Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, “You’re Still the One”

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

Grade:  A

Next:  From This Moment On

Previous:  Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

The video below features the International version of the song.  Click here to hear the country radio version.

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7 Comments

Filed under Retro Single Reviews, Single Reviews

7 Responses to Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, “You’re Still the One”

  1. Michael A.No Gravatar

    I consider myself to be a Shania fan so maybe this is blasphemous, but… this song has just never done it for me. Frankly, it kind of bores me.

  2. GatorNo Gravatar

    Personally, I think the lyric was pretty outstanding with it’s simple, earnest observations of love being more powerful than some deep metaphor, and when mixed with Mutt’s counter chorus, her vocals reach a level of beauty and emotion that is truly remarkable and is missing from every other monster crossover hit in history. To add to how remarkable this song truly is, Billboard actually called this the 3rd best country song of it’s history, if i remember correctly, which while a bit of an overstatement is also understandable at the same time. Finally this is without a doubt her third best single and one of the definitive love songs of all time.

  3. I have always preferred her “other” wedding song, “From This Moment On” to this one.

  4. It’s interesting how “You’re Still the One” and “From This Moment On” are similar in some ways, and different in others. “From This Moment On” is about the beginning of a relationship, and is essentially a wedding vow set to music, while “You’re Still the One” seems to be more from the perspective of a long-married couple looking back on years of marriage. “You’re Still the One” has a bit of an edge for me personally, but I do enjoy both.

  5. ThomasNo Gravatar

    I really like this song, always have. Maybe it’s Shania’s vocals that do it for me? Like Ben, I LOVE the version with the steel guitar. For me, it is the only version. Great review Ben!

  6. Thanks for reading, Thomas!

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