After the enormous success of the Up! project, Shania Twain released a top-selling Greatest Hits album in 2004, which spawned three singles. She then embarked on an extended hiatus before returning in 2011 with a new single and a reality series on The Oprah Winfrey Network. In this set of retro single reviews, we’ll take a look at Twain’s six most recent single releases to date.
“Party for Two” (with Billy Currington or Mark McGrath)
The first single from Twain’s Greatest Hits package was her last Top 10 country hit to date, but only the second Top 10 hit for her then-up-and-coming duet partner Billy Currington. The premise is shamelessly silly, as are the spoken word intro and the “You’ll be sexy in your socks” line, but Twain and Currington sell it with flair. Twain delivers her verses with a flirty, playful performance, while Currington renders his with the same laid-back smolder that would become his calling card at country radio.
As the title suggests, Clay Walker’s latest single plays out like the alternate ending to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s fiery “Like We Never Loved At All.” Whereas the latter finds the woman agonizing over her ex moving on, “Like We Never Said Goodbye” tackles a smaller, more predictable range of emotions as its characters rekindle their relationship over wine. On paper, it’s the less interesting road taken.
The countdown concludes. Scroll down to the bottom to hear samples of each song and to share your comments.
Top 40 Singles of 2011, Part Four: #10-#1
Love Done Gone
Individual Rankings: #1 – Leeann; #1 – Jonathan; #13 – Tara
While many might get caught up in Billy Currington’s smoldering love songs, he’s really most effectively charming when he loosens up and has a little fun. While “Love Done Gone” is technically about lost love, Currington’s breezy performance along with the festive horns makes it seem more freeing than heartbreaking. As a result, the song turns out to be his most compelling since “Good Directions.” – Leeann Ward
The 11th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll has just been published by Nashville Scene. It covers the 2010 year of country music. The participants of the poll consists of country music critics who spend their time listening to and analyzing stacks of music throughout the year in order to knowledgeably write about it for the purpose of either promoting excellent music or warning against the not so good stuff. Kevin, Dan and Tara are among these prestigious critics.
Each year, invited critics submit their ballots with their favorite music and artists in the appropriate categories. The poll includes the best albums, singles, male and female artists, reissues, live acts, duos and groups, songwriters, new acts, and the over all artists of the year. While the results include the usual suspects, they are mixed with some surprises or names that aren’t commonly associated with mainstream country.
Some of my favorite results include Raul Malo tied at #8 with Gary Allan for top males and Elizabeth Cook at #2 for top females, not to mention Sunny Sweeney’s “From A Table Away” landing at the #3 spot for singles. The most amusing result, however, is Jamey Johnson and Taylor Swift in the top two spots for songwriters.