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Country - Released November 4, 1997 | Mercury Nashville

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Shania Twain's second record, The Woman in Me, became a blockbuster, appealing as much to a pop audience as it did to the country audience. Part of the reason for its success was how producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- best-known for his work with Def Leppard, the Cars, and AC/DC -- steered Twain toward the big choruses and instrumentation that always was a signature of his speciality, AOR radio. Come on Over, the sequel to The Woman in Me, continues that approach, breaking from contemporary country conventions in a number of ways. Not only does the music lean toward rock, but its 16 songs and, as the cover proudly claims, "Hour of Music," break from the country tradition of cheap, short albums of ten songs that last about a half-hour. Furthermore, all 16 songs and Lange-Twain originals and Shania's sleek, sexy photos suggest a New York fashion model, not a honky tonker. And there isn't any honky tonk here, which is just as well, since the fiddles are processed to sound like synthesizers and talk boxes never sound good on down-home, gritty rave-ups. No, Shania sticks to what she does best, which is countrified mainstream pop. Purists will complain that there's little country here, and there really isn't. However, what is here is professionally crafted country-pop -- even the filler (which there is, unfortunately, too much of) sounds good -- which is delivered with conviction, if not style, by Shania, and that is enough to make it a thoroughly successful follow-up to one of the most successful country albums by a female in history. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released November 4, 1997 | Mercury Nashville

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Now

Country - Released September 29, 2017 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Pop - Released November 18, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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When Up! was released in November 2002, Shania Twain revealed in one of many promotional interviews that she writes far more songs than can fit on her records and that she hides any personal, introspective songs she pens, not even playing them for her husband and collaborator Robert John "Mutt" Lange. Now, this is certainly a psychological quirk worth exploring, but it also suggests why Twain's albums are such brilliant pieces of mainstream pop. Anything that doesn't fit the mold is discarded, so the album can hum along on its big, polished, multipurpose hooks and big, sweeping emotions. This is Super-Size pop, as outsized and grandiose as good pop should be. And, unlike the work of most pop divas, where the subject matter is firmly about the singer, none of the songs on Up! are remotely about Shania Twain, the person -- let's face it, she's never faced a situation like "Waiter! Bring Me Water!," where she's afraid her guy is going to be stolen away by their hot waitress. No, these songs have been crafted as universal anthems, so listeners can hear themselves within these tales. Just as cleverly, the songs are open-ended and mutable -- always melodic, but never stuck in any particular style, so they can be subjected to any kind of mix and sound just as good. (Indeed, Up! was initially released in no less than three different mixes -- the "Red" pop mix, the "Green" country mix, and the "Blue" international mix; sometimes the differences in mixes were so slight, it sounded like nothing was changed, but each mix revealed how sturdy and melodic the structure of each of the 19 songs was, and how they were designed to sound good in any setting.) True, the sheer length of the album could be seen as off-putting at first, since these 19 tracks don't necessarily flow as a whole. Then again, part of the genius of Up! is that it's designed as a collection of tracks, so the album is durable enough to withstand years on the charts, producing singles with different textures and moods every few months. Time revealed Come on Over as a stellar pop album, and the same principle works for Up!. Upon the first listen, singles seem indistinct, and it seems like too much to consume at once, but once you know the lay of the land, the hooks become indelible and the gargantuan glossiness of the production is irresistible. In other words, it's a more than worthy follow-up to the great mainstream pop album of the late '90s, and proof that when it comes to shiny, multipurpose pop, nobody does it better than Shania Twain. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released November 8, 2004 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2004 | Mercury Nashville

Just like the albums her husband/producer Mutt Lange produced for Def Leppard, Shania Twain's albums are designed to generate hit singles for two or three years, which means that each of her blockbuster records -- 1995's The Woman in Me, 1997's Come On Over, 2002's Up! -- already seem like greatest-hits records, since they're filled with huge hits. This makes assembling an actual greatest-hits album a little difficult, since not only is the material overly familiar, but there are so many hits that they're difficult to fit on a single-disc collection. Impressively, 2004's Greatest Hits -- the first compilation Shania has released in her career -- doesn't skimp in either the hits or its actual length. Weighing in at a whopping 21 tracks, it has every big hit from her career, bypassing just a handful of tracks (including anything from her eponymous 1993 debut, plus "God Bless the Child" from 1996 and "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" from 2004), none of which are greatly missed. The collection runs in reverse chronological order, beginning with the ballad "Forever and Always" from Up! then running through hits like "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!," "That Don' Impress Me Much," "You're Still the One," "Any Man of Mine" -- all in their most familiar radio mixes, which means pop mixes alternate with country mixes according to the song -- before ending with four new tracks (the gleefully goofy "Party for Two" is featured in two versions, a pop version with Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and a country version with Billy Currington). Taken as a whole, this is a pretty impressive and consistent body of work -- sure, her hits can be slick, glossy, and silly, but they're infectious, irresistibly catchy, impeccably crafted, and most importantly, still tremendous fun after hundreds of plays. This isn't straight country, but it never pretends that it is. Instead, Twain and Lange poached the catchiest elements from arena rock and adult contemporary pop, peppered it with '90s pop culture references -- anything from bad hair days to Brad Pitt -- and developed a glorious, supersized sound that defined mainstream pop and country for nearly a decade. And, as this wonderful collection proves, Shania's hits not only defined their time, but transcend them, as this Greatest Hits is as fun as pop music can get. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Up!

