Come On Over – Shania Twain – 1998
First listen?: Yes and No. I’ve definitely heard all 16 tracks, but not as an ‘album’.
‘Let’s Go Girls!’ The undisputed Queen of Country, it’s still pretty ridiculous to consider the global impact that Shania Twain had. There is no other country act who has seen UK success like this, not Dolly, not Garth Brooks, not even Taylor Swift who needed to ditch the genre to really take off here. For two years UK radio was full of the hits from Come On Over, Man! I Feel Like A Woman, That Don’t Impress Me Much, When and You’re Still The One had major crossover appeal and still see heavy rotation over 17 years on. The album is a masterclass in how to mix your album to suit each market, everything is a bit rockier on the Pop Edition than the Country version, it’s what allowed Shania to find a space in the UK market in the space leftover from Alanis and side by side with The Corrs. The album holds up incredibly well too, Come On Over is stacked with amazing country pop songs. The ordering makes it work incredibly well as a full listen to, Man! and That Don’t Impress Me Much appear much later in the tracklist than I expected they would. Shania can pull of a country stomper worthy of any wedding party playlist, but she’s also got the ‘first dance’ down too; You’re Still The One being one of the best country ballads of the decade. Honey I’m Home went on to be one of my unexpected favourites, thumping verses make for a ridiculously catchy and full honky tonk chorus. Come On Over is full of songs like this, it really is the blueprint for modern country. The influence of this album can’t be overstated. I doubt at the time that anyone was expecting country music to crossover into the mainstream as much as it has done. Acts like Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and even someone like Avicii owe at lot to the success of Come On Over. The blueprint for the crossover hit, Come On Over is still to this day is one of country’s finest and most notably its biggest moment.
Will I listen again?: Yes!
Best Track: I was going to go for You’re Still The One here, one of my all time favourite country songs, but I just couldn’t choose that over That Don’t Impress Me Much. The iconic music video doesn’t harm it either.