The song doesn’t actually start until 3:30. While the spoken word stuff here is less annoying than it is on a lot of videos, it’s still spoken word stuff, and therefore pretty annoying.
Really, the only person who can get away with doing spoken words in a video is Lady Gaga. Not because it’s any less annoying, but because with her it’s more like she’s portraying an artist who does spoken word stuff in the giant performance-art piece that is her pop-music career. So it’s less about the actual words that are spoken, and more about their mere presence and what that signifies. Or something like that.
Anyway, if you’re not Lady Gaga, cut it out with the spoken words in your music videos. If you can’t get the song’s message across without resorting to a tedious preamble, then you need to go back to songwriter school.
But so I really dig this song. She sings low and detached in the slow, serious verses, and then she builds to a high, breezy vocal through the bridge to the ecstatic chorus. And this contrast really makes you feel the enormous distance between her unhappy life before the road and the euphoria of just riding. At least that’s how I feel when I’m listening to it. And then I start thinking about California and reach for my car keys.
I also love that she’s sleeping with all of these grizzled old biker dudes in the video (even that really creepy shot where she’s in the dude’s lap and he’s brushing her hair). I mean, who else does that?
And that jacket/jean shorts combo when she’s outside the gas station smoking is phenomenally cool. God, I want to be that fucked-up person.