Cut You In
|"Cut You In"|
|Single by Jerry Cantrell|
|from the album Boggy Depot|
|Recorded||April - November 1997 at Studio D in Sausalito, California and Studio X in Index, Washington|
|Genre||Grunge, alternative rock|
|Producer(s)||Jerry Cantrell, Toby Wright|
|Jerry Cantrell singles chronology|
"Cut You In" is a song by American rock musician Jerry Cantrell. It was the lead single from his 1998 debut album Boggy Depot. The song reached #5 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts and remained arguably the album's best known track. In its first five days, "Cut You In" was the #1 most added track at Rock and Alternative radio with more than 1,000 spins and an audience of more than nine million. The song received airplay on major New York and Los Angeles radio stations who, in anxious anticipation, jumped the record's official release date. On Billboard's list of Top Mainstream Rock Songs of the Decade, the song ranked at #16 for the year of 1998.
Considering his previous work in Alice in Chains, "Cut You In" could be deemed unusual for Cantrell's style with its heavy use of horns performed by Angelo Moore of Fishbone. The track also includes Mike Inez on bass and begins with an acoustic guitar chord progression soon accompanied by quiet harmonized vocals. However, a little ways in, the song suddenly bursts into a loud chorus filled with shouted vocals, heavy guitar, and horns. It continues this shift from a quiet acoustic verse to a booming chorus. Cantrell recalled in an interview:
- "I was pretty hammered when I wrote that tune - I just started humming this thing I had in my head, and I grabbed this guitar I made in high school - it's a white Strat. . . I wrote it in about 20 to 30 minutes."
The song lyrically makes reference to drug users and their poor loyalty to one another. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone called the song a "brutal drug-buddy farewell."
An award-nominated music video was made to accompany the single. This features no musical performance, other than Cantrell's singing. It begins with a middle-aged man driving a 1972 Dodge Challenger down a Southwestern highway only to find Cantrell standing alone. The man picks up Cantrell, who remains laid back with one foot out the passenger window while turning the car's radio dial. They stop at a truck flipped on the side of the road, and the concerned driver hurries over to the vehicle for inspection. Cantrell, remaining seated, then takes the wheel and drives off with the man's car as the song's explosive chorus begins. He intentionally drives toward a semi-truck head-on before swerving away and stopping at a gas station.
Cantrell speaks to an attractive woman outside and enters the store, passing drummer Sean Kinney at the doorway. Another man, clearly played by Kinney with a fake mustache and sideburns, begins inspecting Cantrell's stolen car and steals it with the woman. Cantrell exits the store just in time to jump in as well. They travel to a small town where the car's constant high speed and swerving causes a small vehicular catastrophe at the dismay of observing townspeople.
The trio make their way to a roadblock created by two state patrol cars. Kinney and the woman surrender to the police and are quickly apprehended. However, Cantrell, hidden in the backseat, sneaks up to the driver's seat and takes off once again. A police chase ensues through the desert until Cantrell tosses an explosive out the window, creating a large fireball. This confuses and ultimately stops the officers who appear to think it was Cantrell's vehicle that exploded. A final shot reveals Cantrell standing alone in the desert sunset.
After hosting an online chat with Cantrell on July 22, 1998, MTV held the "Jerry Cantrell's Muscle Car Madness" contest. As a result, the winner was awarded the '72 Challenger used in the "Cut You In" video. She also won a free trip to Los Angeles to meet Cantrell backstage.
Reception and award nominations
Virtually all major editorial reviews of Boggy Depot commended the album's lead single. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine chose "Cut You In" as the sole AMG Pick off the album while Billboard called the song "propulsive." In direct response to the song, Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield commented that "[Cantrell's] songwriting has its moments." and Marc Weingarten of Guitar World and called it "a twisted samba." In relation to Cantrell's previous work, Aidin Vaziri of the San Francisco Chronicle called "Cut You In" "the next best thing to an Alice in Chains B-side."
The "Cut You In" music video was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal Clip and Best New Hard Rock/Metal Artist Clip by the 'blue ribbon panels' of the 1998 Billboard Music Awards. Cantrell was scheduled to present an award at the ceremony but canceled in favor of his rescheduled, previously canceled tour dates.
Billboard (North America)
|1998||Mainstream Rock Tracks||5|
|Modern Rock Tracks||15|
|Canadian Alternative Top 30||8|
- Next Stop, 'Boggy Depot' Columbia Records' Daily Dish (January 30, 1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- "Top Mainstream Rock Songs Of The Decade" AllBusiness.com (December 3, 1999). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- Weingarten, Marc Unchained Guitar World (June 1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- MTV Online Chat w/ Jerry Cantrell MTV (July 22, 1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas Boggy Depot Allmusic (1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- Boggy Depot Billboard (April 18, 1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- Sheffield, Rob Jerry Cantrell: Boggy Depot Rolling Stone (1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- Vaziri, Aidin Q & A with Jerry Cantrell San Francisco Chronicle (April 12, 1998). Retrieved on 7-07-09.
- October 25, 1998 Jerry Depot (October 25, 1998). Retrieved 7-07-09.
- Rock/Alternative - Volume 67, No. 9 RPM (May 25, 1998). Retrieved on 9-21-09.