Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, “That Don’t Impress Me Much”

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February 26, 2012

1998 | Peak: #8

One of the defining aspects of Shania Twain’s music has been her propensity for inspiring women to feel as though they have a right to express themselves.

Her empowering attitude hasn’t been expressed through songs of revenge or violence, but rather, through straightforward, no-nonsense lyrics that simply cut to the point with humor and clever turns of phrase.

With some playfulness, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” follows in this no-nonsense tradition by making it clear that it takes more than a high IQ, good looks or a fancy car to truly impress this woman. Along with the straight talk, we also hear traces of amusement throughout the song, which is one of the signature endearing qualities of Twain’s music.

While the Brad Pitt reference threatens to date this somewhat quirky single, it is catchy, sing-able and one of Twain’s more country-sounding efforts.

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

Pop Version:

1999 |  Peak: #7 (U.S.); #3 (U.K.); #2 (Australia)

After scoring with two remixed hit ballads, Twain’s first uptempo pop crossover hit required a lot more work under the hood.  While the vocal track remained the same, the backing music is completely reinvented.

The synthesizer-drenched dance mix was dated even in 1999, though it gave the song a campy feel that matched the over-the-top video well.  It also made the song very appealing for international audiences.   It’s not as good as the original mix, but it does lay the groundwork for the ambitious Up! project, which uses synths a lot more effectively. – KJC

Grade: B

Next: Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

Previous: Honey, I’m Home

Country Mix:

Pop Mix:

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5 Comments

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  1. SweetcheeksNo Gravatar says:

    I like that Leeann points out that Twain’s empowering attitude doesn’t come through violence or revenge. That makes it a lot more believable and easy to sympathize with than the Miranda Lambert-schtick (“Gunpowder and Lead,”) or Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City” type songs. The songs that equate female [or male] empowerment with violence are generally not so cool (Though I do like “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks). The empowered woman that Shania represents is one I can embrace, although at times she seems obsessed with zits, pantylines, pantyhose and other such stuff. Overall, I think Shania represents a major step forward in terms of how country music represents women.

  2. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    After “Any Man of Mine” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”, I’d call this the #3 Shania Twain essential single. Excellent reviews, Leeann and Kevin.

  3. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I enjoy both versions of the song, though the country version tends to get the most play. Nice summary of the lyrics, and of the distinct Shania perspective found within. Nice work on the part of both Leeann and Kevin.

  4. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    Great review of a great song. This is definitely a feminist song without the overdrawn drama. It makes it point without going over the top.

  5. Jake JNo Gravatar says:

    Still a great song and I don’t know but I think the Brad Pitt has even more relevance today haha.

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