First, a disclaimer.
I like Miranda Lambert. I really do like her. She is a talented vocalist, and a smart insightful songwriter. She is one of the most interesting and artistically credible of the artists currently favored by country radio, and I await each of her new releases with a significantly higher level of interest than I show toward many of her contemporaries.
Written by Taylor Swift
With the sixth single from Speak Now (which only appears on the deluxe edition), Swift goes for a raw understated style in both production and vocal, and it suits her quite well. Though regularly criticized for weak vocals, particularly in a live setting, “Ours” is an instance in which Swift is able to work with her vocal imperfections instead of against them. She turns in a disarmingly compelling performance, such that even the technical imperfections serve to enhance the emotional qualities of the song, as opposed to being a serious liability as in times past. The treatment allows Swift’s natural authenticity and sincerity instead to be the focus of attention.
1997 | #1
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s first studio collaboration is still one of their best (“one of” – “I Need You” is even better). I’ve never been a huge fan of power ballads, but I probably would be if they all sounded as great as this.
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 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.