December 2, 2011
1998 | #1
As the story goes, “You’re Still the One” was inspired by media speculation that Shania Twain’s marriage to Robert John “Mutt” Lange would not last. Twain and Lange decided to respond to the criticism in song. The result was a song that would become a monster crossover hit, a staple for weddings and anniversaries for years to come, an instant standard of nineties country and pop music, and one of the songs that would go on to define Twain’s unique and outstanding career.
The song was remixed into a massive international pop hit, and was a major factor in powering the Come On Over album to such staggering sales numbers. Still, the song is best heard in its original country form for one simple reason: Any song celebrating an enduring relationship deserves steel guitar backing.
Like many a classic country song, “You’re Still the One” utilizes simple and straightforward lyrics to tap into varying emotions. “You’re Still the One” is a song of joy, triumph, satisfaction, and most of all, a celebration of endless love. Though it’s likely a song of personal nature to Twain, it’s constructed in a way that allows any couple to hear the song as their own story set to music.
It’s Twain’s performance, however, that lifts the song into the heavens. Twain was never known for being a powerhouse vocalist like contemporaries such as Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Faith Hill (and was even dismissed as a sub-par vocalist by some detractors). But “You’re Still the One” demonstrates the fact that Twain brought her own unique set of gifts as a vocalist. She invests deep shades of emotions into her lower register throughout her hushed delivery of the opening verses. Two choruses and one steel guitar solo later, she lets her voice rise as if releasing every ounce of the deep love and triumph that was previously conveyed understatedly. Such a layered dynamic rendering is a fine example of Twain’s formidable, yet often overlooked skills as a vocal interpreter, as well as a testament to everything she got right as a songwriter and vocalist.
Sadly, Twain and Lange’s marriage eventually did dissolve a decade later. Regardless, the song’s deep impact is untempered. “You’re Still the One” remains an anthem for any couple who has ‘beaten the odds together,’ with my own parents being one such couple. Songs become hits, and songs fade into obscurity, but this one has been around for thirteen years, and still shows no signs of ever being forgotten.
Written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange
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The video below features the International version of the song. Click here to hear the country radio version.