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released March 3, 2015 | Mercury Nashville

In December 2012, country and pop superstar Shania Twain returned to the stage for the first time since her Up! tour wrapped up in 2004; she booked a residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she performed a special show she conceived and helped produce that merged spectacular stagecraft with a set of Twain's best and best-known songs. The show, titled Shania: Still the One, was a major box office success, with Twain playing 105 performances over the course of two years and thrilling fans eager to see her reconnect with her audience. Still the One: Live from Vegas is a live album that documents Twain's dazzling live show and includes 19 songs that helped make her one of the most successful recording artists of the '90s and 2000s. Selections include "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," "Come on Over," "That Don't Impress Me Much," "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!," "You're Still the One," "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?," "You Win My Love," and many more. ~ Mark Deming
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Country - Released February 7, 1995 | Mercury Nashville

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Sometimes, all it takes for a singer to break it big is to have the right collaborator and nowhere is that truth more evident than with Shania Twain. After years of independent local releases and demo records, she released an OK major-label debut on Mercury in 1993 -- a record that was perfectly fine but not all that memorable. Not long after that, her path crossed with Robert John "Mutt" Lange's, the producer behind some of the greatest albums in hard rock history, including AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's Hysteria. Based on that, Lange didn't seem like an ideal match for Twain, but they turned out to be expertly matched collaborators -- and romantic partners, too; they married as they were working on the material that became her second album, The Woman in Me. Together, they totally reworked Twain, turning her into a bold, brassy, sexy, sassy modern woman, singing songs that play like tongue-in-cheek empowerment anthems even when they're about heartbreak. She demands that "Any man of mine/better walk the line," tells a poor sap that "(If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!" and when she confronts her lover asking "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" it sounds like a threat, not a lament. All these songs are painted in big, broad strokes and Lange uses all the arena-filling tricks he's learned from Def Leppard, giving these steady rhythms and melodic hooks that are crushed only by the mammoth choruses which drill their way into permanent memory upon the first listen. That's not to say that The Woman in Me is nothing but heavy-handed pop/rockers dressed as country tunes -- they are good at ballads like the title song, but they're even more impressive on "No One Needs to Know," as swinging slice of neo- Bakersfield country so good you'd swear that Dwight Yoakam is singing harmony. And that speaks to the skill of Lange as a producer -- this is surely pop influenced, but he doesn't push it too far, for no matter how many rock tricks are in the production or how poppy the tunes are, they still feel like country songs, especially on "Any Man of Mine" and "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" anthems for the post-"Boot Scootin' Boogie" era, when country slowly, steadily became the sound of middle-American adult pop. Garth Brooks started the ball rolling, but this is where the movement gained momentum, and although this isn't pure country, it is country in how it sounds and feels, particularly in how it captures the stance and attitude of the modern women, thanks in no small part to Twain who plays this part to a hilt. And, like all the best Lange productions, it's so exquisitely crafted from the songs to the sound that it's not only an instant pleasure, it's a sustaining one. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released April 20, 1993 | Mercury Nashville

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Shania Twain's eponymous debut album is a bland set of contemporary country that demonstrates her considerable vocal abilities but none of the spark that informs her breakthrough, The Woman in Me. Part of the problem is that none of the songs are well constructed and each leans toward soft rock instead of country or country-rock. By and large, the songs lack strong melodies, so they have to rely on Twain's vocal skills, and although she is impressive, she is too showy to make any of these mediocre songs stick. It's a promising debut, largely because it showcases her fine vocal skills, but it isn't engaging enough to be truly interesting outside of a historical context. ~ Thom Owens
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Now

Country - Released September 29, 2017 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Country - Released January 1, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 1993 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Country - Released November 18, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Pop - Released November 18, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Country - Released January 1, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Up!

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 1995 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released November 4, 1997 | Mercury Nashville

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Country - Released November 8, 2004 | Mercury Nashville