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Hero With a Thousand Faces

I’ll leave it to other critics to argue whether or not Keri Hilson does a good job of mimicking her inspirations in the charming video for “Pretty Girl Rock”:

But I have to say, I quite like this. Hilson’s played with archetypes before, as she did with Kanye West’s hipster artist and Ne-Yo’s polished gentleman in the video for “Knock You Down.” The director is Joseph Khan, who has done work for everyone from Mariah Carey to Eminem. Here, he’s being a good deal gentler with cultural signifiers than he was with Lady Gaga’s hot-and-sweaty-in-the-Seventies-subway video for “Love Game,” and subtler than the glitz and feathers he deployed in Katy Perry’s video for “Waking Up in Vegas,” though to be fair, he was being pretty perfectly literal there. I don’t think the video’s exceptionally high-concept or deep, but I like it, mostly as a testament to Hilson’s malleability, and as a reminder that there are a lot of ways for women to be beautiful, and they can all work in the same era.

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