Gone and done it! Now is Twain’s first full-length record in fifteen years, and has already sold 137,000 copies in the week following its release. In it, she continues to push the bounds of Country–and her fans couldn’t be more excited.
Twain (photo from vegashungover.com)
Old Meets New
In an interview with the Rolling Stone, Twain described Now as her “speaking everything that was in [my] heart and mind.” And it is. She wrote every track, which is a first for her.
What is, and isn’t, surprising is the sound of the tracks.
The first track, “Swinging with My Eyes Closed,” has some riffs that should sound familiar to long-time Twain fans. However, there are some noticeable differences between this work and the sound that drove her up the country charts.
“Swinging” also mixes in some island-sounds and has an odd mix of electronic influence against a reggae backdrop. A few of the other tracks also sample this mix. Another notable feature is the strong synthesizer and electronic mixing. It’s what one imagines a middle-aged Taylor Swift creating.
Shania Twain (photo from nypost.com)
Writing Her Truth
Twain vehemently denies that this is a “divorce album.” However, it’s difficult to imagine the lyrics having no tie at all the tumultuousness of her last fifteen years.
She divorced her husband and collaborator, Mutt Lange, after learning of his affair with her best friend. Then, in a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction twist of fate, married that woman’s ex-husband. Following that, she struggled with vocal cord issues after a battle with Lyme disease.
Taken as a whole, it isn’t difficult to see from where her new writing stems.
If you’re looking for the sound that made her famous, this isn’t it. This is a highly-stylized, overproduced work that samples from a buffet of sounds. Nonetheless, it showcases her ability to write her own words. More than anything else, Now shows that Shania still has what it takes.