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Why You Can’t Get Cruise Out of Your Head



Entering a week of vacation recovery upon the precipice of the pre-season football blitz, one might find it very difficult to think of something to write. Matters only become worse when my listless mind returns me to my lake house, accompanied by a cold cooler, country music, and enough bottle rockets to scare my dog halfway across the lake. When this image comes to mind I am now forced to fight my impulse of getting in my un-air conditioned car, blasting country music, and making the smooth one hour drive to paradise. Sooner or later my mind is singing Florida Georgia Line’s Cruise. The catchy chorus rings on repeat in my head. Now an almost entire wasted morning later, I am stuck wondering how a simple country tune can get stuck in my head and just sit.


With any interactive medium whether it be a movie, song, or blog, we expect to receive some tangible amount of joy from the experience. Even if you don’t enjoy this post, you’ll enjoy harassing me in the comments section. The better the medium is, the more emotion it conveys with the audience. Music is so emotional it gets people to dance like bumbling baffons because it makes us feel good. The musician’s goal is to convey a specific feeling that can be understood and mutually accepted by a wide audience. Like most modern country music (as Chuck Klosterman likes to refer to as ‘Wal-Mart’ country) Cruise tells us exactly how to feel, giving every guy that hears it the feeling up picking up a pretty girl in a giant automobile and speeding off into the countryside. If you aren’t a testosterone filled young male, the simple lyrics of the repetitive chorus are entrancing enough for you to scream them alone in your car. They can suck you in so much that it can actually take some time to remember the words of the verses (1) until you reach that part of the song on the radio.


While it is like almost any other catchy-sounding country, there has to be more to the song if it’s good enough for Ally Tucker to karaoke at Chinoe Pub(2). It probably has to do with the fact that not only does Cruise play to the basic common denominator in modern country music lyricism, but it also epitomizes two other basic must-haves for country music success: Good looking singers with a ‘new’ sound, and a highly overplayed pop version. FGL’s hunky duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley always maintain phenomenal hair while sporting tight-jeans, cowboy boots, and something with a rebel flag on it. Girls swoon when imagining getting picked-up in these guys’ trucks while being serenaded by voices that don’t quite sound like normal country music voices. Their voices (3) come from a sound that I hear often at Tin Roof, but barely on the radio. It sounds a little more natural, a little more ‘rough around the edges’, making it easier for most to embrace. It’s so inviting that even one comes to welcome them with Nelly, probably one of the most unlikely of candidates for a pop crossover. As a wise woman once said, “Nelly and FGL go together like a jelly and mayonnaise sandwich.” I appalled the cheap attempt to make extra cash by both at first, but once again Cruise sucked me back in and I actually caught myself listening to it more times than I should have. After all, Nelly is a country boy at heart (4) and his additional rap verse doesn’t deviate from the song that much at all, telling a young lass once again to kick up her feet “because that’s the way I like.” What this version of song does most importantly is fill up every other radio with FGL’s voices that didn’t have the pleasure beforehand.



When you combine the variety of elements that have gone into the cultural development of this song, it doesn’t surprise me at all that a song I heard playing at a frat party more than a year ago (5) is still the #2 download on iTunes. Cruise takes all of the basic elements in popular country and simply does it the best, in every category. While many die-hard country music fans in the area might be disappointed that a song so commercialized really is this big of a deal, the truth is that Cruise will be the most transcendent country song of this era. The cheesy Disney-esque version of lovey dovey country is what feeds the booming franchise, yet Cruise is Disney enough, with some moonshine(6) references to keep the badass boys from dismissing it. This balance of all sides creates a special place for us all to agree on (7), even if it is just during the summer with our windows rolled down.


Tell me what you think about the footnotes, they’re a little more fun than parenthesis. @RoushKSR

1. There’s something about Marshall Tucker in there.

2. If you know Ally Tucker in any way shape or form, you’ll know that only a bad soccer referee can be worse than people singing classic westerns at Chinoe. Not a bad Billy G experience, Dmitri is just too good to be sidelined by 20 something year old girls singing the Pistol Annies.

