Single Review: Shania Twain, “Today is Your Day”

Muscle & Strength Building Products nia-Twain-Today-is-Your-Day.jpg”>Shania Twain returns with her first single in six years, and it’s kind of a beautiful mess.

Kind of beautiful because it’s the most nakedly sincere she’s been on record, especially as a vocalist.

Kind of a mess because it sounds like a fan-made pop remix of a damn good country song.

It’s jarring to listen to the first couple of times, especially if you heard one of the far more sonically pleasing acoustic versions on her remarkably powerful reality show.

But it’s not the clunky arrangement that’s so jarring, but rather the pervasive sense of melancholy and self-doubt that seeped into the final version, going against the song’s lyric in particular and Twain’s rah-rah, positive thinking confidence that defined her signature work.

I don’t think that that Shania’s coming back, but as good as those classic records are, they’re not nearly as interesting as the pathos she’s displaying these days.  She just has to find a better co-producer to capture it on record.

Written by Shania Twain

Grade: B

Listen: Today is Your Day

 

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22 Comments

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22 Responses to Single Review: Shania Twain, “Today is Your Day”

  1. Thank You! Ever since I heard the finished version I’ve been trying to figure out how to put my feelings into words and by God you’ve done it!

    Now you have me confused by the “I don’t think Shania’s coming back” part. What do you mean? like she won’t be her classic self again, that she won’t release the album, or what?

  2. DevinNo Gravatar

    I don’t know what Kevin means, but I personally don’t think that she’ll come back and step into the same role she previously held by any means, and I have the feeling, even though it’s Shania, that country radio won’t fully embrace her this time around. I could be, and hope that, I’m wrong though.

  3. I didn’t like this one at all, but you gave it a very good fair review. I didn’t really pick up on the added level of sincerity, largely because of the arrangement and vocal processing, but that was a good thing to bring out.

    I found the lyrics quite disappointing, but I think it’s the arrangement that really kills it off. Even though the lyrics seem trite, I probably would have found the song enjoyable to some degree had it been given a simpler Mutt Lange-style arrangement. The song has a melody that I think sounds very ill-suited to such an audacious power ballad arrangement.

  4. As far as commercial prospects go, I think this one could go either way. The odds are usually against a radio comeback for an over-40 female artist with no recent hits (not that it hasn’t been done before at times). But since Shania seems to have an added level of star power, I could almost see her pulling it off.

    I’m not sure how optimistic I should be about getting a new album from Shania, but I’m quite sure that she’ll never again be tearing up the charts at the rate she did at her peak

  5. highwayman3No Gravatar

    Yes I feel disappointed, but it’s still a somewhat enjoyable listen for me. It’s the production that’s the big problem, would have been better suited with a ‘No One Needs To Know’ style.

    For me I dont feel she’s ‘back’ yet until there’s a new album and she can perform live, this is only a promotional single for a show that already aired. If the song tanks it wouldnt be an indication that she doesnt have it anymore, it’s a different ballgame with one off songs like this.

    I hope she remembers the tricks from Mutt for the next album and stays true to her sound and insists on adding fiddles despite the producers plea there not commerical anymore, and dont pick Nathan Chapman.

    Also wondering what happened to all the songs her and Mutt wrote before divorce and how close they were to finishing album or maybe she had all these insecurities before then and hasn’t done anything musical that whole time.

  6. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I think Kevin meant “that Shania” as in “the aforementioned Shania” (the rah-rah, super-peppy one, as opposed to this more emotionally raw one). I’ve added an extra “that” to that sentence to make it clearer (though feel free to change it back and delete this comment later, boss :p).

  7. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    As usual, Dan gets what I’m trying to say better than I can say it! Thanks for the correction!

    I loved the song from the show, but couldn’t get past the record’s production first. I’m warming to the final product very quickly, possibly because the record’s theme hits my sweet spot so well.

    I have a tendency to take on ridiculously ambitious and polarizing challenges, so I have a weakness for songs of this nature. This one is pretty good, but not anywhere near great, like my favorite discovery from the 30 Day Song Challenge, The Weepies’ “Can’t Go Back Now.”
    (Also via Dan.)

