Reviewing the latest music videos -- See what we thought of clips from Hanson, Tonic, Natalie Imbruglia, and Roni Size and Reprazent

Natalie Imbruglia
Sometimes the simplest videos say the most. Director Alison Maclean uses the common technical interruptions of a video shoot as a metaphor for the fitful progress of an uncertain love. Imbruglia and a hunk du jour find themselves fussed over, manipulated, and derailed by makeup people, lighting designers, and gaffers. The parallels to a relationship keep mounting: Both situations can make people feel like they’re waiting for cues, following a script written by others, acting against their will, or cast in too narrow a role. The result has real emotional weight. It’s music video’s answer to Pirandello. A

The mainstreaming of director Gus Van Sant continues with his chaste clip for the world’s ultimate Wonder bread rockers. The only vintage Van Sant touch comes in casting the kids as homeless subway musicians, giving them the aura of Port Authority runaways. Weird stuff and borderline pervy, too. B-

”Brown Paper Bag”
Roni Size and Reprazent
If DJs can scratch a record, why can’t video makers scratch visual images? Director Nick Gordon does just that, giving electronica star Size a device that lets him stop and start the world with a flick of the wrist. With each turn, the traffic on a full city block falls into a back-and-forth jig, a TV set tossed from a window jerks up and down like a yo-yo, even the smoke from an urban stack snakes in and out of a rooftop. In the process, Gordon does something wonderful — he makes every object on earth dance. A

”Open Up Your Eyes”
This clip doubles as a pop quiz: While the members of Tonic roller-skate through a Spielbergian suburb, encoded allusions to other video stars dot the sidewalks. There’s a waif with an apple (think: Fiona), a guy selling Matchbox cars (a la matchbox 20), someone selling junk jewelry (for Jewel), plus more obscure references you’ll have to figure out for yourself. The band competes against all of them for the goal line, emphasizing the pop biz as a race. It’s clever stuff for a video. Too bad the band’s music still comes in last. B