Posts Tagged ‘Shania Twain’

Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Thank You Baby! (For Makin' Someday Come So Soon)"

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

2003 | #11 (U.K.), #17 (Austria), #20 (Germany)

The song with the ridiculously long title was released as the fourth international single from Up!  It performed respectably in some markets, but did not match the success of the previous singles from the project.

It also reaffirmed Twain’s affinity for parentheses, which apparently ranked as her second-favorite punctuation mark behind only the exclamation point.

“Thank You Baby!” retains many of the usual qualities of a great Shania Twain single.  Twain’s vocal delivery brings a sense of warmth and genuineness to the lyric, which details a woman’s search for love, as well as the deep satisfaction of finally having found it.

Where it falters is in its lack of an immediately accessible, memorable hook.  The arrangement isn’t as crisp or fresh-sounding as usual, and just barely escapes sounding dated.  Likewise, the melody doesn’t quite match the sonic stickiness of Twain’s past efforts, which may be one reason

why the song didn’t match the chart impact of its predecessors.

It’s a generally enjoyable effort, but not as satisfying as the delicious pop confections that preceded and succeeded it.

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

Grade:  B

Next:  She’s Not Just a Pretty Face

Previous:  Forever and For Always

Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Forever and For Always"

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

2003 | Peak : #4

Shania Twain reached her creative peak on Up! , and it’s reflected in the singles released from alternative to prednisone that project.

Completely drenched in just the sweetest steel guitar, producer “Mutt” Lange manages to get a gorgeous pop sound out of the most country of instruments.

Yet it’s easy to overlook the instrumental perfection, thanks to what still stands as Twain’s finest vocal performance ever committed to tape.   Even her most ardent fans had always praised her for vocal style more than range.  But unless you were familiar with “Amneris’ Letter”, you’d never have suspected she could pull of something so dynamic.

A beautiful song, a powerful vocal performance, and so country by today’s standards that you can’t imagine country radio playing it now.

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

Grade: A

Next: Thank You Baby! (For Making Someday Come So Soon)

Previous: Ka-Ching!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NUUASUchRg

 

Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Ka-Ching!"

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

2003 | Peak:  #2 (Europe, Austria, Sweden); #3 (Germany); #8 (U.K.)

Shania Twain at her most deliciously subversive.

“Ka-Ching!” stands in such sharp contrast to her entire catalog that it's something of a shock that she wrote and recorded it.

Even more shocking is that this biting indictment of consumer culture was originally written for her Christmas album, but she added it to Up! when that project was shelved.

Less shocking is that she chose not to release it in America, given that the bulk of her descriptions might resonate a little too deeply with her target audience stateside.   The red “pop” mix is better than the green “country” one anyway, channeling all that is best about Abba without sounding dated.  No wonder it was a huge hit in Scandinavia.

I hope that if she ever does come out with another album – almost ten years and counting – her observations are as razor-sharp and sing-along catchy as they are here.

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

Grade: A

Next: Forever and For Always

Previous: Up!

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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Up!"

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

2oo3 | #12

The title track and second single of Shania Twain's Up! album is arguably the finest and fullest realization of Twain's signature positivity.  It also perfectly exemplifies the sheer brilliance of the strategy behind the Up! album.

With Shania Twain having found a whole new worldwide audience thanks to the crossover success of Come On Over, she found an ingenious way to placate both her pop and country music fan bases with her subsequent album release.  Each song on the album was recorded in three different versions – country, pop and East Asian rhythm.  Thanks to that solution, Twain was freed of the need to carefully toe the line between musical styles.  Instead, the pop versions could be even more pop than the songs on Come On Over had been, while Twain likewise had the freedom to fully amp up the twang factor on the country versions.

“Up!” is a charming song in any form, but by all rights, the country version spanks the others.  The energetic banjo picking adds a whole new layer of personality to the tune as it mixes deliciously with the pulsing pop beat.  Regardless, it's ultimately Twain's uninhibited performance that makes the record soar, as she delivers the hook of “Up!  Up!  Up!  There's no way but up from here” with ferocious conviction as well as infectious spunk and charmisma.

