Ah, Music Video of the Year. The awkward stepchild of the CMA Awards. Aside from provoking fewer blog wars than the bigger races, it’s also the category that apparently takes the least effort for voters to fill up, since predicting the nominees is o
ften as easy as asking yourself, “well, which songs are probably going to be nominated for Song and Single?”
Nevertheless, music videos remain an important aspect of an artist’s public image, and sometimes even rise to the level of legitimate art. Keeping in mind the eligibility period (July 1st, 2008 – June 30th, 2009), below are the five videos I would most like to see recognized as such by CMA voters. Interestingly, four of them were breakthrough videos for their artists:
Randy Houser, “Anything Goes”
A little melodramatic, but a lot captivating. I can’t get over the way he plays the chorus of the song to his ex, like he can’t even have a moment of self-pity to himself.
Joey + Rory, “Cheater Cheater”
The CU J+R lovefest continues! Come on, how can you resist their spousey charms atop this hot bluegrass beat? Truth be told, I’m an equally big fan of the sharp “Play The Song” treatment, but since this is the one that actually stands a chance, I’ll give it the nod.
Jamey Johnson, “In Color”
I found it really tacky when they tried to recreate this clip in his ACM performance, but the thing itself is an understated beaut, carefully capturing the song’s mood and imagery without ever getting in the way.
Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”
Haters to the left. This video is a four-minute distillation of everything likable about its maker, and it manages to pull through its various cliches thanks to its sheer pluck. Since “Love Story” swept the CMT’s, I expect this one to remain relegated to VMA territory, but this is the stronger work.
Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
I still don’t care for the song, but the video more than makes up for it. The visuals are gorgeous, the vibe is warm and personal, and it even provides a context to the seemingly random military shout-out in the song’s bridge.
Which five videos would you like to see nab a nomination this year?