Best Music Videos of 2014
2014 was a particularly great year for country music videos, making the task of selecting the Top 10 … well, difficult. Some of country’s most reliable artists appear in our year-end wrap-up, including Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert.
But the year’s best videos also encompass clips from some newer artists and a superstar who’s gone pop, as well as the debut offering from an act who hit it big by saying exactly what so many have already been thinking. From the humorous to the serious, our Best Music Videos of 2014 list has something for every country fan.
Young love has never been as entertaining as it is in Keith Urban’s video for ‘Cop Car.’ The clip is a literal re-telling of the song’s lyrics, about a pair of young lovers who trespassed to watch airplanes take off, ended up getting busted by the police and “fell in love in the back of a cop car.” Directed by John Urbano, the video brings together cars, action and music in a way that’s perfect for Urban.
Miranda Lambert turned 30 last year, and her latest work shows a new maturity that comes along with that milestone. ‘Automatic’ takes a nostalgic look back as Lambert sifts through old treasured items from childhood in the attic, underscoring the song’s sense of yearning for a more innocent time with its simple, but emotionally powerful theme.
Lee Brice made one of the most personal videos of the year for ‘I Don’t Dance.’ The song was inspired by his wife, Sara, who took his “two left feet and waltzed away with my heart.” Directed by Ryan Smith, the song’s video intersperses actual footage from the couple’s wedding with shots of Brice singing the song onstage at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for a very intimate view inside the singer-songwriter’s life.
Kenny Chesney’s time off proved to be well-spent. The superstar bounced back from a period off the road with ‘American Kids,’ a carefree new single that took his music in a new direction. The video for the track is as free-spirited as the song itself, featuring Chesney and a merry group of kids riding around on a psychedelic-painted bus, playing music and just generally celebrating life. The clip is just as unique, perfectly capturing the essence of the tune.
Blake Shelton keeps the homes fires burning — literally — in the hilarious ‘Doin’ What She Likes’ video. What starts out as a romantic offer to cook dinner at home for his wife, Miranda Lambert, turns into an unexpected night out after the well-intentioned Shelton ends up inadvertently setting the house on fire while lighting some candles. It’s a good thing Shelton can sing, ’cause he’d never make it as a housekeeper.
Randy Houser didn’t just shoot a video, he made an epic mini-Western for ‘Like a Cowboy.’ Filmed in Arizona with director Dustin Riker, the short film features more than 75 cast members and 50 head of cattle, making it one of the most elaborate videos in recent memory, if not of all time. ‘Like a Cowboy’ clocks in at more than seven minutes, and took multiple days to shoot. There’s no question why it’s included in our Best Music Videos of 2014 list.
Lambert’s other entry in the Best Music Videos of 2014 list couldn’t be more different from ‘Automatic.’ Carrie Underwood joins her for ‘Somethin’ Bad,’ which features the pair robbing the bank where they work, using the stolen money to gamble and making their getaway on motorcycles. They end up getting mug shots, but not before turning in one of the most visually entertaining videos of the year — a modern-day ‘Thelma and Louise.’
Taylor Swift released her first official pop album this year, but she still found her way into the hearts of country fans with its first single, ‘Shake It Off,’ and its accompanying video. The clip features footage of all kinds of different professional dancers, interspersed with shots of Swift busting out some hilariously awkward dance moves of her own. The hugely entertaining video is the perfect way to underscore the song’s theme of celebrating individuality.
Dierks Bentley delivered perhaps the greatest video of his career with ‘Drunk on a Plane’ in 2014. The singer took to the friendly skies for the fun-filled clip, which depicts a booze-soaked way to get over a lost love — but with a twist, since this party takes place at 30,000 feet. Bentley dons a hilarious costume to play the captain, who’s in no shape to fly after one too many — leading Bentley himself to save the day by taking over the controls.
Maddie and Tae were totally unknown at the beginning of the year, but have become one of the fastest-rising acts in country music due to their smash debut single, ‘Girl in a Country Song.’ The song takes “bro-country” to task for its depiction of females, and in the innovative and hilarious video, the young ladies turn the tables on their male counterparts by subjecting them to the same visual stereotypes that women are often subjected to in modern country music, with excruciatingly funny results.