While the lyrics are simple, the magic lies in the fact that the melody and performance carry just the right “spark” to bring the song fully to life.  It's not so much about the words themselves as it is about the feeling created by the composite product, such that the spirit of the song goes so far as to transcend the song itself.  That makes “Up!” one of those rare instances in which seemingly rudimentary ingredients combine with just the right musical chemistry to create something truly memorable and special.

Written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange

Grade:  A

Next:  Ka-Ching!

Previous:  I'm Gonna Getcha Good!

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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!"

Friday, June 8th, 2012

2002 | #7

A pop-country gold nugget that defies explanation.

Honestly, who's even trying to pretend that this song is supposed to mean anything?  Who's trying to pretend that it needs to mean anything?

“I'm Gonna Getcha Good!” exists for one reason, and one reason only – to burrow itself into your brain, infect you with sudden bouts of giddiness, and cause uncontrollable smiling and singing along.  And you know what?  That's a perfectly worthwhile purpose for a pop-country song to serve.

“I'm Gonna Getcha Good!” is a prime example of classic Twain-Lange song structure at its top-notch best – one that served as a most fitting introduction to Twain's enormously successful, wildly creative Up! project.  The country audience received it in a form laced with fiddle and banjo hooks, while the pop market got a version packed with addictive rock guitar riffs.  The song shines in both settings, which led to the song being a Top 10 country hit, as well as a worldwide smash in international pop markets.

Lange's crisp, tasteful production brilliantly underscores the catchy melody, while Twain sells the cheeky lyric with sass and swagger.(The confection was completed with a music video featuring motorcycles, aliens, and flying robots) Is it basically ear candy?  Of course it is, but the fact remains that few if any purveyors of ear candy have perfected the recipe as Twain and Lange do here.

It just doesn't doesn't get any tastier than this.

Written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange

Grade:  A

Next:  Up!

Previous:  I'm Holdin' On to Love (To Save My Life)

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Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists: Shania Twain

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

It’s about time somebody did a Favorite Songs feature on Shania, isn’t it?  I was going to save this article for after we finished covering Shania in our Retro Single Review series, but I decided I just couldn’t wait that long.

Her astounding commercial success speaks for itself, as does her heavy impact on popular music, but I remain of the opinion that Shania Twain doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the artist she was – as a songwriter, or as a vocalist.  Her songs were clever, sassy, fun, and often tapped into deep wells of substance underneath all the catchiness.  Her distinct perspective was revolutionary for her time.  As an interpretive singer, she had a strong knack for finishing off her lyrical creations through her nuanced, dynamically layered performances.  Twain's remarkable talent combined with Mutt Lange's musical vision made her one of the biggest record sellers in history.  Ever since her heyday, countless young female stars have attempted to emulate her, but the magic Twain herself created with her delicious pop-country confections remains unreplicated.

I tend to become obsessed with one favorite Shania Twain song, and then move rapidly to another, so it’s not easy to assess which songs are my all-time favorites.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be doing a lot of second-guessing after this article runs (though I’m fairly confident that my top three selections are set in stone).  At any rate, it will still be a fun look back on all the memorable tunes Shania gave us over the years, while also shining a spotlight on a few lesser-known tracks that we might have forgotten about.  As always, feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section.

#25

“Party for Two” (with Billy Currington)

Greatest Hits – 2004

I have at times referred to this song as a “guilty pleasure,” but then I realized that it’s such a great fun record that I don’t really feel guilty at all about loving it.  Silly “sexy in your socks” line aside, “Party for Two” is fun flirty tune that Twain and Currington sell with charm and enthusiasm.  Though more of a pop song than a country song, “Party for Two” is best heard in its country mix, as the pop version with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath tries a little too hard to sound pop, demonstrating that Shania often sounded best when still keeping a toe in country territory.  “Party for Two” served as Twain’s last Top 10 country hit to date.

#24

“Blues Eyes Crying In the Rain” (with Willie Nelson)

Willie Nelson & Friends – Live and Kickin’ – 2003

Twain’s pop sensibilities certainly have no ill effect on her ability to tackle a traditional country classic with grace and ease, as evidenced by her beautiful cover of this beloved Willie Nelson hit, accompanied by the man himself.

 

#23

“Ka-Ching!”

Up! – 2002

Though largely known for her lighthearted frivolous side, “Ka-Ching!” – a deft takedown of commercial materialism – shows that Twain was still perfectly capable of addressing relevant social themes.

