Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Gospel recordings were becoming all the rage in the nineties, particularly with female artists.
Sometimes it seemed like they just wanted a big showpiece for the CMA awards. Dolly Parton and Pam Tillis had performed with enormous choirs behind them in 1991 and 1994, respectively. These were, perhaps, the only times in CMA history that the demographics on stage accurately reflected greater metropolitan Nashville.
1996 | #28
In the years after the release of Shania’s runaway success of an album The Woman In Me, she largely focused her creative efforts on relentlessly positive upbeat pop-country material, rarely delivering sorrowful country ballads.
But in listening to the ballads included on The Woman In Me, it’s easy to wish that Shania had offered a few more such efforts in following years. Country heartbreak was not a style that she did often, but it was definitely something that she could do well.
Over jaunty acoustic guitar strums, Shania Twain reflectively sings, “Am I dreamin’ or stupid? I think I’ve been hit by Cupid, but no one needs to know right now.”
While that first stanza reasonably acknowledges that something might be amiss, Twain matter-of-factly plows ahead to reveal all the plans that she’s been making regarding the future with the special someone that she’s found, which includes the intimate details of wedding plans, kids and even pets.
1995 | Peak: #1
By now, “Any Man of Mine” has become such a familiar Shania classic that it’s easy to take for granted what a bold artistic move it was at the time.
Though feminist viewpoints previously had surfaced in country music at times through the likes of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, they were the exception rather than the rule in 1995. In the early to mid-nineties, it was more common for female artists like Reba to be topping the charts with sad songs that often cast the woman as the victim.