3. It may just be one of them singing, but I couldn’t tell ya the difference.

4. Even though I doubt there are many street sweeps in rural Missouri.

5. It should be noted that country music at a frat party is rarely well-placed, but yet it didn’t disappoint the crowd. That was when I first had a hunch that it was going to be a ‘big deal’.

6. There are actually ZERO references to moonshine in the song, just “sippin’ on some Southern.” While SoCo is definitely not as cool of a choice as shine, I guess “Whatever’s Comfortable.” For FGL moonshine references you can find a lot in “Get Your Shine On,” a song I originally perceived to be about sunshine.

7. Unless you hate the song and still haven’t managed to get it out of your head.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

35 Comments for Why You Can’t Get Cruise Out of Your Head

  1. Ukbradstith
    7:02 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Should have put a link for the nelly version. Better video and song sounds all around better.

  2. NorthernKYcatfan
    7:09 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Terrible song and terrible band.

    7:09 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    That was 60 seconds of my life I’ll never get back. Why 60 seconds? Because I couldn’t listen to that typical Pop Country garbage for the entire vid. Sad this passes for country .. Just the souths version of pop music if you ask me.

  4. kentuckyjoe
    7:13 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Those guys couldn’t even pick up Zac Brown’s guitar.

    7:16 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Why is this drivel being posted on a sports blog? Isn’t this the same guy who kept a running post on some idiotic reality show?

  6. Bradley
    7:17 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    4. They’ll pick it up…and then smash him over the head with it while he sits with his toes in the sand. Zach Brown? More like Zach Clown.

  7. NorthernKYcatfan
    7:24 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Florida/Georgia line isn’t a country music group. More like hip hop. Any group that willingly allows a rapper to remake their “best” song(song sucks) isn’t country. They’re a joke.

  8. Good Grief Charlie Brown
    7:30 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s raise the I.Q. of this website and don’t put any more of these crappy gimmick country songs on here.

  9. LeX
    7:30 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Jesus christ, can we at least keep the posts sports related?

  10. gcat
    8:00 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Folks who actually live on the Florida/Georgia Line would call this crap.

  11. Rei
    8:01 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    No that song is garbage. That band is even worse.

  12. ballsdeep
    8:02 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    I liked the post myself. It was well written and entertaining. Part of the reason I come to ksr is for randomness and variety of the posts. Also, what the hell is there to write about UK sports right now?

  13. Gandalf
    8:18 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Haha — Enjoyed the post. No, it wasn’t about the University of Kentucky, and no, it wasn’t about any sport of any kind, but it was a great ‘wildcard article’ about something that we all (probably) heard 20 times over the weekend. Cruise on.

  14. Yep
    8:20 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    The first 11 responders are some jealous little biotches. Good band with a few good songs.

  15. This guy
    8:26 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    If you wanna hear good country and not that pop country Nashville stuff, peak on over to the Texas Country charts. We have our own brand that’s real music, like country used to be

  16. Rockfield, KY
    8:27 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    I listened to another one of their songs from this album just to give them a fair shake, but it sounded EXACTLY LIKE THIS SONG, which equals TURRIBLE. I would rank this song somewhere in the area of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “Do You Want Fries With That”. They’re seriously dog$hit.

  17. Mr.Jagerbomb
    8:49 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    What else is there to talk about? slow time of year

  18. Lance
    8:57 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Who gives a flip what genre you label the band or their music. The song is a good song and one that will forever be linked to this summer. I will always link it to the Blue/White Game cause they were blasting it over the loud speakers during warm-ups. Ppl need to quit worrying about it being “country” music or not, and just enjoy the music. Ppl use to say the same about Garth not being country enough cause he didn’t write the same repetitive stuff that the older artist did, same thing can be said for any artest who attempts to tweak their genre and put their own spin on it. These are the same people who a few years ago were complaining because Cal’s basketball isn’t the same Kentucky basketball they were use to seeing. Now they don’t complain to much about number 8 hanging in the rafters with number 9 being knitted as week speak.

