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Up - Shania Twain
 - Shania Twain
 More of this Feature
• CD Review: Up - Shania Twain
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Reviewed by Matt Bjorke

She's released three ("Shania Twain," "The Woman In Me" and "Come On Over") CDs. All are platinum. The last two have sold 12 and 19 million copies, respectively. She's been on a world wide tour once. She's the leader of the current "Country crossover" phenomenon. She obviously is Shania Twain.

Her first album had 10 tracks, her second had 12, her third had 17 and her latest, "Up!" has 19. Actually, you could say it has 38 tracks because there's a color coded pair of discs. There's the "green" country version, and the "Red" pop version. This is an ambitious endeavor for an artist to partake in. Most artists of Shania's stature wouldn't want to record two different versions of their stuff, they'd just remix them. Shania doesn't like remix albums so she and her producer/co-writing hubby, R.J. "Mutt" Lange, recorded separate mixes, well actually they recorded three mixes with a "blue" eastern/world mix being done for the Asian market.. For our site here, I will obviously be reviewing the "green" CD.

Starting off the record is the title track "Up" More or less bridging the last album with the new one, "Up!" is a banjo and fiddle laced up-tempo track about keeping a good outlook on life, even when everything seems to be going very wrong. The production is solid and Shania's tone is as good as ever vocally.

The first single off the collection, "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" is a playful little track. It's not meant to be a "meaty" song. It's pure ear candy from beginning to end. I know that cliché's used a lot but it really applies well to this song. The twin fiddles, like her previous two records, are all over this cut.

Three tracks in and we find ourselves with a song with substance and the meat that "Getcha Good" lacked. "She's Not Just A Pretty Face" is a song about women having more substance than they may appear to, this track is laced with Paul Franklin's steel guitar I really love this song and feel strong about its chances as a single.

"Ain't Any Particular Way" is a song with a sound that is strikingly similar to something off of Faith's Cry CD. The difference here is that Shania and Mutt keep the banjo, mandolin, fiddle and steel guitar amped way up with the drum machine. The lyrics are about not being able to run from love.

"Nah!" is a cool song with a rhythm section similar to something off of recent albums by Mark McGuinn, Rascal Flatts and Anthony Smith. The lyrics are about a woman who decides not to fret over a relationship that is broken by her ex. Anyone who's been dumped unexpectedly can relate to this track.

"Thank You Baby! (For Making Someday Come So Soon)" has a wordy title but is a nice mid-tempo ballad. Shania is singing about being thankful for her special man for coming along when she least expected it. Musically, the song is contemporary yet is full of that lovely pedal steel guitar.

"Waiter! Bring Me Some Water!" is a cute little song about a woman who doesn't like her man's "wandering eye." This is as fluffy as lyrics get but it's still nice to hear a country song, even with its Asian influenced sound, not take itself seriously.

"What A Way To Wanna Be" is this album's version of "Honey, I'm Home." This song is about woman realizing that they don't have to look perfect all the time. There's plenty of rhyming going on here to keep this catchy song a contender for radio airplay.

With all the elements, "I Ain't Goin' Down" is one heck of a country song. There are no loud guitars, there's loads of steel guitar and mandolin along with a wonderful country lyric about a woman who gets pregnant young only to follow her faith that everything will be alright in the end. As the best song on the album, I sure hope it gets a chance at radio airplay.

Looking for that one love ballad like "You're Still The One?" The album closer, "When You Kiss Me" is it. There's some stupendous mandolin and steel guitar textures overlaid by a wonderful chorus lyric.

Sure, Shania's been gone for a long time, but with more albums like Up! she's sure to continue to be one of the music world's biggest stars. There's nothing on the "green" CD that says Shania isn't one fine modern country music singer. If you like any of her previous albums or mainstream country music, go ahead and get yourself this album. Heck, you may even like the "red" pop CD too.

Song List:

  1. Up!
  2. I'm Gonna Getcha Good!
  3. She's Just Not a Pretty Face
  4. Juanita
  5. Forever and for Always
  6. Ain't No Particular Way
  7. It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing
  8. Nah!
  9. (Wanna Get to Know You) That Good!
  10. C'est la Vie
  11. I'm Jealous
  12. Ka-Ching!
  13. Thank You Baby! (For Makin' Someday Come So Soon)
  14. Waiter! Bring Me Water!
  15. What a Way to Wanna Be!
  16. I Ain't Going Down
  17. I'm Not in the Mood (To Say No)!
  18. In My Car (I'll Be the Driver)
  19. When You Kiss Me

Audio clip courtesy of Shania Twain's Official Website.
Album cover, used with permission of Mercury Nashville.

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