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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shania Twain "Any Man Of Mine" Song Analysis

A number of readers have asked for song analysis of more country music and Mutt Lange productions. Here's both in one song with Shania Twain's "Any Man Of Mine." This was the first #1 for Shania as well as her first crossover into Top 40 radio. The song was the second single from her 1995 breakthrough album The Women In MeAs with all song analysis, we'll look at the song itself, the arrangement, the sound and the performance.

The Song
"Any Man Of Mine" is a pretty formula pop song wrapped in country instruments like fiddle and steel guitar. The form is simple, yet the arrangement makes it interesting and different. The song form looks like this:

Intro, Verse, B Section, Chorus, Half-intro, Verse, B Section, Chorus, Solo, Chorus, Outro

The solo is taken over half a chorus while the outro is just the intro repeated over and over.

The Arrangement
The arrangement is what really makes this song go, and it's a Mutt Lange trademark. His productions are always dense and you can bet if there's a hole between vocal lines he'll find something to tastefully fill it with. As far as song development is concerned, listen to how the verse starts out sparse and gradually gets larger as it goes along and instruments are introduced. Also, listen to how the 2nd verse develops so it's different from the first.

  * The Foundation: Bass and drums

  * The Pad: The steel guitar, but it's subtle.

  * The Rhythm: The fiddle actually serves dual duty with the lead by pushing the motion of the song along.

  * The Lead: Lead vocal and fiddle in intro and outro.

  * The Fills: In the chorus it switches between guitar, fiddle and steel.
The Sound
This album was one of the first batch of "new country" contemporary sounding records that used serious rock and pop techniques combined with traditional country instruments. When have you ever heard a John Bonham-like kick on a country record before? Well there's one here. And in the verse the snare is doubled with claps with a nice long reverb, which is far from traditional country.

Another of Mutt's trademarks is sonic layering, which you'll find everywhere in this song. First of all there's a good amount of reverb on the vocal but it blends so well into the track that you don't hear it, but listen to the guitar slides and fills during the first verse - dry as a bone so they seem like they're right in front of you. The background vocals also go from Shania singing a harmony with herself to big Def Leopard-like answer vocals. You can learn a lot about production from this record for sure.

The Performance
While all of the performances here are top flight, Shania's vocal does stand out, especially the ad libs. Everything is just great and disciplined playing.

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1 comment:

Steve said...

Mutt is one helluva producer.


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