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The 5 best music videos of 2014

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Over the past few decades, music videos have gone from promotional larks to a nascent cable network’s cornerstones to relics of an old promotional strategy to perhaps the single most important element of an artist’s rollout plan. A good music video can completely make an artist, or turn a song from a mild hit into a phenomenon. And since most of the Billboard charts now take streaming numbers into account when making calculations, a well-watched clip can be the difference between a write-off on your business expenses and chart dominance.

This was a pretty excellent year for music videos. Though there are only five picks below, they were culled from a list of several dozen, many of which served not only as vessels for excellent songs but also as gripping short films.  READ FULL STORY

Spring playlist with Banks, Sam Smith, Lo-Fang and more: Listen now

Shake off a long, cold winter with these breezy new tracks from artists on the verge—slinky singers, bedroom R&B auteurs, and FoLs (Friends of Lorde).

Sam Smith, “Money on My Mind”
The Londoner’s swinging track—already a U.K. smash—pairs his aching voice with a groove fit for an energy-drink-stocked cocktail lounge. (It also helped nab him a slot on SNL.)

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