  19. gcat
    8:59 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    14-jealous of what?

  20. County-What Country
    9:10 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    How sad was that? Typical Nashville,cookie cutter, formulaic “bulls#*t”. This Guy’s(15) right.

  21. Roy Combs
    9:34 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    I am just amused that this song is a year old and it is just now taking off with radio play and popularity. It’s strange how country music and hip-hop are kinda sleeping together the past decade with Tim McGraw and Nelly, Ludacris and Jason Aldean, Nelly and Florida/Georgia Line, etc. and even the whole Cowboy Troy idea. Seems like all music is pretty much pop music any more. Great post, I think for anyone that likes music, great read. Nice job Nick, now hook us up with a BBQ at the lake house, lol!

  22. Ugh
    9:34 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if they like this more power to them. Here is my opinion. It isn’t country music. It’s pop with a few country elements and since people seem to want what is told to them is great, this is perfect. I just can’t be one of the sheep. Sure this song is infectious. You know what else is? Genital warts.

  23. Please Make It Stop!!!
    9:35 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    God, that is horrible. But we live in a world where a “band” only needs singles, not a full album’s worth of songs. Want to hear something good? Check out CentKy’s Sturgill Simpson and his new disc. Here he is with his old band Sunday Valley:

    Of the candy asses in Florida Georgia Line heard this they would piss themselves in fear.

    Educate yourselves:

  24. Today's Music is Recycled Garbage
    9:43 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    For all you musicians this song is extremely recycled, the chord progression is G-D-Em7-C

    This is the same exact chord progression Skid Row uses in ‘I Remember You’, Jason Mraz uses in ‘I’m Yours’, and countless other famous bands have used in their famous songs over and over again. So the music is completely recycled and repetitive, as well as the lyrics. Haven’t we heard enough songs about taking a girl in a truck out to the countryside with your windows rolled down?

  25. BleedBlue32
    9:49 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    George Strait, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Hank Sr., Hank Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Joe Diffie > Any of the new “country” stars Nashville produces today (looking at you Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and FGL). Seriously, how many artists use fiddle and steel anymore? And this is coming from a young guy (18 years old). Bring real country music back now!!

  26. BleedBlue32
    9:51 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    And I agree #15, Texas country is GREAT!!

  27. calej93
    11:02 pm July 8, 2013 Permalink

    The only “country” I’ll listen to is stuff like the Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Yonder Mountain String Band. (Zac Brown Band isn’t horrible.) These bands can actually jam with a Southern sound and attempt to write lyrics with some introspect, instead of another brainless ode to cars, beer, or Jesus.

    Why someone would attempt to write a post analyzing “Cruise” is beyond me.

  28. Beavis606
    8:16 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Great article. The first 10 posters need laid real bad. Pompous bitches!

  29. Rockfield, KY
    8:31 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t even bring up George Straight. The guy cannot write music, therefore is NOT a musician. He’s the puppet of a record label that buys him good songs. At least Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton write part of their own music and even sell songs to other artists.

    As for Texas Country, that’s really where you find true country talent. Stoney Larue is the tops.

  30. Michael
    8:38 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    I see that lil Wayne loaned FGL his autotuner.

  31. Bob
    8:42 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Is that the Winchesters on the cover?

  32. The Real JD
    8:42 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    2 words………….


    Look it up! Hes from Paintsville, KY and wrote some for King George, and Kenny, and a few others. The guy absolutely rocks.

  33. Doug
    9:51 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    30. Is there seriously autotune in the song? Atrocious. I won’t listen to it because I loathe that genre of music but to know it contains autotune is laughable. Fortunately for me ill never be inundated with this song, ill likely never hear it even one time, and ill forget this band even exists in two weeks or so.

  34. Young Gun
    10:51 am July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Every time this song is played, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings roll over.

  35. Good Grief Charlie Brown
    12:25 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Geez Beavis, “Great Article,” are you kiddin me? Guess you skipped the I.Q. test….Maybe you could qualify on an IU website…..