“It Matters to Me“
Written by Ed Hill and Mark D. Sanders
#1 (3 weeks)
January 13 – January 27, 1996
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
January 12 – January 19, 1996
Faith Hill arrives early with one of the best singles of 1996.
The Road to No. 1
After “Take Me As I Am” became the final No. 1 single from her debut album, Hill took some extra time off to recover from vocal surgery. This allowed her to be more selective for the material on her second album, It Matters to Me, which would become her only studio album to produce five top ten singles. She led the project off with “Let’s Go to Vegas,” which went top five, and followed with the title track.
The No. 1
At this point of the nineties, female artists were doing most of the creative heavy lifting. Faith Hill was part of the second wave of major female artists to break through, and like her contemporaries Martina McBride and Shania Twain, she had to strive for the high bar being set by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, Wynonna, and Trisha Yearwood.
Her growth as an artist was apparent on her second album, which only produced one No. 1 hit, but was consistently excellent from start to finish. The title track is among its best moments.
“It Matters to Me” is one of those rare songs that comes along and puts into words a human experience that hadn’t been well captured in song before. It addresses the emotional neglect embedded in the silent treatment, and how that way of fighting can be more debilitating and insidiously damaging than even the cruelest words spoken aloud.
“Baby tell me where’d you ever learn,” she wonders, “to fight without saying a word?” The chorus has a gorgeous melody and the track has a gorgeous piano hook, but “It Matters to Me” is all about that insightful lyric and Hill’s stunning vocal performance. She cracks with emotion at all the right places, while also communicating a resolve that she will not remain in a relationship that is not sustainable: “Tell me…how you can love like this, ’cause I’m not sure I can.”
This one’s an absolute classic, and among the best performances from a legend among her generation of performers.
The Road From No. 1
It Matters to Me produced three more hits: the top five “Someone Else’s Dream,” and the top tens “You Can’t Lose Me” and “I Can’t Do That Anymore.” Hill has several solo No. 1 hits still on deck, but we’ll see her next as a harmony singer on a massively successful love ballad recorded with her superstar husband.
“It Matters to Me” gets an A.
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