VIMTV, or “Velocities in Music,” is a hidden gem of a YouTube channel. The channel features two friends, Jake and Tom, who sit at a table in front of a camera and talk about albums. They haven’t been as active the past few years as they were when I discovered them in 2010. They used to mainly cover popular indie releases from this era—think Black Keys “Brothers,” “ James Blake’s self-titled album. They would review Top 40 pop albums, too, like Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” and Justin Bieber’s second album. Jake and Tom had a really chummy rapport, which was fun to watch. I didn’t always agree with their viewpoints, but I could always respect them because they were so well-backed. Also, it was really funny to see these two dig into mainstream pop albums. Even compared to music-review channel “theneedledrop,” nothing captures the feeling of music-nerd-dom—particularly that between two friends—like VIMTV.
One of the funniest VIMTV reviews was one of Lupe Fiasco’s mainstream-sounding “Lasers” album. Lupe Fiasco abandoned a lot of fans on this album, and Jake and Tom did not give the guy a break in their review. I love how earnestly baffled Jake or Tom (I can’t remember who) is at the fact that the track “State Run Radio,” which protests the homogeneity of radio, is literally the most radio-ready–sounding song on the album. I can also remember Tom using the phrase “nail in the coffin” in an outraged and humorous way to describe the album’s closing track, which features John Legend. Whether they love, hate, or are completely ambivalent about an album, Jake and Tom defend their viewpoints with passion. It’s enough to have you believe that these two could spend every hour of their friendship discussing music and they would never get bored.
VIMTV got me into some cool albums—in particular, the Lost in the Trees release, “A Church that Fits Our Needs.” This is a stirring indie release centered around the band’s singer’s mother’s suicide. The instrumentation, songwriting, and emotional power of the album is extraordinary. On the other end of the spectrum, VIMTV got me into “Femme Fatale.”. This is another one of their funny reviews, in which Jake and Tom express bewilderment at how stupid the lyrics were, yet how brilliant the production quality is. I’ve been listening to Femme Fatale on and off for a few years now, culminating in a period earlier this semester in which I listened to tracks one through seven of the album every day. I appreciate the production style on the album just like VIMTV does. However, I also appreciate the lyrical genius of the album, which they don’t understand.
Talking about music can get stale sometimes, even between the best of friends. But VIMTV captures the magic of a music-centered conversation. With their animated demeanor, thorough style of reviewing an album, and ability to connect the feelings from a song to some humorous life experience, VIMTV is one of the few YouTube channels that I consistently return to, even after six years. You can visit their channel at www.youtube.com/user/velocitiesinmusic/featured. After you watch a few of their videos, you might find yourself calling up your buddy just to talk about how awesome the new Porches album is, and what the best tracks on it are.