#22

“It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”

Up! – 2002

Though known for her positivity, Twain could still be surprisingly effective at conveying heartbreak.  Such is demonstrated by this Top 20 hit in which the protagonist strives to maintain optimism as she moves on after a breakup.  Still, the title hook shows that her heavy emotional pain remains constant.

#21

“Love Gets Me Every Time”

Come On Over – 1997

Hey, if you’re going to write a silly, cheesy song, you might as well do it thoroughly and shamelessly.  “Love Gets Me Every Time” combines a hillbilly catchphrase with an unshakable two-step-friendly musical hook to make a delightful ditty that just never seems to get old.

 

#20

“Coat of Many Colors” (with Alison Krauss & Union Station)

Just Because I’m a Woman:  Songs of Dolly Parton – 2003

It’s easy to see how Twain’s own impoverished upbringing might give her a special connection to this classic song, and to its timeless theme of love and family being worth far more than material possessions.  Indeed, “One is only poor only if they choose to be.”  Twain delivers the revered Dolly Parton lyric with authenticity and deep sincerity, while the unique touch of Alison Krauss’s backing vocal elevates the record further.

#19

“You Win My Love”

The Woman In Me – 1995

Written by Twain’s then-husband/producer Mutt Lange, this is the only song on Twain’s last three studio albums that she didn’t have a hand in writing.  The lyric is full of clever automobile-related metaphors, while the driving arrangement and the “Rev it up, rev it up ‘til your engine blows” hook practically beg to be blasted out one’s car windows.

#18

“That Don’t Impress Me Much”

Come On Over – 1997

The sentiment is clear:  Shania Twain is not impressed by guys who are overly impressed with themselves.  One part sing-along, one part spoken word, with some steel guitar and cowbell hooks thrown in, it all adds up to one heck of a fun record.

#17

“Shoes”

Desperate Housewives soundtrack – 2005

It may have been recorded for a soundtrack, but make no mistake about it:  A song that compares finding the right man to finding the ideal footwear, noting that “Some you can’t afford, some are real cheap, some are good for bummin’ around on the beach” is classic Shania.  A clever song loaded with humorous double entendres, “Shoes” is good for a chuckle any day.

#16

“(If You’re Not In It for Love) I’m Outta Here!”

The Woman In Me 1995

The dance-friendly beat is hooky and infectious, but the content runs deeper.  At the heart of the song is a confident female protagonist who refuses to be taken advantage of.  If the guy’s not in it for love… she’s outta here.  This chart-topping hit established Twain’s distinct songwriting point of view, while helping to power her The Woman In Me album to 12x platinum sales.

#15

“I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”

Up! – 2002

Not really much to say about this one except that, as far as great pop-country hooks go, they don’t come much catchier than this.

#14

“Nah!”

Up! – 2002

A kiss-off tune that’s not nearly as bitter as such songs usually are, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.  Twain almost seems to casually enjoy the moment of letting her no-good ex know that she’s done being mistreated by him.  She admits “I miss you now and then, but would I do it all again?”  The band abruptly stops playing as if to await her answer:  “Nah!”  Ouch.

#13

“Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)”

The Woman In Me – 1995

It’s a shame this song didn’t make a bigger dent in history.  I’ve always considered it one of Twain’s most subtly moving performance as the female narrator mourns the deteriorating state of her marriage; while the song offers no full resolution of the story, save for Twain hoping “If we could only find that feeling once again… If we could only change the way the story ends.”

#12

“Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”

Come On Over – 1997

Because it makes me happy.  So there.

#11

“Leaving Is the Only Way Out”

The Woman In Me – 1995

The only song on any of Twain’s albums on which she takes sole writer’s credit, this is one of her best songs, as well as one of her countriest.  The refrain “If cryin’ is the only way into your arms, then leavin’ is the only way out” is nothing short of heartbreaking.

#10

“You’ve Got a Way”

Come On Over – 1997

Though I would recommend steering clear of the hokey Notting Hill pop remix, “You’ve Got a Way” remains one of Twain’s most beautifully understated, sincere performances on record, with the acoustic arrangement allowing her to positively shine.

#9

“Forever and For Always”

Up! – 2002

A gem of a love song with an effortlessly endearing melody and a deeply heartfelt performance on Twain’s part.  Though the song was remixed into an international pop smash, it remains best heard in its country form, in which Twain’s sentiments are driven home by subtle, beautiful strains of banjo and steel.

