Shania Twain - Now

After inextricably crossing the streams of country and pop back in 1997 with Come On Over and its mega-hits, 'That Don't Impress Me Much' and 'Man! I Feel Like A Woman' and 2002's Up, Shania Twain disappeared. Well apart from the odd single or soundtrack effort. And her TV show. But 15 years on from Up, and after a difficult time with an illness that affected her vocal chords, she's back with Now a personal album partially about the break-up of her marriage.

That battle with Lyme's disease has changed the sound of her voice, giving it a more mature and nuanced sound, and a quality that goes well with the twelve new tracks about fighting back and not giving up. The ubiquitous opening track 'Swingin' With My Eye Closed' lets you know what to expect right up front. It's a track about responding to adversity, a theme that runs through the album.

Now treads a well-worn path for the Canadian singer, with its mix of uptempo pop (the likable 'Let's Kiss And Make up') and ballads (the predictable 'I'm Alright'). More interesting are tracks like 'Light Of My Life' where her vocals are high in the mix and the melody is offbeat, the dramatic 'Poor Me', 'Roll Me On The River' which has a touch of Civil Wars to it. There's enough in these tracks to suggest there's a better album in here somewhere, though that's not to say it's bad, just safe.



out of 10

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