On 23 February, 1980, “Cruisin‘” by Smokey Robinson peaked at #4.
There’s a lot of lame music out there, and I’ve ben really obnoxious about it here. I’ve railed against clumsy word choice, musical tone that doesn’t match the words, and overly-polished vocals, and I’m unapologetic about it. But sometimes all those things don’t matter and you get a song that shouldn’t work but does. That’s the case with “Cruisin’” by Smokey Robinson.
Smokey Robinson just has one of those perfect voices; I’m sure he could sing “Anarchy in the UK” and send chills up your spine with its smoothness. But in his element, he’s impeccable, putting the soul into soul. Here on “Cruisin'” he’s covering similar ground as “I Second That Emotion”. Actually, “Cruisin'” could almost be a sequel to “I Second That Emotion.” In the earlier song, he sings about how he wants to love, not lust, how he wants a girl to be with him now and forever. It’s sensual and sexy, but sincere and wholesome all at the same time. Here, on “Cruisin'” it’s as if he’s got that girl, and they are together, and he’s singing about how wonderful it is that he has the now and the future; he’s in lust and in love, and it’s good for everyone involved. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and sure, the lyrics aren’t anything too special, but the whole package is special.