“I’m Not Strong Enough to Say No“
Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 13, 1995
BlackHawk earns its final No. 1 single to date.
The Road to No. 1
After “Every Once in a While” went No. 1, BlackHawk produced three additional top ten singles: “I Sure Can Smell the Rain,” “Down in Flames,” and “That’s Just About Right.” Their final No. 1 single followed.
The No. 1
This is what a “Mutt” Lange country song sounds like when Shania Twain isn’t there to co-write and Lange doesn’t get to produce.
The hooks and the melody are there, but they’re not a good fit for BlackHawk and its lead singer’s high-pitched voice. He sounds weak and whiny, which does the regressive lyric no favors. You see, if he participates in an extramarital affair, it’s her fault for not walking away because he can’t be expected to control himself. Boys will be boys, I guess.
Given how Lange imploded his marriage to Twain many years later, this song sounds even worse in retrospect than it did at the time.
“I’m Not Strong Enough to Say No” was an early indication that Strong Enough wouldn’t live up to their debut album. Indeed, the drop off in quality caught up with them quickly.
The Road From No. 1
“Like There Ain’t No Yesterday” followed, and it went top five. After selling double platinum with their debut album, Strong Enough only made it to gold, and its next two singles missed the top ten: “Almost a Memory Now” and “Big Guitar.” Its final single missed the top forty entirely.
BlackHawk released only two singles from their third album, Love & Gravity, and they both missed the top thirty. They enjoyed one more radio hit with “There You Have it,” a top five release from their fourth album, The Sky’s the Limit.
Their Greatest Hits album produced a top forty hit, which would be their last meaningful impact on the country singles chart. The band dealt with tragedy as founding member Van Stephenson exited the band. He was suffering from skin cancer, which claimed his life in 2001.
The band has endured many lineup changes since, while releasing independent projects and continuing to tour. Their most recent release was as a duo, a Christmas album released in 2019.
“I’m Not Strong Enough to Say No” gets a C.
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