  8. So I’m very pleased by this review, because I also love the song though I think it’s a bit cheesy. But I agree, this “new Shania” is definitely “interesting.” And–just a side note, hope this is okay–Kevin, I sent you something of a “fan email” a couple of months ago. Did you happen to receive it? :)

  9. JayJayNo Gravatar

    Very well written review, as always. I do think the B was being VERY generous though. Shania hasn’t ever been a lyrical master and without her trademark glossy production, I think it becomes really obvious. The song struck me as pretty much a mess- and I love Shania.

    An ambitious DJ should TOTALLY do a mash-up of this song with Sugarland’s Tonight. Because similar to the Sugarland single- this song mostly amounts to Shania singing “Today” about 732 times.

  10. I’ve heard a few people speaking negatively of Shania’s lyrics in general, and I really don’t understand why. I’ve always viewed her as an outstanding songwriter with unique perspective and a knack for packing personality into her compositions.

    As for her production, I’ve enjoyed how the classic Shania records managed to pull of pop-country without resorting to bombastic overcrowded production, but that’s not so much the case with this new single.

  11. Great review, though I’m not warming up to it at all. I liked the show’s version, but I don’t like this version.

    I’ve always thought Shania’s songs could have some good phrases or turns of phrases, but I’ve never been impressed by her lyrics in general on more than a “good theme” or “that was cute” level. I’ve liked her soun and attitude much better than her lyrics, kinda like Brad Paisley.

  12. I’m on the fence about this one. The lyrics are a bit on the Hallmark-y side and I agree that the production is a bit cluttered, but I’ve heard much worse.

  13. “Today Is your Day” is a charming song, but it’s missing the simple yet extravagant style we all loved in her old music, and the mixing was poorly done. The lyrics seem over-simple, making her sound a bit inexperienced. The tune is also simple, and slightly repetitive, but still very enjoyable.

    I think there are 2 reasons for the decrease in quality here: She has gone 6 years with practically no work in music, and also this is the first work without her husband, Mutt Lange, who played a large role in the production of all her past music (with the exception of her debut album).

    Since this song was released for the show, and not really as her “bit return” single, it’s possible that she still will be returning to her old style of music, just not yet.

  14. I full heartedly agree with the beautiful mess past (as I said earlier) and that it is a bit of a let down after the acoustic versions heard on the show, but she just debuted at 40 on the country charts so it should be interesting to see how it will fare in the next few weeks

  15. KatieNo Gravatar

    I love Shania, but wow, this sounds like a bad Disney song. I think it could make a decent song for a children’s movie soundtrack, but not much else. I don’t have an issue with the production, just with the lyrics.

    I hope whatever’s next is better than this.

  16. chixNo Gravatar

    Always love Shania…All her songs were able to touch my heart.

  17. JoeNo Gravatar

    I think Shania is often underrated in terms of her lyrics, though a large bulk of her singles possess mostly frivolous lyrics elevated by the personality of her vocal. But I feel her ability as a songwriter is deeper than many think, though that’s not really evident here. I’d love to see her deliver more gritty country compositions like “Is There Life After Love”, “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is Anymore” and “I Ain’t Goin Down” on her next album.

  18. I am a big fan of Shania. That being said, I am not sold on this one. B is probably all the better it deserves.

  19. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    I thought it was a fairly typical song for her in terms of quality. For me, Shania has not historically been somebody who knocks songs out of the ballpark like a lot of others, and I don’t think this breaks that mold. In comparison to some others, however, it’s better than most.

  20. Adam JamesNo Gravatar

    After hearing the song a few times, it sounds to me like Shania trying to psyche herself into doing all this comeback stuff. If a superstar the magnitude of Garth Brooks couldn’t manage a comeback, there’s no way it’ll happen for Shania. Country radio probably won’t support her because she all but turned her back on the country market in favor of a crossover.

    The big problem here is (and I think this is what happened with Garth) that these folks think their “brand” will carry them over, so they don’t end up bringing A++ material because they think people will buy their personality. It was good songs that made people care about Garth and Shania in the first place, so why they think they can “come back” with average material is beyond me. I think a B grade was more than generous.

  21. Paul DennisNo Gravatar

    I have her first Mercury album and she struck me then as a modestly talented artist, even on her own compositions.

    This song is pretty bland. I always wondered how much of Shania’s success was due to Mutt Lange’s vision – this track leads me to suspect that he was a big part of what we think of as Shania Twain’s musical legacy

  22. TomNo Gravatar

    …clicked on listen and found this song next to some joel osteen clips. i didn’t know that youtube enjoys satire as much as i do.