Shania Twain Now
Shania Twain’s first album of new material in 15 years is called Now, but it sounds instantly out of touch, like a mid-’90s album from a hair-metal band trying to be taken seriously. Although Twain is known as a queen of pop-country, there’s almost nothing country about Now, nor are there any decent pop hooks. Instead, there’s a string of turgid, overproduced ballads with generic, often dour lyrics that only vaguely reflect the difficulties (divorce, illness) Twain has dealt with in recent years.
With its reggae-lite riffs and sing-songy chorus, single “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” could be a Smash Mouth B-side. The string-drenched “Where Do You Think You’re Going” recalls the pseudo-soulful work of Bryan Adams or solo Jon Bon Jovi. The wispy yet overproduced “Poor Me” could have come from a lesser Paula Abdul album. “More Fun” could not possibly be less fun. Only on the album’s one legitimate country song, the twangy “Home Now,” does Twain sound like anything resembling her formerly peppy, engaging self. For an album ostensibly about renewal, Now is completely lifeless.