“I Can Love You Like That”
John Michael Montgomery
Written by Maribeth Derry, Steve Diamond, and Jennifer Kimball
#1 (3 weeks)
April 22, May 6 – May 13, 1995
John Michael Montgomery completes his big ballad trilogy.
The Road to No. 1
John Michael Montgomery is enjoying his longest run of consecutive No. 1 singles during this time period. After the final two singles from Kickin’ it Up went No. 1, he scored two more No. 1 hits with the first two singles from his third album, John Michael Montgomery.
The No. 1
“I Can Love You Like That” is the third of Montgomery’s three mega-ballad hits. He’ll do a lot more of these songs, but it was “I Love the Way You Love Me,” “I Swear,” and “I Can Love You Like That” that powered his first three albums to multi-platinum sales, a level he wouldn’t return to after those first three releases.
It was hard to evaluate this one independently from the earlier two back in 1995, and it isn’t much easier now. This isn’t even the only one that was a big hit by All-4-One. Just like “I Swear,” they sang this one better than him, too.
It’s a competent ballad with a bit more pathos than its two predecessors, simply because there is a little bit of tension here. “If you give me a chance,” he sings, “I can love you like that.” This suggests that the relationship he’s singing about might not have gotten out of the starting gate yet.
Of the three, “I Love the Way You Love Me” has the most specificity and “I Swear” has the grandest scale. This feels very much like a threequel that the success of those two made a business-minded inevitability, though I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t enjoy this more than the other two if it had come out first.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t put any of them on a John Michael Montgomery mixtape of my own. He has some fantastically underrated singles that don’t qualify for this feature. Such was the state of the charts by the mid-1990s.
The Road From No. 1
He’s got another No. 1 on deck this year, and it’s a tongue-twister. We’ll cover it very soon.
“I Can Love You Like That” gets a B-.
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