Shania Twain - Queen of Me Music Album Reviews

Shania Twain - Queen of Me Music Album Reviews
Working with a team of hit-making collaborators, the country-pop icon returns with a bland collection of optimistic affirmations and pumping electro-pop rhythms.

By the time the new millennium rolled over, Shania Twain’s legacy was secure. With her 1997 blockbuster Come On Over, the Canadian singer established a fresh mold for modern women in country and pop music, inspiring the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, and Taylor Swift to make their own way. She’s beloved by everybody from Harry Styles to Haim, Orville Peck to Post Malone, and her songs have become staples of weddings, karaoke nights, and any band looking for a crowd-pleasing cover.

After a decade that brought a son, a divorce, and a life-altering autoimmune illness, Twain mounted a formal “comeback” in 2017 that shifted her closer to typical pop arrangements. At the time, she told Rolling Stone that she wanted to make music that was as far away as possible from what she’d made with Robert “Mutt” Lange, her acrimoniously departed ex-husband and the producer of her most commercially successful work. She accomplished that with Now, which drew more heavily on rock and Top 40 pop textures while keeping a relatively even keel. She goes even further on Queen of Me, where she serves up a dozen tracks of optimistic affirmations and pumping electro-pop rhythms. This latest chapter, however, is a case of diminishing returns.

Twain’s team of co-writers and producers have past credits with Halsey, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Fred again.., and Iggy Azalea, and too often the material they’ve assembled for Twain feels like third-tier scraps intended for other clients. Queen of Me’s bland and plasticine arrangements are a far cry from the energy and sizzle of hits like “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” The cheers of “Queen!” in the title track sound half-hearted at best, hitched to a plodding rhythm that proceeds with all the pizazz of a conveyor belt. First, though, you’ll have to get past the stilted opening lines, where Twain insists that she is neither girl nor boy, baby nor toy: She is, in fact, a queen.

She’s still got some of that country flavor, but instead of a seamless crossover, it makes for an awkward combo. The album’s fist-pumping introduction “Giddy Up!” nods at her twangy bona fides with a peppy acoustic guitar melody and lyrics about heading out west from Ohio—never mind that she’s lived in Switzerland for more than 20 years—and a rhythmic, disco-lite bridge soon indicates that she’s not planning to stick around the ranch. “Got litty in the cup,” she bleats, as though that is a perfectly natural turn of phrase for a 57-year-old white woman. Twain peppers other songs with awkward, forcibly modern idioms, like when she sings “I deleted our history” on “Brand New.”

Lyme disease nearly destroyed Twain’s ability to sing, but corrective surgery allowed her to reclaim it in a different timbre. That her voice sounds different from how it did 20 years ago is immaterial; her handful of producers most often fail to deliver material that meets the star where she sings now, instead masking her voice with synthetic effects. The chorus of “Brand New” pushes her into an uncomfortable register, and despite the song’s earnest reclamation of self, her once-steady voice sounds warped and pinched.

Queen of Me warms up when Twain relaxes and stops trying to convince everyone to have a good time, as with “The Hardest Stone” or “Last Day of Summer.” But even these charms scan as impersonal, and more often than not, the album simply doesn’t connect. “I Got It Good” feels like an underbaked counterpart to Twain’s 2002 single “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!,” with none of its thrill. Though it’s co-written with Twain’s son, Eja, “Number One” feels anonymous, something that could’ve been cut by any number of midlevel singers looking to claim a foothold in the waiting-room market. “Pretty Liar” aims to be an explosive indictment of an unworthy man, but it pales by comparison to the Chicks’ incendiary 2020 comeback single “Gaslighter.” (At least Jack Antonoff had enough sense not to get in the way of the Chicks being themselves.)

A hard pivot into pop, or even a general creative reset, isn’t impossible for artists who have made a career out of crossing stylistic lines. Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn both issued their share of pivotal late-career LPs; Aretha Franklin was 56 when Lauryn Hill made her a hit that sampled Edie Brickell; Cher was 52 when she released “Believe.” But Twain doesn’t seem to have the right stewards to get her there. Her music once set the standard for pop-country crossovers, but Queen of Me tries so hard to capture current trends that it already sounds behind the times.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Shania Twain - Queen of Me Music Album Reviews Shania Twain - Queen of Me Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 10, 2023 Rating: 5


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