|The Shania Twain story has opened on a new and exciting chapter, and the only way is Up! Thatıs the title of the much anticipated follow-up to Come On Over, the most successful female solo artist album of all time with world-wide sales of an astonishing 34 million.
Follow that? You bet. The great news for Shania fans across the globe is that she's completed one of the most exciting and ambitious recording projects of the new millennium. Not to mention that she's totally energised by a fresh creative momentum that has led to her completing a massive 19 new tracks, co-written with her husband and producer Robert John Mutt Lange.
Refreshed and ready to rock after a sabbatical at home in Switzerland, in which she and Mutt became parents for the first time, there's a buzz coming from Shania like an electrical charge. We wanted to put something together that was bigger and better, she glows, and the whole thing IS so much bigger and better than anything I've done in the past.
The whole record has been made differently, we travelled around a lot more, we used musical influences from all over the world. We used Indian musicians recorded directly in Mumbai, India, some of the American musicians were recorded in the Caribbean, a 40 piece orchestra recorded in Ireland, other musicians in Italy, and we literally hopped from city to city song-writing, including Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Provence and The Grenadine Islands. This music came together in smaller pieces over a longer period of time.
In a revolutionary industry first, Up! will be available in three different formats in recognition of Twain's truly world-wide audience. We created the concept of: why not give the audience the music that they accept and want and expect from me? she explains. I don't just have country fans, I don't just have pop fans, my career isn't just North America, it's international.
So we have three different CDs, one is Green, very relatable to any of my country fans, it's definitely Shania. One is Red and it's pure pop, it's music that came very naturally to us. And we have a more international sounding Blue CD, it's got a very Latin-Asian feel to it, very interesting and creative. The contrast between my vocals and these mixes is just very interesting. So it's like doing three albums in two years. No one will have done this before, and I'm pretty excited about it.
Leading the way as the first single from this extraordinary new project is the absolutely irresistible I'm Gonna Getcha Good! That was an obvious single, she says. There is a typical Shania attitude in the lyric, a definite female confidence. It's all about a girl who knows what she wants, she not only knows how to get it, but she's going to get it good.
In my experience it's more typical to run into guys with such confidence when it comes to women, once again I thought it would be fun to write with that same confidence, but from a woman's point of view. I wanted the first single to reflect that playful attitude, because I want people to relate to the Shania they already know, at the same time as hearing a new, fresh sound
Shania is thrilled with the development of her vocal technique on the album, an evolution that Mutt wholeheartedly encouraged. It is different. Mutt was able to bring out a presence in my voice that I usually only use when I'm song-writing with my acoustic guitar. I didn't realise that I was singing with a slightly different voice on the microphone. It's like being in front of a camera, unless you forgot it's there, you kind of act a little differently. Mutt stayed on it until he got the natural, more intimate vocal sound he loves in my voice.
Other highlights on the album? Shania could name as many as there are tracks, but here are a few particulars. Ka-Ching is one of my top five, probably one of my top three, because it does have the Shania cheekiness to it, but I think it's a pretty fair observation of where we're at, in terms of how commercial society has become, almost globally.
I also like the lyrics on In My Car (I'll Be The Driver) - don't care if you sleep with your socks on, you can hurt my head with your favourite rock song. In other words, you can be in control of all the other things in our lives, but in my car, I am the driver! Up!, the title track, has some really fun things, OEeven my skin is acting weird, wish that I could grow a beard. One of my other favourites is I'm Jealous, it's one of those songs that's so descriptive, you can see and feel it happening. Juanita is a song I got a bit deeper with lyrically. In our most vulnerable times, whether we're searching for strength, courage or freedom, it's our female power (our Juanita) that we need to connect with.
It's keeping it real, lyrically that's just my approach, it is very conversational which is very much the way the last two albums were written and those were the songs people related to the best, saying things the way I would have spoken them.
That's why, even with her place in the world's musical élite guaranteed and undisputed, the only way is Up! for Shania Twain: because of the creative goals she has already achieved with the album even before it starts flying out of the stores. Mutt and I as a team put more into this record than ever before, she confesses. We really have gone totally all out, we've laboured over it and I'm completely thrilled with the results.
I put this music on and Iım overwhelmed with emotion. Itıs been such a labour of love, and as Iım listening back sometimes I donıt know whether to laugh or cry.