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Review

Shania Twain - Now


"Canadian superstar Shania Twain returns with Now, her fifth studio album."

 

Review by Graham McCusker
Posted on 2017-10-04 12:00:08
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Five-time Grammy award-winning global superstar Shania Twain returns with ‘Now’, her first full-length album in fifteen years. The thought of a new album from the Canadian was a total non-starter until recently - after contracting dysphonia (a disease which affects the voice), Twain found her husband having an affair with her best friend. Having overcome her physical and emotional setbacks, Twain has returned doing things her way – she wrote and produced every song on the record, and specifically chose her co-producers, providing them with strict instructions with how she wanted them to sound.

After a slow start, featuring the cod-reggae of ‘Swingin’ With The Lights On’, the Canadian really kicks into gear from the halfway point, when she breaks from her comfort zone. The murky Americana of ‘Roll Me On The River’ suits her now (understandably) weathered vocal, and ‘We Got Something They Don’t’ is a slice of genuinely interesting country pop with a chorus that the likes of Lady Antebellum et al would kill for. In the world without Shania Twain, it’s easy to forget that she was the soundtrack to a whole generation in the late 90s and early 00s, with hits such as ‘Still The One’, and the inimitable ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’. Taylor Swift has clearly been influenced, particularly on her earlier material, and this is reciprocated by Twain from Swift’s newer material - ‘Poor Me’ and ‘More Fun’ could easily be mistaken for outtakes from ‘1989’.

Shania Twain had a clear modus operandi on ‘Now’ – to avoid sob stories and instead, make a fun, modern and relevant pop record. The resulting work is the sound of a reinvigorated artist heading back towards the peak of their powers. While it isn’t anywhere near perfection (the less said about the bland ‘I’m Alright’, and cliched ‘Light Of My Life’ the better), there is more than enough to suggest that there is room for Shania Twain on the landscape of modern pop music.


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