New Criticals

“Cruise,” you see, is a joy machine, delivered by three salesmen whose enthusiasm borders on lunacy. Everything in both the song and clip, from Mr. Georgia’s cheeky drawl and bug eyes to Nelly’s t-shirt cannon harmonies and irrepressible fist-pumping, conspire to get you as riotously stoked as you ever have been in your whole jaded life. For reference, watch this video from their performance on the Today Show, fast forward to about the five-minute mark, and JUST LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THEY MADE HODA KOTB, one of THE MOST OBJECTIVELY LOVABLE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!

In this light, the central metaphor that seemed so inane on first listen even takes on a kind of, if not strictly 'depth', then at least importance: it has to be heard with an acknowledgement of how truly rare it is to meet someone that gives you the same welled-up eyes and gut drop that a great song blaring out of rolled down windows surely does. With that understanding, 'song' becomes the highest praise you could ever give a person. The details, with seemingly stock references to backroads and farm towns, begin to coalesce once you get on this wavelength, with the locale coming to life as immediately as, say, the bar from "Here Comes a Regular," and the second-verse invitation to "go get this thing stuck" becomes the best damn choice imaginable. In the next few months it's going to get fucking cold and dark, and the only place we'll have to get stuck is songs like this one, so until then you can find me whipping across the border, Florida into Georgia.