It’s full of hits like That Don’t Impress Me Much, Man! This album, I Feel Like A Woman, You’re Still The One and her. From This Moment On, was Twain’s then-husband and super-her producer of some of her big albums at the time. Robert “Mutt” Lange’s Midas benefits from her touch. Returned to profitability including AC/DC. But Twain co-wrote every song on Come On Over, popping as perfect as her Goldilocks her country, selling with her twang, beauty and sassiness, and indelible music in her videos. I expressed it with a trimmed costume.
Years later, after another successful album, 2002’s Up!, Twain’s career took a turn for the worse when a diagnosis of Lyme disease affected her vocal cords, requiring two “open-throat surgeries”. then put on hold. It’s been 15 years since Twain released another record, Now 2017, but it’s Queen of Me that feels like her comeback album.
Queen of Me is Shania Twain’s new album since 2017.
Twain’s voice has returned from her surgery softer and harsher, but musically, she’s back to her bouncy, perky self on her new LP, and the party starter, I performed with Giddy Up! Even on tracks with bites, it maintains an upbeat mood throughout. gPretty Liar is a spiky update to That Don’t Impress Me Much, with Girl Her group themes and boppy melodies to soothe the lyrics.
The title track is similarly defiant (“you can’t be king of everything/ ’cause I’m busy being queen/ queen of me”), as is Not Just a Girl, sharing a name with the 2022 Netflix documentary that revealed some, but not all, of the trauma Twain has endured in her lifetime, including suffering physical and sexual abuse as a child and having to care for her three younger siblings when her mother and stepfather died in a car crash when she was 22. These tribulations doubtless shaped her character, instilling the kind of resilience that was required to return to singing after losing her voice, and to bounce back after discovering that ex-husband Lange was having an affair with her best friend (two years later, Twain married her best friend’s husband).
When she sings “you’ll always be the same old you/ but I’m a brand new me” on Brand New, you know she’s speaking from lived experience, while her indefatigable optimism recalls that of Dolly Parton, who has always known that you attract more bees with honey. Twain is triumphant, not bitter, and her kiss-offs share space on the album with romantic songs like Waking Up Dreaming, describing a relationship as giddily as a lovestruck teen, and Got It Good, which refers not to a crush, but to the partner she’s watching out for (“I got your back, baby”).