Johnny Cash gets Lifetime drama strung, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart carry the full lyric album torch with simple, beautiful design, Matisyahu‘s back with a car metaphor, and more, in our weekly coverage of all things lyric video evolution. At least, once could only hope we’re evolving, here, Linkin (cough) Park.

Johnny Cash – ‘Out Among the Stars

The title track from Cash’s posthumous lost 80s oddity, when he cut the worst, filler chunk of his oeuvre, it’s a brighter affair than normal Man in Black vérité, but still vérité to the core, despite this trite country-western animation that doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of metaphor. It’s like the Lifetime version of Cash, spelled out with a font way too clean. But the tale, she’s good:

"Out Among the Stars"

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – ‘Days of Abandon

Not since Arcade Fire‘s Black Orpheus pairing have we seen a band take on an entire album in one-shot lyric attack. And The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s sparkle 80s indie-pop strut here, laced in simple album fold interactivity with clickable songs and karaoke style lyrics may not be a bar raise, but for fans of clean design, provocative pastels and bittersweet lyrics, this here’s the practical jam future:

"Art Smock"

Matisyahu – ‘Broken Car

Per the continuous tease of the beardless, Jewish reggae stud’s fifth LP, Akeda, so goes a downtempo cruiser in homage to the faithful American mode of transport that needs not flash and rev, but merely to get you and your soul from point A to point B, Matisyahu cutting sentiments with doom and gloom blue shots of junkyard cars. And like the song, it gets the job done just fine:

"Broken Car"

Marty Friedman – ‘Sociopaths

Megedeth glory days’ guitarist ex-pat, Friedman’s on his twelfth record these days, off in Japan melting Tokyo faces with gnar metal shred the same as ever. Nothing special here – all the normal thrasher tropes: smoke, fire, unstable gritty text assaulting your eyeballs. Like Matisyahu’s broken, but functional car, though, it does what it’s intended to do, which is to pick apart the definition of sociopaths:

"Sociopaths"

Linkin Park – ‘Until It’s Gone

For those of you who still doubt that it’s possible to build songs around boring-ass cliches, here’s Linkin Park shooting themselves in the foot, with a cryptic concrete jungle narrative following the adventures of two Bladerunner proteges staring ominously at one another and running through alleys, with lyrics set in the middle of the action for maximum boring exposure:

"'Til It's Gone"