Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Collin Raye, “I Can Still Feel You”

“I Can Still Feel You”

Collin Raye

Written by Tammy Hyler and Kim Tribble


#1 (1 week)

July 25, 1998

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

July 10, 1998

Collin Raye previews his fifth studio album.

The Road to No. 1

After going to No. 1 with “What the Heart Wants,” the lead single from his first hits collection, he pulled another top five hit from that set: “Little Red Rodeo.” Raye then previewed his fifth studio album for Epic, which would produce his final two No. 1 singles to date.

The No. 1

This is the weaker of those two chart-topping singles, but “I Can Still Feel You” is still significantly better than most of his hits from the back end of the nineties.

There’s a real urgency to it, with a pulsating groove that heightens the paranoia of the lyric.  Raye leans into that feeling with his vocal performance, and the end result is…a country spin on Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

It works far better than that comparison implies.  Thankfully, there’s no cameo from Michael Jackson on the chorus.

The Road From No. 1

Raye will close out 1998 with his final No. 1 single of the decade, and of his career to date.

“I Can Still Feel You” gets a B+.


Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Kenny Chesney, “That’s Why I’m Here” |

Next: Clint Black, “The Shoes You’re Wearing”


  1. Rather than sounding like a versatile vocalist, competent and comfortable with different styles, subjects, and sounds, Raye always sounded like he was reaching for his signature sound as a b-level country star. He seemed to always be reinventing himself, or marketing a new brand. To my ears, he never settled into himself. This song certainly works as a stand alone entry on the charts for the reasons already identified, but I am not sure what it did for his career development or his musical identity. As has been mentioned previously, he seemed perpetually pulled between sentimental, traditional ballads and attempts at an edgier, more
    aggressive and contemporary sound.

      • Which is quite ironic given that Collin was a pretty big critic of bro-country around 2014-2015. However, he has backpedaled from those comments in more recent years claiming that he was “forced” to say those things by some producer or whatever for publicity for his new book (rolls eyes). Given some the cringey uptempo songs he did in the mid 90’s, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he would’ve caved in to recording bro-country if he was in his 20’s or 30’s in the 2010’s. 2000’s “She’s All That,” (which thankfully bombed) is definitely one of the earliest examples of bro-country I can think of, imo.

        I do think “I Can Still Feel You” does a great job of combining his softer, sensitive side with his more aggressive rock driven side very well, though, which is another reason why it works for me.

  2. I’m with Tyler and truth on this being one of my top favorite Collin Raye songs! It still sounds so good and fresh today. This kind of late 90’s contemporary country is soooo right up my alley, and I wish we had gotten more of it before the genre went south after 2002 or 2003.

    One thing I’ve come to truly love and appreciate about this song in more recent years is its unique sound and style. For me, it’s easily Collin’s most cool sounding record, and despite it being a post breakup song, it’s also full of charm. I absolutely love the alternative rock influence all over here! And I really love the unique and quirky melody. This was especially such a change in style for Collin when it came out, which I noticed right away. It really worked, though (imho), and I think it suits Raye’s tenor voice very well and he nails the paranoia and confusion of the lyrics. On the very last “I can still feel you’s” near the end, it even sounds like he’s desperately wanting to somehow still feel her presence. I even love the little bits of humor and creativity in the verses, like when he sings “I thought I’d forget you, but I guess I forgot to” in the second verse and in the first verse: “Your memory’s like a ghost, and my heart is its host”.

    I just love the instrumentation throughout, as well, from the in your face, aggressive rock style drumming, the excellent guitar work, and that very cool sounding fiddle solo, which is probably one of the most unique and contemporary sounding fiddle solos of the 90’s. Even the background vocals are badass here, and I especially love how they echo “I can still feel yoooouuuuu” right before Collin does his “Yeaahhhh!” at the very end.

    The video for “I Can Still Feel You” is also not only a perfect match for the song’s quirky charm and paranoid lyrics, but also they completely nailed the location and atmosphere. Even before I ever saw the video, I always pictured being in the city whenever I heard this song, and I really miss this kind of contemporary country that sounds just as good when walking through the city as it is when driving through a more country area. In the video I love how it repeatedly shows Collin bumping into the same guy on his shoulder at different times of the day. And the whole idea of him chasing after that mysterious woman in the red dress in circles around the city, only to end up back at square one each time, is such a cool way of representing the narrator’s paranoia and confusion, as well as his longing to “feel” her again.

    The main memory “I Can Still Feel You” always brings back for me is when my mom, step dad, and I flew to California in August of 1998, shortly before my 7th grade year. It was even one of the songs featured on the plane’s country music playlist on the flight to there and again back home. I also particularly always associate this song with the time not long after my parents and I saw the movie Small Soldiers that summer, which I loved, and is still one of my personal favorite movies of ’98. It even reminds me of the time when we were in California, we went to Universal Studios where I got to meet and have my picture taken with some of the characters from the movie. :) I sometimes still picture us driving through Orange County, CA whenever I hear this song, as well.

    A little later after that vacation, just after my very first day in 7th grade, “I Can Still Feel You” was still getting insane amounts of recurrent airplay. I remember hearing it in the car with my dad that afternoon after he picked me up, and as the song was playing, I was still thinking and feeling nervous about this writing assignment that my English teacher expected us to do every week that year. It turned out not to be so bad at all, but it certainly did force a lot of us to try to get super creative when the well of ideas on what to write about started running dry later in the year, lol.

    “I Can Still Feel You” also just brings back all sorts of other great memories from the Summer of ’98 for me, and it’s one of many songs that’s the soundtrack to my life from that time. I also remember hearing it during the mini vacation to Lancaster, Pennsylvania that my mom, dad, and I went on not long after I graduated from 6th grade, which was such another great time for me. It especially reminds me of when we went to the Park City Mall in Lancaster, which was when I really started to love going there. Oh, and it also reminds me of reading my favorite Goosebumps book that summer called I Am Your Evil Twin, which my Dad bought for me while we were in PA. :)

    Thankfully, “I Can Still Feel You” ended up being a strong recurrent for us well into the 2000’s before I really started giving up on country radio. I remember around the mid 00’s, whenever I’d hear it, I’d always wish that’s what contemporary country still sounded like instead of the chicken fried metal, “I’m Country” checklist and frat boy, ultra macho style of country that it was quickly turning into then.

    I’m also REALLY looking forward to the next Collin Raye entry, which is another one of my top favorites of his.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.