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CD Review: Shania Twain - Now

Shania Twain -Now

1. Swingin' With My Eyes Closed.
2. Home Now
3. Light Of My Life
4. Poor Me
5. Who's Gonna Be Your Girl
6. More Fun
7. I'm Alright
8. Roll Me On The River
9. We Got Something They Don't
10. You Can't Buy Love
11. Life's About To Get Good
12. Soldier

It's the comeback sensation of the year: One of the world's most famous singers, Shania Twain, has just released her new album „Now“ after a break of 15 years.
Before analyzing this new piece of music, let's take a look at the artist's life and career: Shania Twain was born in Ontario/Canada in 1965, her original name being Eilleen Regina Edwards. She chose the indian word „Shania“ as her first name, her last name „Twain“ being the name of her stepfather Jerry Twain, who died in an accident in 1987, together with her mother.
Her musical career began in 1993 with the first album „Shania“, which was already a millionseller, while the second album „The Woman In Me“ was even sold 12 million times.
Originally playing and singing countrymusic, Shania entered the world of popmusic, when her 1997 album „Come On Over“ was remixed in countrypopstyle.
„Come On Over“ was extremely successful, with 34 million copies being sold, and several tracks were released as single records (e.g. „That don't impress me much“, „You're still the one“, „Man! I feel like a woman“), which all hit the popcharts all over the world.
In 2002 Shania released her platinum album „Up“, which lead her further on her way to success.
After that there was just a „Greatest Hits“ album in 2004, and then nothing new for more than ten years, due to familiar reasons and health problems.
As a lot has happened to Mrs Twain in this long period, the new album „Now“ is an attempt to process the shadows of the past with the conclusion that all negative aspects will be followed by positive ones.
So „Now“ sounds rather optimistic, the first track being called „Life's About To Get Good“.
In spite of  the sad title „Poor Me“ (about Shania's separation from her husband), there is a positive message above all.
The 12 songs, all composed by herself, all sound quite different, from rockstyle („We Got Something They Don't Want“), to retrosound („Who's Gonna Be Your Girl“), a piece of irish folk-influenced music („Home Now“) and of course some calmer tracks, „Soldier“ (accompanied by a Billy Joel style piano) being my favourite title on the album.
Shania's vocal versatility is best heard on „Light Of My Life“ and her voice makes listening to this new album generally pleasant, though there is no track which sounds like a chartbreaker.
So I doubt that „Now“ will be as commercially successful as previous Shania Twain albums, though a lot of people will probably be glad that Shania is back after 15 years.

Alexander Schulz-Luckenbach für Country Music News International

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