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20 Music Videos Perfect for Watching on Mute

Because sound isn't always an option


Many of history's finest music videos work flawlessly between the music and the visuals. But tons of the best videos stick with us for the forever-memorable imprints they burn onto our brains strictly from the sights alone. If you, like us, love putting music videos on as background art--maybe while you're spinning other tunes, cleaning the house or working--then we've got your back with this optical playlist. Inside you'll find Nicki MinajKornMy Chemical Romancethe WeekndRihannaJ. ColeNine Inch NailsAlabama Shakes and more.

1 / 20

Bon Iver, "Towers"

Director: Nabil
Released: February 2012
Pairs well with: Hot chocolate and an autumn-scented candle
Also try: "Holocene," also by Nabil, similar vibe

2 / 20

Nicki Minaj, "Lookin Ass"

Director: Nabil
Released: February 2014
YouTube Views: 25.6 million
Pairs well with: An Expendables marathon
Also try: "Starships," "Only," "Super Bass"

3 / 20

Alabama Shakes, "Sound & Color"

Director: James Frost
Released: April 2015
Views: 2 million
Pairs well with: Scanning through Netflix on your phone, trying to find Visually Sumptuous Science-Fiction Movies

4 / 20

Korn, "Freak on a Leash"

Directors: Todd McFarlane with Jonathan Dayton & Valeria Faris
Released: February 1999
Views: 37.1 million
Pairs well with: A muted Best of TRL nostalgia-thon
Also try: "Make Me Bad," "Falling Away from Me," "Did My Time," "Here to Stay"

5 / 20

The Weeknd, "Tell Your Friends"

Director: Grant Singer
Released: August 2015
Views: 20.8 million
Pairs well with: Your morning coffee
Also try: "The Hills," "Often"

6 / 20

J. Cole, "Wet Dreamz"

Director: Ryan Staake
Released: April 2015
Views: 26.9 million
Pairs well with: That moment after you and your pooch have worn yourselves out in the park
Also try: "Who Dat"

7 / 20

Rose McGowan, "RM486"

Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Released: September 2015
Views: 835,000
Pairs well with: Wishing you could go to a modern art museum but not having the money

8 / 20

Kendrick Lamar, "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe"

Directors: The Lil Homie & OG Mike Mihail
Released: May 2013
Views: 44.5 million
Pairs well with: Mourning a loved one
See also: 2015's "Alright" video, a masterpiece on its own, and only slightly less "watch on mute"–able

9 / 20

Aphex Twin, “Come to Daddy”

Director: Chris Cunningham
Released: 1997
Views: 1.7 million
Pairs well with: Acid, probably 

10 / 20

Beyoncé feat. Drake, "Mine"

Director: Pierre Debusschere
Released: December 2013
Views: 14 million
Pairs well with: The rest of Bey's self-titled visual album; most of the videos rock on mute
Also try: "Ghost," "Haunted," "Blow"

11 / 20

Miley Cyrus, "Can't Be Tamed"

Director: Robert Hales
Released: May 2010
Views: 158 million
Pairs well with: Quality time with your pet parakeet/parrot/raven
Also try: "Wrecking Ball," "Adore You," "Party In The U.S.A."

12 / 20

The Pharcyde, "Drop"

Director: Spike Jonze
Released: 1995
Views: 11.7 million
Pairs well with: A Google session hunting down breakdance classes and/or eating an egg and cheese sandwich from the bodega

13 / 20

Frank Ocean, "Pyramids"

Director: Nabil
Released: June 2012
Pairs well with: The Pulp Fiction soundtrack and a spectacular dinner that takes you at least eight minutes to eat
Also try: Nabil and Frank's "Novacane" and "Swim Good" vids

14 / 20

Nine Inch Nails, "Head Like a Hole"

Director: Eric Zimmerman
Released: March 1990
Views: 4.1 million
Pairs well with: Cannabis: Sativa Edition

15 / 20

Rihanna, "Diamonds"

Director: Anthony Mandler
Released: November 2012
Views: 655 million
Pairs well with: Lacing up your boots to go horseback riding
Also try: "Where Have You Been," Only Girl (In The World), "Bitch Better Have My Money," "FourFiveSeconds," "Rude Boy"

16 / 20

Ne-Yo, "So Sick"

Director: Hype Williams
Released: 2006
Views: 98.3 million
Pairs well with: Reading the L.L. Bean winter catalog
Also try: Hype Williams' "No Scrubs" (TLC), "Blow" (Beyoncé), "All of the Lights" (Kanye West feat. Rihanna), "Massive Attack" (Nicki Minaj)

17 / 20

My Chemical Romance, "SING"

Director: P.R. Brown & Gerard Way
Released: November 2010
Views: 23 million
Pairs well with: Sorting out all your new comic books

18 / 20

Kanye West, "Flashing Lights"

Directors: Spike Jonze & Kanye West
Released: February 2008
Views: 41.1 million
Pairs well with: Reading negative blog posts about Dr. West
See also: "Welcome to Heartbreak," "Bound 2," "Heartless," "Runaway," the Zach Galifianakis version of "Can't Tell Me Nothing"

19 / 20

Radiohead, “House of Cards”

Directors: James Frost and Aaron Koblin
Released: 2008
Views: 23.2 million
Pairs well with: A play session with one of those rectangular toys where you push all the little silver pins to form shapes

20 / 20

Drake, "Hotline Bling"

Director: Director X
Released: October 2015
Views: 113.9 million
Pairs well with: As the prodigious memes have shown us, literally any other song around 135 bpm
Also try: "Worst Behavior," "Hold On, We're Going Home," "Energy"

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