#8

“Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under”

The Woman In Me – 1995

Right out of the starting gate, Shania’s first major hit, and first Lange-produced single release, delivers a powerful punch of her priceless personality.  With a bouncy fiddle-driven production, silly rhyme schemes involving the names of the cheating lover’s mistresses, and the delightfully cheesy bridge (“So next time you’re lonely/ Don’t call on me/ Try the operator/ Maybe she’ll be free”), “Whose Bed” is both shamelessly campy and tons of fun as a result.

#7

“Is There Life After Love”

The Woman In Me – 1995

A rare thematic venture on Twain’s part to the wrong side of cheating.  She regrets her tryst, but regrets coming forward and confessing it even more, bemoaning “You gave me forgiveness, but you could not forget/ I should never have told you what I’ll live to regret.”

#6

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Come On Over – 1997

Well of course!  Who could leave out one of Shania’s most energetic, free-spirited, entertaining performances of her career?

#5

“Dance with the One That Brought You”

Shania Twain – 1993

An early Twain record from the days before she was singing her own self-written material, “Dance with the One That Brought You” marries twain’s beautifully nuanced vocal performance to a charming Gretchen Peters lyric and a gorgeous piano and steel-driven waltz of an arrangement.  It just might be one of Twain’s best moments on record, and yet Mutt Lange had absolutely nothing to do with it.  Who’da guessed?

#4

“You’re Still the One”

Come On Over – 1997

I love this song so, so much.  An unabashedly sincere vocal, shimmering production, and a lyric that encapsulates the firm commitment, pride in having overcome obstacles, and deep, genuine love of a couple that has remained together against all odds and expectations.  While I’ve long believed that commercial success does not equate to quality, I still say that this song was a massive hit because it deserved to be a massive hit.  A timeless, universal sentiment that touched pop fans and country fans alike, “You're Still the One” is pure pop-country perfection.

#3

“No One Needs to Know”

The Woman In Me – 1995

The best country songs are those that rely, not on words themselves, but on the feelings that the words and melodies tap into.  “No One Needs to Know” absolutely radiates with the giddiness and joy of a newfound love that only the narrator herself is to know of (which suggests that Taylor Swift is not kidding when she cites Twain as a major influence).  The infectious, stripped down acoustic arrangement, complete with dobro and steel chords, is a pure and simple delight.

#2

“Up!”

Up! – 2002

Twain has long been known for her incessant positivity – a consistent thread that ran throughout the Come On Over and Up! albums in particular, but was nowhere more concentrated than on the title track of Up!  It comes as a fist-pumping pop-anthem on the red disc; a sprightly banjo rocker on the green disc.  “Up!” is a hugely lovable ball of energy either way.  The production pulses with urgency as it underscores Twain’s spirited performance.  No matter what it is that’s got you down, Twain shouts “Up!  Up!  Up!  There’s no way but up from here!” until she has you believing it too.

#1

“Any Man of Mine”

The Woman In Me – 1995

Is there any other song in her catalog that so thoroughly sums up everything one could love about Shania Twain?  The energy of this performance leaps out your speakers, along with boot-stomping rhythm, the awesome fiddling, and all the signature Twain wit in the humorous lyrics.  I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that the line dance breakdown just might be my favorite part.

It was a bold artistic move and a substantial risk at the time of its release, yet it helped blaze a trail that female country artists are still following today.  But even when bringing it down to a personal, individual level, there are simply few other Shania Twain songs, hits or not, that put a skip in my step like this one does.  Shania's cheeky delivery makes me smile.  The lyrics make me laugh.  The beat makes me want to dance.  Any way you look at it, this song hits me just right.

The critic in me respects it.  The fan in me adores it.  Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for some kicking, turning, and stomp-stomping…

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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "I'm Holdin' on to Love (To Save My Life)"

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

2000 | Peak: #17

The twelfth and final single from Come On Over wasn't planned, but persistent unsolicited airplay earned it release.

There was no video or any other promotional effort, as Twain had sequestered herself from the public eye by that point.   So this one got by on its sheer charm, and has the added bonus of not being overplayed to death.

