep and physically forced a copy down their throat. Apple even had to issue a means of removing the songs from people’s libraries such was the outcry. It’s hard to think of another band who would generate such a reaction. Despite everything though some 31 million people happily downloaded their free gift, which is pretty good by anyone’s standards…

PR disaster of the year:

All things Robin Thicke

Coming off the back of 2013’s slightly rapey Marvin Gaye rip-off ‘Blurred Lines’ and the associated furore 2014 proved to be the year when everything went wrong for Robin Thicke. When his long-time partner Paula Patton left him Thicke went on an all-too-public campaign to woo her back, releasing a stalker-ish single ‘Get Her Back’ and then the nauseatingly soul-bearing album Paula to truly disasterous first week sales figures and general howls of derision. Having set himself up some clever bod in his PR team decided it would be a great idea to do a Twitter Q+A using the hashtag #AskThicke. Much hilarity ensued as people lined up to ask him questions such as “On a scale of R. Kelly to Phil Spector how do you intend to “Get Her Back”?” and “If one of your songs was played in a forest and no one was around to hear it would it still be sexist and gross?” and not forgetting “Do you have any plans for songs or music videos that don’t promote rape or stalking?”. Ouch…

robin thicke

Television in 2014:

Since here at MVD we have had a year of traveling, weddings and life changing circumstances, we are going to be honest with you and tell you that we do not feel prepared to talk about Movies in 2014 since only one of us saw Guardians of the Galaxy and that is the last thing we saw…we are way behind and intend to do some catching up in the first months of this New Year, but he did have a chance to keep up with what is going on in television (although we have yet to watch Transparent, True Detective, Silicon Valley and Mozart in the Jungle). However, there were some memorable moments in Television that we witnessed and want to remember now.

Bert Cooper in Mad Men
Bert Cooper in Mad Men

We are terribly sorry not to be able top find a clip of Mad Men´s Bert Cooper (actor Robert Morse) singing and dancing “The best things in life are free”. We recommend you watch the entire series and watch this great TV moment! Then of course there was the always shocking Game of Thrones season finale…we don´t want to spoil it but it was a good season (and it picks up at the end). The Good Wife is (to everyone´s surprise) getting better and better. What clever, up to date writing topped with down to earth acting. Exquisite. There was another series who also improved it´s previous season: Orange is the New Black . The first episode of the second season was directed by Jodie Foster and it is fantastic. There was a show that had an unimpressive second season: House of Cards. We hope it bounces back on it´s third season. Finally, we had to say goodbye to The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman (can´t wait to see that!) and he said a star filled goodbye, you can watch the clip bellow to see how much love this guy has around him, and it is well deserved!

The Colbert Report Comes To An Emotional End With Sing Song

Of course the other WTF moment was when this reported quit her job as a TV journalist and smoked a joint in the air, because she supports decriminalization of marijuana.


The late, great Joe Cocker
The late, great Joe Cocker

This year we said sad goodbyes and fond farewells to Robin Williams, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Ruffin, Bobby Womack, Pete Seeger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joan Rivers, Tommy Ramone, Iain MacLagan from Faces/Small Faces, Rolling Stones sax legend Bobby Keys, Throb from Primal Scream and the mighty Jack Bruce. That’s a lot of talent to leave us in such a short space of time. Let’s be thankful they graced our lives in the first place.

And finally…

We present 12 tracks that have rocked our world in some sort of way this year. We hope they rock yours too!

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