Review #300: Come On Over, Shania Twain

Karla Clifton
3 min readJul 29, 2022

#300: Come On Over, Shania Twain

This is a milestone record: Not only is it the best-selling studio album by a solo female artist (according to Guinness World Records), it marks me officially being done with 3/5 of the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time List. Who has done more for the musical world, me or Shania Twain? I’ll wait. (For context, there were 12 singles released off of this album — 12 of 16!)

The truth is I know all the words to every single song on this record, because the Clifton household was not untouched by the Earth-shattering power of Shania, just like T. Swift. Shania wrote the playbook on country-to-pop transitions, with assistance from her then-husband Robert “Mutt” Lange, who really goes by “Mutt” professionally. (Not to get too gossipy, but did you know that Shania Twain essentially swapped husbands with her best friend following her divorce from Lange? Anyway…)

Lange’s very 2000s production style helped make this record the smash hit it was, but it was Shania who wrote the genius lyrics for “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” which is basically Cyndi’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for adults. (By the way, for a better performance of this song, watch The Santa Clause 2.)

I’m not saying Shania is some feminist hero or anything, but I’m saying that there’s actually a lot to love here. There’s little things, like the emphasis she puts on feeling strong in “I’m Holdin’ On to Love (To Save My Life).” There’s big things, too, like the extremely silly consent anthem “If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!” The Brad Pitt shade in “That Don’t Impress Me Much” also feels extremely feminist to me, for some reason.

The most blatant Feminist Hero song, though, is actually “Honey, I’m Home,” where Shania sighs and curses like the rest of us 9-to-5ers. I love me a good role reversal, and this one is particularly delightful, with Twain getting back from a crappy workday and making her boyfriend take care of her.

Unlike 90% of the rest of the albums on the RS 500 list, we don’t have to sit through forty minutes of love songs. That said, Shania’s love songs are more syrupy than molasses mixed with honey mixed with syrup. “From This Moment On” with Bryan White makes me cringe so hard that I almost missed White’s effortless high notes. “Love Gets Me Every Time,” “You’re Still the One,” and “I Won’t Leave You Lonely” are so beautiful you can almost forgive her backup singers crooning Still the one… and the part where she speaks Spanish. Also, I do wish that she didn’t decide to close the record with “You’ve Got a Way,” the record’s sleepiest track.

It’s hard not to giggle at times, because of how dated Mr. “Mutt” Lange’s production choices are. But remember that this was released in 1997, and back then it sounded ahead of its time. But at the same time — just try not singing along to “Come On Over.” And how can you not be delighted by a song with not one but TWO exclamation points in it, like “Whatever You Do! Don’t!” Cheesy? What do you care?

But NEVER write off cheese as stupidity. Her smartest song is probably “Rock This Country!,” which celebrates America even though she’s Canadian. It sounds so jubilant and genuine that she might as well be from the American heartland. I love “When,” where she calls out Elvis and the Beatles in the same breath. “Black Eyes, Blue Tears” proves that she isn’t just trying to sell records.

Anyway. 3/5. 2/5 to go. Pour one out for Karla — I’ll be singing along to the Brad Pitt song for the next week and a half.

Song With A Message I Can’t Get Behind: “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You).” Girl, he is STALKING you.

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