First Hit #1: November 11, 1989
Some songwriters are distinctly themselves no matter who is singing their songs. Diane Warren is one of those, her songs are Diane Warren songs, no matter who is in the band or who is singing the words. Big, aggressively sentimental power ballads, it’s what she does, and she has built an incredibly lucrative career on them. Bad English might be singing When I See You Smile, but it’s difficult to get a sense of who the band actually is from the song. Then again, even a band like Aerosmith couldn’t quite sound like themselves when performing their own rendition of a Warren song – more on that in the future – so it’s not so unexpected that a band cobbled together from the bits of other bands couldn’t pull it off.
Which isn’t to say it’s a bad sentimental power ballad, Warren is kind of an expert at the form, and though she does err on the side of cheese to an extent, the songs sell so she must connect with someone. It’s just not distinct, a song like many others out there, most of them penned by Warren herself.