We’re pretty excited. We got a hold of the brand new album from Shania Twain yesterday, entitled Now, and gave it a good listen.
It’s been a long time coming, 15 years in fact, since Shania has released a studio album. This is one big project from Shania. A huge 16 track album that offers some new sound and style from the queen of country pop, but also enough of the Shania Twain we all know and expect to make it comfortably familiar.
Some of the differences listeners will notice is she sings a little deeper into her register at times. She attributes this to her diagnosis with dysphonia which caused her to lose her voice. It can also cause raspiness and deepened tone. There’s also a little more of an electro-pop feel to some of the tunes. But it works.
The album kicks off with “Swinging With My Eyes Closed” which sounds much like a exclamation of personal empowerment. In fact I sense that many of the tracks found their genesis from all the personal challenges Twain has faced over the years. She had a very publicized marriage breakup, and her ordeal with dysphonia, which she says was caused by Lyme Disease amongst the troubles. She really had to work hard to get her singing voice back – which must terrify any vocalist.
“Swinging…” is a solid song and gives a good lift to the listener. The opening riff certainly sounds like vintage Twain before taking on a reggae beat and taking us on our journey into Now.
So when I listen to Now, I feel we are getting Shania singing from her heart and soul. She truly opens that up in songs of heartbreak like “Poor Me” but also takes us to the opposite end of the spectrum with personal affirmations in “Life’s About To Get Good” (the first release to radio) and “I’m Alright”. Perhaps this has helped lead her to a state of healing.
Twain mixes tempos throughout the album, and mixes the vibe from soft and subtle ( like the beautiful Because Of You) to harder and punchier at times. It really shows her versatility and perhaps as stated, reflects her emotional ups and downs over the last many years.
I think that for a hard-core country purest, they may not fully warm up to all the tracks on Now, (such as the pop “Lets Kiss and Make Up”) but let’s face it, Shania has been anything but traditional country for many years. And that’s ok. She crossed over back during her Up! era and never looked back. Why would she? She has a fan base in more than one genre (for those who need to use labels). Her music is strong, her persona is larger than life and her last concert tour (Rock This Country Tour) was a smash success. I know, I was there.
I predict that when she hits the road for her Now Tour, she will enjoy sold out shows and will deliver an unforgettable night of Shania Twain music that will cater to all her fans, new and old.
I personally cannot wait to hear her sing “I’m Home Now” when she hits Toronto. Because for me that will be a huge “yes, yes you are Shania”.
This new album gives us Shania “now”, with a touch of Shania “then”. She’s been away from the mainstream music spotlight for quite a while. Her voice is a little changed, but still strong, and in true Shaina Twain form she took total control of this album project by setting down the guide lines for the musicians and producers who worked with her. They were to totally forget about her previous work and focus on creating something fresh and new. Well, for the lady who enjoyed unparalleled successes with her first few album releases from years back, and who really forged the path to country pop that many have followed behind her: yup, mission accomplished. Two thumbs up on this new album from me. 👍🏻👍🏻
For more information on Shania’s Now Tour 2018, click HERE!
And as always, stick with Tour Bus Entertainment to keep you updated with all things Shania Twain.
Scott Burns / @ScottBurnsImages