Lana Del Rey single-handedly kept music videos relevant in 2012. While the rest of the game was slashing costs like Demi Lovato cuts her wrists after a tough day, the Queen of sadcore brought her A game every single time. Sure, there were a couple of misses (hello, "Summertime Sadness"!) but even Lana's worst moment displayed more style and effort than most of her competitors on their best day. Apart from that pop deity, a couple of other acts delivered great visuals this year but the pickings were generally quite slim.
Here are my 20 favourite videos of 2012:
20. Even When I Lose I'm Winning - Ilia Darlin (Video)
When is this Greek diva finally going to happen? Her quirky brand of electro-pop reminds me of Lady Gaga before she completely lost the plot and her visuals are just as twisted. Take this episode of American Horror Story set to music. A leather clad molester drugs and fondles a scantily clad Ilia before they do some kind of weird interpretative dance. Just another day really.
19. Spring Of Life - Perfume (Video)
Asia's best girlband always deliver top notch music videos and "Spring Of Life" is no exception. Brilliant styling and cinematography - as well as the mad scientist concept - make this an absolute winner.
18. Born To Die - Lana Del Rey (Video)
The image of Lana sitting on that throne, surrounded by tigers - looking every inch a holy figure with a crown of roses - is already iconic. As is the doomed love story that provides the video's narrative. Things never turn out well for this bitch and "Born To Die" proves that Lana does misery better than anyone.
17. Got Me Good - Ciara (Video)
I'm so glad this guy finally pulled it together and delivered an excellent video. He looks great and the choreography is amazing. Why isn't "Got Me Good" a hit?
16. Houdini - Foster The People (Video)
Weekend At Bernies - The Musical. As sick and twisted and inventive and original as it sounds. I love it.
15. Gangnam Style - PSY (video)
I struggle with "Gangnam Style". It's such a mediocre song - the cheesy K-Pop equivalent of LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" - but there's no denying its impact on pop culture, which is largely due to the hilarious video and fun choreography. So kudos for that.
14. I'll Change Your Mind - Kate Miller Heidke (Video)
This is one of those great pop songs that just fell through the cracks. It's a shame because it's heartbreakingly perfect and the demented video achieves everything that Marina has been trying and failing to capture with her Elektra Heart visuals. A future cult classic. I hope.
13. Part Of Me - Katy Perry (Video)
You know I want to hate Katy Perry. It would be my pleasure to drag her for a change but I can't find a single flaw with the entire Teenage Dream era and trust me, I've looked. Hard. The video for "Part Of Me" is basically a modern update of Private Benjamin. It struck me as an odd fit for the lyrics but it actually taps into Katy's nice-girl-gone-slightly-crazy image perfectly. Watch this for a master class on how to make a pop star relatable to the masses.
12. Dance For You - Beyoncé (Video)
I was so disappointed with Bey's sexy film noir opus when I saw it for the first time. I just thought she could have done so much more the classiest sex jam of all time. But the clip eventually won me over with the saucy choreography, expert wind machine action and the best blond wig of all time. Bring on the new era B!
11. Love This - Cosmo Jarvis (Video)
Cosmo's penis steals the show in this adorable DIY video. The indie-pop star basically just walks down a street in a red Lycra bodysuit with his junk wobbling from side to side. It's like the 100m sprint at the Olympics only with a hot guy and a better soundtrack. Mesmerising!
10. Die Young - Ke$ha (Video)
The Queen of pop, dance and R&B unveiled a new Satanic image for the "Die Young" visual and then spent much of December backpedaling after morons took aim at the song after the Newton massacre. Whatever. I love this clip and think K$ looks like pure sex writhing around on that bed. She also throws one of the few parties I'd actually like to attend.
9. Flower - Kylie (Video)
Kylie lies around looking flawless in this beautifully-filmed black & white gem. Sometimes all you need is a gorgeous woman and a camera.
8. Candy - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Video)
I love this crazy Japanese bitch and her terrifying real doll-inspired videos. Imagine the director of The Ring filming a pop video after smoking peyote and you have some idea of what to expect from the new Madonna. Just don't watch this alone because it will fuck with your mind.
7. National Anthem - Lana Del Rey (Video)
The big-lipped beauty channels Jackie O in this twisted reimagining of JFK's assassination - with A$AP Rocky playing the president no less. It's brave, bold and expertly put together by one of the best music video directors in the business. Flawless.
6. Your Body - Christina Aguilera (Video)
Pure pop videos don't come much better than "Your Body", which finds Xtina fucking her way across the US - killing men with her lethal curves. I love the bright colour palette and use of paint as blood. It's all very over-the-top and trannytastic, which makes it a perfect fit for the biggest diva (literally) in the game!
5. I Think You Might Like It - Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta (Video)
This cheap and cheerful trainwreck has provided me with more laughs than any other clip this year and deserves to be screened at The Louvre as a work of modern art.
4. Oblivion - Grimes (Video)
Occasionally a video can win you over in ways that a song never could. Until I saw "Oblivion", I thought Grimes was one of those obnoxious, too-cool-for-school divas that get praised by Pitchfork and then disappear into the abyss. But this cute clip shows the Canadian diva in a new light. She basically makes an idiot of herself giving impromptu performances of her song at sporting event and eventually crashes a party and dances with a bunch of shirtless guys. Fun, fresh and cool without trying.
3. Bad Girls - M.I.A (Video)
How can you go from the career-ending humiliation of being one of Madonna's cheerleaders in the god awful "Give Me All Your Luvin'" to dropping this iconic visual? The car surfing scene is the coolest thing I saw all year. M.I.A is a bad bitch but she has work to do when it comes to regaining lost credibility.
2. Losing You - Solange (Video)
My Sol-Angel finally stepped out of Beyoncé's long and fabulous shadow with this brilliant video. She just wanders around South Africa looking like a hipster goddess, occasionally taking time out to go for a ride or partake in some bad dancing. Solange's finest moment by far.
1. Ride - Lana Del Rey (Video)
I plan to recreate this video scene by scene when I visit America next year. Bikers beware! Here's my review in full.