Brantley Gilbert’s More Than Miles Is A Story Worth Investing In – Video Review.
Brantley Gilbert may be a tough country rock star, but he’s certainly good at love songs. Take “My Kind Of Crazy” for example, from 2010. It’s songs like that that really capture the essence of people’s emotions. Also, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do“, from 2011, was another one that really hit the ball out of the park. Now, with “More Than Miles“, his latest release, Brantley sings of the agony of leaving the one he loves to go follow his dream, before realizing that he’s made the wrong decision. I read somewhere that this song was about his ex-girlfriend (fun fact: she was featured in the video for “My Kind Of Crazy“). Either way, for such an emotionally-charged song as this, it would have to have a good video, and I’m pleased with the results.
The Video: Step by Step.
For once I can actually say a country music video just follows the story of the song (simplicity is
underrated these days), and depicts Brantley parking his truck in the drive of a motel, just outside
Nashville’s city limits, almost like he can’t bear to go beyond. Though I think the sign for Nashville
being right by a motel is a little unrealistic, but hey, we’ll go with it, it’s a music video! The story continues as Brantley stares at the photo on the dashboard of a girl, as shown in the
lyrics, and he goes to get a room (in true slow motion dramatic style, of course).
Again and again during the video it cuts back to a close-up of Brantley playing guitar and singing the song in the motel room, and we really get a little suspense of disbelief that he’s written the song in a motel
room just like that. Because the video follows the song so well, it makes us believe the lyrics were
written in truth (particularly given the ex-girlfriend theory mentioned above), and this is really the
fundamentals of a country music video.
We get shots of Brantley attempting to write songs, but screwing up the pieces of paper because
he supposedly can’t write without the inspiration of his girl, he can’t focus because of the break-up.
The filter on the camera is a grayish blue, and this symbolically sets the deepening mood as Brantley
stares into the mirror in his room, and paces around leaning into walls and staring into space. When
actually called out like that it seems a little false, but it works within the context of the video.
Later, we get Brantley walking to a bar, where a band are playing, but he’s distracted by the lovers
kissing and becomes contemplative. He even rejects the advances of a very attractive woman , who
then seems to be approached by another guy ‘wanting a go’ as it were, and Brantley gives him the
pass to go ahead. I was a little confused by this part in the video, it wasn’t clear whether he was
her boyfriend and she was trying to ‘play away’, or what. The body language was a little confusing,
although I suppose this doesn’t matter within the rest of the video, because it’s articulating a mood
and these are just examples of scenes and situations in which his emotions play out. After the bar
Brantley sits outside by himself, drinking a beer wrapped in brown paper.
He then tries to call his ex, and she answers, but he hangs up, then proceeding to smash up a mirror
in the motel room with a chair, and punch another one, leaving obvious cuts on his knuckles. I feel
like this part would have worked better if she had been more angry, at first I didn’t hear what she
said and I’d thought she’d said “really?!”, as if to say, “you’re really coming crawling back to me?”.
If she had been more antagonistic I think the drama of the smashing glass would have been more
justified, but perhaps the idea is he’s frustrated that he doesn’t know what to say and hung up
because he’s scared and wants to run away. For a lot of this video they seem to be leaving things up
to our interpretation and that’s quite nice in a way, because everyone can take their own story and
meaning from it. It also means they don’t have to be concrete about anything.
Brantley uses this random motel vandalism to motivate him into leaving and he pauses in his truck,
waiting to either drive into Nashville or drive in the opposite direction, back where he left his girl. He
looks at the photo on his dashboard, then chooses to go back.
Why This Video Is So Good.
There’s a few things I like about this video. He’s actually starring as the character in the narrative.
A lot of country stars don’t these days, and I feel like if you want us to believe that you mean every
lyric in the song, you need to play the part too. Not just sing in a separate shot. Performing is a form
of acting, so I’m sure they can manage in a music video. Another thing as I said, that I like about this
is how it follows the song so carefully and pays attention to detail, yet also is vague enough to let us
interpret certain scenes how we want. Despite this, we still end up at the same point, and that’s a
sign of a well-directed video.
And finally, we believe it. I couldn’t tell you exactly how they have constructed it so that we do, but
it is very believable and I think it’s a very good effort all round. It’s simple and doesn’t get overly
creative when it comes to representing the song, but sometimes these things don’t need to be. I’m
pleased with this video and I think it’ll do well on the charts, giving Brantley a great start to 2013.