Brad Paisley’s Southern Comfort Zone Video Is An Unlikely Masterpiece: Review
I am a big fan of Brad Paisley so I was excited for the music video for “Southern Comfort Zone“, a brilliant song about Southern pride still encouraging people to see the world, and then be glad to come home! The video appears to have been recorded while Brad conducted the recent leg of his European tour, and The Band Perry even have a couple of cameos since they opened for him during the tour. In addition, he visited the Masai tribe that he donated cows to a couple of months back, and filmed the remainder of the video there. It’s a lot different than Brad’s previous music videos, and certainly very different from your average country music video. The idea behind involved Brad running through various cities, and seems designed to show an almost-seamless fit between places and his journey. Eight countries in eight days, apparently.
Amateur Quality = Relatable.
The beginning of the video consists of Brad playing the beginning of the song, just him and an
acoustic guitar, by a truck, seemingly in the African safari. It is a delightful clash of cultures, but done
more subtly than expected, and the writing across the screen to declare the title of the song and
artist is in childish font. This pretty much sets up the whole ethos of the video, in that it is oddly, and
yet fantastically, amateurish. Sometimes the camera doesn’t focus properly and you experience it
focusing in and out. A lot of the time Brad is simply running down random streets in various cities
and passers-by stare at him over their shoulder. The beginning and the end of the video where Brad
is playing guitar is the live sound, and it doesn’t sound exactly like the polished studio recording.
Some of the camera angles aren’t up to much and you get the feeling a lot of it’s been filmed on a
handheld. Sometimes the camera holds its shot on completely unknown people and things. Whilst
Brad is running someone occasionally throws him a new jacket which he catches and throws on
like it’s nothing. He walks into a pub in Ireland and the crowd gathered sing the chorus of the song
loudly and unabashedly. He plays guitar next to a real life giraffe and jerks it away slightly when the
giraffe goes to try and eat it. Throughout Brad appears unassuming and without star status, he is
simply ordinary. Everything is done with the utmost casual vibe, we get no theatrical expressions and
sometimes the colors are fairly dull. And that makes me completely love this video.
No Glam = Down To Earth
While, I like the glitz and the glam and the creative videos that clearly have been worked hard on,
there’s something about this that is fun, and perhaps even more interesting than other videos that
have had hours of work and a lot of money put into them. This feels like an amateur video that a
group of friends have made and stuck on YouTube. It is silly, deliberately unprofessional, yet for me
is a video masterpiece that perfectly exemplifies the new ethos and ideology that Brad is trying with
his new album project. He explained before the single release of “Southern Comfort Zone“, that he wanted to go back to a far more rootsy way of doing things, he didn’t want to fix things in the studio,
he wanted to have everything on the record have been physically played instead of messed about
with digitally. He said it was a new era for him, a risky new project, that he was worried people
Well guess what, Brad. I get it, and it’s perfect. You go ahead and do anything you want to, cause
apparently everything you touch turns to gold (if only I were fifteen years older and Brad wasn’t
married). One of my favorite videos of any genre of the entire year, go ahead and watch “Southern Comfort Zone“. You’re guaranteed to enjoy it.
Vickye is a guest contributor! Find her on Twitter: @planmymistake or her own site: www.forthecountryrecord.tumblr.com!