It was just this month that I sorted through a quarter-century worth of R.E.M. videos, from the ground-breakingly awesome to the embarrassingly lame. If only I’d waited a few more weeks! I’d definitely have included the brand-new clip they released this week for “Hollow Man.” (Thanks to Stereogum for pointing us toward the embeddable version, below.)
This is one of the stronger tunes from their very solid new album — though, disappointingly, it is not a song about that Bacon-starring B movie as far as I can tell. Video directors Crush Inc. give it a playful treatment, splashing the lyrics on-screen in a way that reminds me of Jonas & François and So Me’s collaborative effort on Kanye West’s fantastic “Good Life” clip last year. Of course, this being R.E.M., those lyrics are more meditative than celebratory, and the images behind the colorful words are spare and lonely ones. But the clip as a whole has way more dynamic energy than I’d expect from a late-period R.E.M. video; it’s miles ahead of the passable but forgettable promo for first single “Supernatural Superserious.” All in all, definitely one for the “great” column, I think. Don’t you?