5. Modest Mouse – “Float On”
(D: Christopher Mills)
There’s an extremely pleasing depth to the pop-up-book-style animation in this video. The layers pulse and breathe with the endlessly catchy music, and Isaac Brock and the band seem strangely at home amidst the cutouts of barnyard animals.
4. The Avalanches – “Frontier Psychiatrist”
(D: Tom Kuntz, Nick Maguire)
To match the erratic, esoteric sound collages that are Australian electronic band The Avalanches’ trademark is no small feat, and here directors Kuntz & Maguire work their magic, flawlessly matching music and image at split-second intervals.
3. Johnny Cash – “Hurt” (D: Mark Romanek)
One of the most moving videos ever made. It’s a year before the aging Cash’s death, and here he takes a long, dark glance back at the imperfect life he’s lived.
2. The White Stripes – “Fell in Love with a Girl”
(D: Michel Gondry)
Perhaps the most innovative video of the decade (or at least the most carefully labored over), Michel Gondry creates lego versions of Jack and Meg White and films them frame-by-frame, rebuilding them each time to create the illusion of motion.
1. OutKast – “B.O.B.”
(D: Dave Meyers)
The video for OutKast’s “B.O.B.”—that stands for “Bombs Over Baghdad” if you were living in seclusion circa Y2K—is a luscious Technicolor feast, exploding vibrant and alive onto the screen. It’s the perfect visual accompaniment to the song’s driving jungle-influenced beats and lightning-speed rhymes—a simultaneous, spontaneous celebration of community and individuality and that utopian place where the two intersect flawlessly.