Janelle Monae: "Cold War"

Obvious comparisons to Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” video aside, Janelle Monae’s video for “Cold War” strikes a jarring contrast. The song’s driving beat coupled with a close-up of Monae–alone, singing, struggling not to cry–is a notable departure from her two-toned tuxwear and James Brown-like spasm dancing. I love her character–but seeing the singer behind it is cool, too.