Televised performances by Nickelback, Enrique Iglesias (featuring Pitbull), and Lady Gaga weren’t the only offerings over the long Turkey Day weekend. Thanks to the glory of the internet, music listeners could also check out options as varied as Florence and the Machine covering Drake, the first officially official video from the Weeknd, and another fresh clip from Beyoncé.
“This is pretty exciting, ’cause it’s sung by one of my fave — well, two of my favorite art… — well, three, actually,” laughed Florence Welch, introducing Florence and the Machine’s rendition of the title track from Drake’s second LP Take Care. “Three of my absolute favorite artists.” Make that four: In addition to vocals by Drake and guest singer Rihanna, the original track also features the xx maestro Jamie xx’s remix of “I’ll Take Care of You” by (wait for it) Gil Scott Heron. Welch’s performance is wonderfully intense, if without quite the wrinkled idiosyncrasies of Drake or the blank mystery of Rihanna. Her backing of strings, piano, and atmospheric guitars neatly approximates the album track’s moody grandeur for the BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge setting (via Disco Naivete).
The high-concept sci-fi footage for the Weeknd’s “The Knowing,” from this year’s marvelous House of Balloons mixtape, isn’t the first professional-looking video to pop up from the self-consciously shadowy Canadian R&B phantom/phenom; nicely polished clips have also emerged for the same mixtape’s “What You Need” (since removed from YouTube) and follow-up Thursday “The Birds (Part 1).” It is, however, the first to be truly official, and it’s appropriately vast, involving time-traveling and, well, see for yourself. French filmmaker Mikael Colombu, whose previous work includes visuals for Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monáe, and Bilal, offers up a sumptuously weird look for a sumptuously weird slow jam (via Pitchfork).
“Dance for You,” from the deluxe edition of Beyoncé’s 4, is a sort of strip-club jam set, as with the rest of the album, in the context of a triumphantly monogamous relationship. Though the bluesy guitar and smoky organ wouldn’t be out of place on a track by the Weeknd, it’s not exactly worth plunking down another 32 bucks for. The video follows pretty literally from the song’s theme, with Mrs. Jay-Z grinding sensuously in a superfluous film-noir setting; “Wanna show you how much you got your girl feelin’ good,” she purrs. The private detective appears to approve. (via Consequence of Sound)