Despite references to the “net” and Dr. Ruth, it still sounds remarkably fresh today.  It's clever, has a great beat, and borrows liberally from eighties arena rock without being overwhelmed by it.

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Shania and Mutt made it look so easy.  Take one listen to country radio today for a reminder that it's not.

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

Grade: A

Next: I'm Gonna Getcha Good!

Previous: Rock This Country!

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Album Review: Carrie Underwood, Blown Away

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Carrie Underwood
Blown Away

At this point, it’s easy to forget that Carrie Underwood first kicked off her country music career as an American Idol graduate.  Besides being one of country music’s most technically gifted female vocalists, she’s gone on to become one of its strongest commercial forces, with a seven-year-long string of Top-2 hit singles, not to mention albums that consistently sell like hotcakes.  But a noteworthy gap has often been seen between the impressiveness of Underwood’s talent and success and the quality of her material. In terms of lyrics and production, at least, Underwood’s new album Blown Away finds her taking steps forward that are small, but steps forward nonetheless.

As hinted at by the gloomy cover image, Underwood’s fourth album finds her taking on some notably darker, more serious song material than on her previous albums.  After leading off with the wildly catchy Shania Twain-esque debut single “Good Girl,” the album quickly takes a turn for deadly serious territory.  The title track tells of a young woman taking revenge on her abusive alcoholic father by hiding in the cellar when a tornado approaches their home, letting the house collapse on top of her father while he lies passed out on the floor.  Though it doesn’t quite reach the spine-tingling heights of Martina McBride’s similarly themed “Independence Day,” “Blown Away” is one of the most interesting and complex songs here, and though it could do without the gaudy vocal reverb effects, the arrangement lends the track an appropriately eerie feel.  As “Two Black Cadillacs” begins with a funeral scene, the listener is quickly pulled into the tale of two black veil-wearing women who share a dark secret.  The omission of some narrative details toward the end lessens the ultimate listener payoff, but “Two Black Cadillacs” likewise remains one of the album’s more striking and memorable cuts.  Indeed, Underwood is to be applauded for putting for the attempt to tackle more challenging lyrical material, as opposed to the predictable fare that tended to weigh down her previous releases.

Similarly, though the album often settles for the same pop-country sound that Underwood and producer Mark Bright have long favored, here there are several tweaks to the usual formula.  The prominent mandolin line on “Leave Love Alone” sounds different that anything Underwood has previously recorded, while the signature Brad Paisley guitar-shredding on “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” turns an already fun song into a regular jam session.  The surprisingly sparse, primarily acoustic number “Do You Think About Me” benefits from added restraint both in production and vocal, which is effective in delivering the wistful lyric.  These production choices don’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, while some – such as the reggae flavorings of “One Way Ticket,” for example – may prove polarizing, but they are unexpected coming from Underwood.  Such willingness on the parts of Underwood and Bright to go for the occasional risk is refreshing.

Weighing in at a generous fourteen tracks, the album could have benefited from leaving off a few of its more forgettable cuts, and perhaps being condensed into a more consistently solid ten- or twelve-track collection instead.  Blown Away suffers most when it veers off into a shallow, feel-good thematic direction, which is particularly evident on the trite self-esteem booster “Nobody Ever Told You,” as well as the beachy Chesney-esque reggae of  “One Way Ticket” – the latter an obvious candidate for a summertime single release, with a music video that practically creates itself.  That’s not to say that such lyrical concepts are necessarily taboo, but these particular efforts lack the personality and strong hooks that are needed to make such efforts memorable.  The fact that power ballad “See You Again” was originally intended for The Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack is telling, as the vague, platitudinous lyric savors strongly of disposable soundtrack fare.  Cliché-laden album closer “Who Are You,” a surprising misfire of a composition from Shania Twain’s ex-husband/ ex-producer/ ex-songwriting-collaborator Robert John “Mutt” Lange,” is just a total bore.

