Music / Feature

What we’ve learned from the new Shania Twain album

With Shania Twain celebrating the release of her new album Now, we delve into her massive comeback.

It’s been fifteen years since country superstar Shania Twain released Up!, her most recent full-length album before last week’s release of Now (available to buy here). Twain made her mark on the music mainstream back around the turn of the century, long before the likes of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus were bothering the top of the charts with their country foundations. With hit singles such as the empowering Man I Feel Like A Woman, the equally feisty That Don’t Impress Me Much, and the devoted You’re Still The One, Twain blurred the lines between a niche market and worldwide acclaim.

It wasn’t just the charts that housed her success. In her career Shania Twain has celebrated a considerable number of awards, no doubt proudly placed on her mantlepiece. Her home is host to four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Album for her 1995 sophomore album The Woman In Me.

Life IS about to get good

Now, a decade and a half since Up!, Shania Twain is once again on the mainstream’s lips. Lead single Life’s About To Get Good, one of sixteen tracks on the deluxe version of the Now, carries with it her newfound enthusiasm. Bursting with immediate joyful tones, it marks the end of a rocky period in Twain’s life. Her now well documented battle with Lyme disease almost cost her her voice. She won, returning to Las Vegas for a two year residency, before her comeback tour proper in 2015. Two years later, life is about to get to get even better.

 

A change in times

Country has come a long way since Shania first broke through the invisible barrier, one which led album Come on Over to become one of the best selling albums of all time (regardless of genre), and which still sees Twain sit comfortably in the upper echelons of female singers. The genre has become one with the everyday, merging into pop culture at every turn. Nashville beams the fictitious melodramatics of the industry into households across the globe. Taylor Swift, although having severed musical ties with her traditional roots, still carries the genre in her heart.

On Now, Shania Twain holds onto it firmly. It’s not too far removed from the music which allowed her to explode into the mainstream. On album closer All In All, Twain defiantly sings: “All in all there’s nothing new, I’m still myself but I’ve changed, things I always thought were strange aren’t that strange at all.” It’s testament to the forward-thinking that has allowed Shania to reach these heights. It may be new, but it clings tightly to the heart and soul of country music, not least when she strips it right back for her powerful and still iconic balladry.

 

A voice never lost

Despite her health battles, Twain returns on top form. Towards the start of September, she returned to UK shores for the first time in a decade to perform at the BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. The comparably short “special guest” billing allowed her to ease in gently, performing just seven tracks. Yet the energy was immediate. Launching into That Don’t Impress Me Much, Shania hinted that her hit filled past will not just be honoured in future live performances, but celebrated.

Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed, one of two new tracks making their live UK debut in Hyde Park, was met with thunderous voices responding with every word. The song’s title far from the truth, Shania Twain has her eyes wide open. Now is proof of her longstanding passion and ability.

 

New album Now is available to buy here. Shania Twain will be touring the UK on the following dates:

21 September 2018 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
22 September 2018 – Manchester Arena, Manchester
24 September 2018 – Birmingham Arena, Birmingham
26 September 2018 – 3Arena, Dublin
29 September 2018 – The SSE Arena, Belfast
2 October 2018 – The O2, London

Remaining tickets are available through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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