May 5, 2009
No formal post cooked up here; I just wanted to thank these artists for bringing mainstream country some much-needed personality.
Joey + Rory, “Play The Song”
I've started having my doubts about the strength of this song as a radio single, but it sure makes for an awesome video. The well-placed jabs at the industry are appreciated, but it would still be notable just for the couple's infectious onscreen presence.
Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”
I'm sorry, but I think Taylor Swift is kind of a pop music genius. If you're bewildered as to why her current album has scored with fans and critics alike, consider this video your
short-form lesson. Fearless deliberately presents Swift as something of an Everygirl, and this clip plays up that concept with remarkable shrewdness. She's unusually pretty, but seems to realize that her strongest appeal lies in the usual-ness of her personality, and that's the card she really plays here. The plot is cheesy and predictable as heck, but only because it synthesizes everything that's potentially charming about all countless “ugly duckling teen becomes a swan” movies (The Princess Diaries, A Cinderella Story) and condenses it all to a length that's tolerable for normal human beings. Bonus points for playing the villain herself.