Never in my life have I
seen so many exclamation points as there are in the song listing for Shania
Twain's latest. There are nineteen song titles on Up! and ten
exclamation points. It's almost like a teenaged girl's diary.
Shania has a long history of unwieldy titles anyway, and this album's "I'm Not
In The Mood (To Say No!)," "Wanna Get To Know You (That Good!)" and "Waiter!
Bring Me Water!" continue the tradition.
A tradition Twain and
writer/producer/husband "Mutt" Lange (Bryan Adams, Def Leppard) don't stick to
is country music. What little vestiges of the roots were ever in Twain's
previous albums are pretty much sanded away.
This is a pop-rock album,
That's fine, Twain is a pretty good pop singer and songwriter,
and if her stunning looks get her sometimes inconsequential songs more notice
than they may deserve, she does not in any way embarrass herself.
are some real fine pop tunes on Up! including the Byrdsy jangle-pop of
the title track, the flamenco-laced "Juanita," The Corrs sound-alike
"Thank You Baby! (For Making Someday Come So Soon)" and especially the breathtakingly
lovely ballad "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing."
Where this set
earns its exclamation points is in marketing, though. Perfect for these
remix-mad days, Twain has made Up! a two-disk set (at the price of a
single disc) including two very different versions on the same album. The
Red version has pop-rock takes on the songs. The Green is made up of stripped down
acoustic versions of the same tunes. (This will be particularly gratifying for those people
who bought Twain's previous albums only to find significantly different mixes of
the songs than they had been hearing on the radio.)
While not all the
songs are quite deserving of this close inspection, it's still a radical idea.
I don't know yet if this will revolutionize the music biz or just end up being
a one-off experiment, but any artist who is willing to give her fans extra
bang for their buck does deserve her props. (11/02)