10 Best Music Videos of 2013 - Rolling Stone
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10 Best Music Videos of 2013

Suits and ties! Wrecking balls! Dinner parties!

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

Music videos were banished from MTV eons ago and it might've been the best thing that’s happened to the artform since the golden age of Duran Duran. This year was loaded with excellent, innovative and groundbreaking reasons to go through the inconvenience of hitting "FULL SCREEN" on your laptop – from Justin Timberlake’s simply elegant "Suit & Tie" to Beach House’s lushly, creepily surrealist "Wishes" to Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus' brazen challenges to workplace safety standards. Even Bob Dylan got in the action. Here are the top ten clips in a very good year for zoning out while rocking out. BY JON DOLAN

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4. Bob Dylan, “Like A Rolling Stone”

Forty-eight years after it was written, "Like a Rolling Stone" inspired one of the year's most captivating videos. In the clip, directed by 27-year-old Vania Heymann, the viewer flips between sixteen channels – a home shopping show, a tennis match a romantic comedy, a financial news network, an episode of The Price Is Right – in which everyone appears to be lipsyncing Dylan's classic song. The fake TV personalities (which include rapper Danny Brown, Drew Carey and comedian Marc Maron) join in their own condemnation as they repeat Dylan's excoriating lyrics, and the song spins into a massive rolling satire of everything shallow and fake about mass media. When we finally end up on footage of Dylan singing the song in the Sixties, it's like finding a guide to finally get us out of this hell, even if it's probably where we deserve to spend all eternity.

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3. Justin Timberlake, “Suit & Tie”

This year was lousy with high–concept cinematic videos but this one was all about the simple pleasures of music, talent and charisma. Directed by David Fincher and filmed in clean, classy black and white, "Suit & Tie" was a throwback to watershed Fincher videos like Madonna's "Vogue," which also managed to feel both vintage and forward-looking by combining a mid-century notion of sophistication and innovative filming (plus a lot of stripping). Whether dancing, singing or just hanging out wearing the hell out of some fine clothes, JT gave us the best up close and personal video performance of the year.

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2. Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”

Arcade Fire have always been on the cutting edge of interactive video technology, and the first of two videos that accompanied "Reflektor" was another hype–worthy breakthrough. Viewers got the awesome experience of using the device of their choice to co-direct Vincent Morisset's beautifully filmed video, while also using their camera to enter into its story of a woman straddling physical and spiritual worlds. Filmed in Haiti, it was a brilliant commentary on the relationship between artists and audiences (we were, literally, "the reflector"), the blurred lines between cultures, and the role of technology itself in the way we consume art.

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1. Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”

"It's like a giant, fucked up selfie," director Diane Martel told Rolling Stone about this jawdropping masterpiece of what-the-freaking-freak trash compactor surrealism. "We Can't Stop" was chalk full of images to send your eyes to the burn ward – the French-fried skeleton, the people rolling around in bread, the severed hand in the kitchen bleeding bubblegum blood, the dude eating a money sandwich, the alphabet soup that spelled TWERK, Miley lady-wrestling, Miley sticking a grill on her front teeth, Miley making out with a doll, Miley slapping ass, Miley grinding ass. When we're all 80, we'll still be waking up in the middle of the night sweating buckets and shrieking "DANCING BEARS! DANCING MOTHERFUCKING BEARS!" In other words, a masterpiece for the ages.

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