The best country music videos of 2017 span from paper animations to action movies, from silly to heartbreaking and from clips from bands bands to clips from duos to clips from single artists. All of them, though, left a lasting mark on their viewers.
Some of country music's best music videos this year involve retro gaming, intricately arranged pieces of paper falling in love (you'll see what we mean ...) and an homage to the movie Point Blank. Read on to see The Boot's complete list of 2017's Top 10 country music videos.
The Zac Brown Band went, appropriately, back to their roots for their "Roots" music video: "This is in memory of every dive bar that I've played in this town ... every dive bar all the way around Southeast," Brown tells the crowd at the beginning of the clip, which was shot during a Zac Brown Band concert in Alpharetta, Ga. The video is simple, straightforward and exactly what the music video for a song called “Roots” should be.
In her video for “Weakness,” Margo Price's character steals liquor, holds up a shop and spends the rest of the time fleeing the cops. Cutting between Price as troublemaker and Price as band leader (she and her band play in front of a gas station throughout the clip), this video is a boozy, law-breaking romp about someone who opens the song by describing herself like so: “Sometimes I’m Virginia Woolf / Sometimes I’m James Dean.”
It would be easy to hate Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for being such a cute couple if they weren’t so good at it. The husband and wife released “The Rest of Our Life” as a single on their 21st wedding anniversary in early October, and the song's accompanying music video takes an angle that listeners of the romantic, commitment-centric song might not have expected: The clip is rooted in an argument between McGraw and Hill. If anything, though, the video cements the message in a way the song alone couldn’t, showing love through a realistic lens.
The music video for “It Ain’t My Fault” is a mash-up of a lot of different things: presidential Halloween masks, a robbery and (of course, because the song comes from an album named Pawn Shop) a pawn shop. TJ and John Osborne have said that the robbery in the video is a spoof of the robbery scene in the movie Point Blank, though they added their own personal commentary by having the robbers don masks depicting recent United States presidents (while singing about refusing to take blame). “It Ain’t My Fault” won the 2017 CMA for Music Video of the Year.
If you weren’t familiar with the “Craving You” music video, you’d be forgiven for assuming you were watching an action movie. Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett co-star as criminals working as bank robbers for a corrupt boss … until they turn the tables on him. From fight scenes to dramatic getaways, this clip is definitely the most cinematic pick on our list.
Just like the song itself, the music video for “Somethin’ I’m Good At” is buoyant, cheerful and silly. The video shows Brett Eldredge accidentally wreaking havoc in his neighborhood -- knocking over mailmen, spilling groceries and nearly burning everything to the ground -- while naively strolling around, singing and smiling. It will make you smile, too -- and make you believe him when he sings, “I can’t change the world / No, I can’t change a flat.”
Starring Shelley Hennig and Garrett Hines as ill-fated lovers, the video for “I Could Use a Love Song” tells the story of a romance that can’t survive Hennig’s character's need to pursue her dreams. The video is moody and powerful, and if it feels as though Maren Morris is taking the song personally, there’s a reason for that: “It’s extremely personal to my story to getting to where I am today,” Morris shares of "I Could Use a Love Song" in a Facebook post. The video gives no easy answer, and is an example of a video's narrative enhancing the narrative of the song.
Old Dominion dove fully into ‘80s-inspired gaming for this music video, and the result is a nostalgic, inventive take on “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart.” The clip leaves nothing out: It starts off with sounds familiar to any gamer, and from there, the band members earn points, level up and catch power boosts.
“We wanted to do something a little unexpected,” Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey tells Entertainment Weekly of the clip. Mission accomplished.
The video for “All Around You” is all things at once: dreamy and dreary, hopeful and angry, combative and all-embracing. The mixed-media style and the little-boy as superhero are the visual stars of the video, but it’s the pointed politics and the ultimate message of love conquering all that make this clip special.
“If We Were Vampires” was a certifiable tear-jerker even before the music video dropped. The video, though, is gorgeous, featuring paper-cutout animation versions of the song’s protagonists, Isbell and wife Amanda Shires. Equal parts haunting and sad, every second of the clip -- from the windmills on the horizon to the silhouetted characters chugging away on motorcycles -- is utterly captivating.