That said, Underwood can be remarkably successful when she puts forth the earnest attempt to connect with her listeners on a relatable emotional level.  Though the title of “Thank God for Hometowns” raises a red flag, we are treated to a fully three-dimensional portrayal of the very best aspects of small-town living (“Small Town U.S.A.” it isn’t, thankfully), including the small-town camaraderie of close neighbors and friends, while the conversational tone lends both a personal feel and a welcome sense of structure to the lyric.  The two finest tracks are “Good In Goodbye” and “Wine After Whiskey,” both ranking among Underwood’s strongest co-writes to date.  The former displays a level of maturity and clear-eyed insight as Underwood reflects on a difficult breakup that has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  The latter utilizes an effective metaphor of drinking wine after whiskey to illustrate how the narrator’s current lover pales in comparison to the one she lost.  Better still, Underwood displays notable growth as a lyrical interpreter on both of these songs, wisely sparing us the power notes, while adding to the emotional impact through her nuance and subtlety.

Though it’s not quite a wholly consistent project, and it does have its share of weak spots, Blown Away is an album that is brilliant at best, and bland at worst.  But what makes Blown Away a fascinating and ultimately satisfying collection is that it displays an artist willing to continually grow and challenge herself by experimenting with different sounds, musical styles, and lyrical themes.  In today’s music industry, it’s all too easy for an established superstar to settle for predictable, wheels-spinning material that furthers his or her primary marketing persona without moving forward artistically in any meaningful way.  Granted, Underwood’s attempts at branching out still result in occasional missteps, several of which are documented on this album.  Still, to see such a demonstration of a “What’s next?” artistic muse, particularly from a woman who can already out-sing most of her peers from the corner of her mouth, is an absolute joy to hear.  Here’s hoping her future efforts achieve greater consistency to go along with her ambition.

Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Rock This Country!"

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

2000 | #30

The eleventh single from Shania Twain's Come On Over was one of the least successful in the U.S., barely scraping the bottom of the Top 30.  This was due in part to a lack of promotion for the single, though it did go Top 5 in Twain's native Canada.  In some ways, “Rock This Country!” comes across as a standard Twain up-tempo – peppy, with a fun Mutt Lange-style pop-country production, but the lyrics are surprisingly flavorless.

Time and time again, the Twain-Lange writing team had displayed a strong knack for crafting lyrics that were infectious and hook-heavy, yet doing so without entirely sacrificing substance.  Behind all the singalong choruses, crossover-friendly productions, and flashy music videos, each Twain single had a simple message and a universal feeling at its core, be it an “Any Man of Mine” or an “(If You're Not In It for Love) I'm Outta Here!,” a “That Don't Impress Me Much” or a “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

“Rock This Country!” is essentially about nothing.  Though its title was enough for it to be used as a theme song for two different presedential campaigns, the lyrics hardly warrant discussion – just a song about some “buzz” going around, and a bridge consisting of a list of random U.S. states.  It's as if the song can't get around its own title, and remainder of the lyric sheet is a blank slate.

That's not to say that Twain and Lange don't try their darndest hard to sell it.  Lange surrounds his wife's voice with an arrangement that goes from rock guitars one moment to a searing fiddle solo the next.  Similarly, Twain's performance exudes the usual energy, right down to the yell of “Let's go!” before the instrumental breakdown.

But for all its positive additions, there's no getting around the fact that “Rock This Country!” lacks the defining characteristic of a great Twain ditty:  Her best songs stick.  This doesn't.

Written by Shania Twain and Robert Johnn “Mutt” Lange

Grade:  B-

Next:  I'm Holdin' On to Love (To Save My Life)

Previous:  Come On Over

Listen:  Rock This Country!

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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "Come On Over"

Friday, April 13th, 2012

1999 | #6

“Get a life, get a grip, get away somewhere, take a trip
Take a break, take control, take advice from someone you know

“Come on over, come on in
Pull up a seat, and take a load off your feet
Come on over, come on in
You can unwind, and take a load off your mind.”

Hmm.  So the lyrics don't seem to have a whole lot to say.  The song is primarily simple series of feel-good platitudes.

And yet, the package as a whole is hard to resist.  The lyrics are not outstanding on their own merits, but Twain sells them with enthusiasm, and Mutt Lange's production complements them effectively.  The Cajun-flavored accordion-laced arrangement and catchy piano hook lend the record a fresh and infectious sound that still holds up well today.

“Come On Over” is not one Twain's biggest or best hits from the album of the same title, but Twain and Lange's musical treatment makes it an entertaining and inviting musical experience, if not a particularly substantive one.

Written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange

Grade:  B

Previous:  You've Got a Way

Next:  Rock This Country!

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