Eilleen Regina Edwards was born on August 28, 1965 in Windsor, Ontario. She grew up in Timmins, Ontario. She released her self-titled debut studio album SHANIA TWAIN in 1993. It was her next album, 1995’s THE WOMAN IN ME, that really put her on the map with such songs as ‘Any Man of Mine’ and ‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?’ In 2002 Shania released her fourth and latest studio album, UP! It was produced and arranged by her then husband, Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange. It contains 19 songs and comes with a red CD, said to have “an electric, rockier-edged sound”, and a green CD “with a more acoustic, down-home feel”. Here, I will be reviewing the red CD.
Starting things off is the upbeat pop title track ‘Up!’ It offers these words of encouragement: “When everything is goin’ wrong/Don’t worry, it won’t last for long/Yeah, it’s all gonna come around/Don’t go let it get you down/You gotta keep on holding on.../Up, up, up/Can only go up from here/Up, up, up/Up where the clouds gonna clear/Up, up, up/There’s no way but up from here”. The catchy pop/rock hit ‘I’m Gonna Getcha Good!’ is next. It’s told from the perspective of a lady looking for commitment: “Don’t wantcha for the weekend/Don’t wantcha for a night/I’m only interested if I can have you for life, yeah/Uh, I know I sound serious and baby I am/You’re a fine piece of real estate/And I’m gonna get me some land/Oh, yeah/So, don’t try to run/Honey, love can be fun/There’s no need to be alone when you find that someone”. ‘She’s not just a Pretty Face’ looks at the advancements women have made in society: “She has a fashion line/A journalist for ‘Time’/Coaches a football team/She’s a geologist, a romance novelist/She is a mother of 3/She is a soldier, she is a wife/She is a surgeon, she’ll save your life/She’s not just a pretty face/She’s got everything it takes/She’s mother of the human race/She’s not just a pretty face”.
‘Juanita’ is a ballad with a tropical music feel to it. It includes these interesting lyrics: “She is the restless river running through my veins/She rides without the reins/Her name’s Juanita/She lives in the heart of every woman in the world/Within the reach of every girl who wants to meet her”. ‘Forever and For Always’ is a pretty ballad of commitment: “And there ain’t no way I’m lettin’ you go now/And there ain’t no way and there ain’t no how/I’ll never see that day/Cause I’m keeping you forever and for always/We will be together all of our days/Wanna wake up every morning to your sweet face/Always”.
‘Ain’t No Particular Way’ has a neat musical groove to it and reflects on love: “Oh, it could come so fast it fools ya/Might take its time to move ya/There ain’t no particular way/It might just drift in while you’re dreaming/It don’t sleep, always schemin’/There ain’t no particular way.../There ain’t nowhere it won’t hide/There ain’t no speed it won’t drive/There ain’t no law it won’t break/There ain’t no chance it won’t take...” ‘It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing’ is a sad country ballad: “And it only hurts when I’m breathing/My heart only breaks when it’s beating/My dreams only die when I’m dreaming/So, I hold my breath/To forget”.
‘Nah!’ is a fun country/pop tune about a girl who is moving on: “Well, I hope you learned a lesson/Cause you’ll never be messin’ with my head again the way that you did/It was never gonna work, you were too much of a jerk/I’m finally fed up with it/That’s it, that’s all/We had fun, we had a ball/It was good while it lasted, but now I’m past it/It was sure, it was sweet/Sure you swept me off my feet/I miss you now and then/But would I do it all again?/Nah”. ‘(Wanna Get to Know You) That Good!’ is about a desire for true intimacy: “I’ll be there when you’re sleepin’ and every hour you’re awake/I wanna hear your secrets, wanna share your worries/Wanna go the deepest/I don’t wanna hurry/I wanna take a lifetime to memorize your face/Wanna hold you closer, kiss you longer/Wanna hear your heartbeat/Stronger and stronger/Wanna know you all over/Till I know you by heart/Gotta know you with all that I got”.
‘C’est La Vie’ is an encouraging modern country song: “It must be Monday!/What a dumb day!/Can’t drag my butt outta bed/Somebody stop me/I need another coffee like a hole in my head/When every day begins this way/Gets you down and can drive you mad/The daily grind can freak your mind/But life isn’t all that bad/Don’t let it get to you/C’est la vie!/That’s life and that’s how it’s gonna be/C’est la vie!/Hold tight/It comes right eventually/Oh”. ‘I’m Jealous’ contains these thoughts: “I wish I were the rain runnin’ down your neck and drippin’ from your fingers/Then I could be the drops rollin’ off your back/I’d love to let it linger/Jealous of the rain/Oh, I’m jealous of the rain/Oh, I don’t wanna share you with nothing else/I gotta have you to myself/Oh, I can’t help it/I’m so in love/I just can’t get you close enough, no”.
‘Ka-Ching!’ is a pop indictment of North American society: “We live in a greedy little world that teaches every little boy and girl/To earn as much as they can possibly/Then turn around and spend it foolishly/We’ve created us a credit card mess/We spend the money that we don’t possess/Our religion is to go and blow it all/So it’s shoppin’ every Sunday at the mall/All we ever want is more/A lot more than we ever had before/So take me to the nearest store”. ‘Thank You Baby! (For Makin’ Someday Come So Soon)’ has very relatable lyrics: “Oh, thank you baby for lovin’ me like you do/I didn’t like datin’ and trying to find someone/I gave up waitin’ for love to come along/There had to be someway/I knew I’d find it someday/Yeah, thank you baby!/For makin’ someday come so soon/Yeah, thank you baby!/For lovin’ me the way you do”.
‘Waiter! Bring Me Water!’ follows. It’s a fun pop song as evidenced by these words: “He took me to our favorite spot/A place we go to hang a lot/Something seemed to catch his eye/Oh, over my shoulder (2X)/I turned around to see what’s up/A pretty young thing sure enough/She was new/He wanted to/Know her (2X)/Oh, yeah/Then she flicked her hair, yeah/Oh, yeah, he began to stare/Waiter! Bring me water!/I gotta make him keep his cool/Waiter! Bring me water!/He’s acting like a fool/Waiter! Bring me water!” ‘What a Way to Wanna Be!’ is a peppy pop song directed to females: “We like to buy, we like to spend to keep up with the latest trend/But we don’t get no satisfaction living like a slave to fashion/No more thinking for yourself, just get it off a shelf/Oh why be perfect, no it’s not worth it/Don’t be so obsessed, c’mon give it a rest/This is not some contest, just do your best/Cause nobody’s perfect!/What a way to wanna be!”
‘I Ain’t Goin’ Down’ is a great pro-life story song: “I had a baby at fifteen/Daddy never did forgive me/I never heard from the guy again/I had to drop outta high school/Everybody treated me so cruel/But I didn’t give in and give her away.../Her smile got me through the years, dried away the tears/And filled me with hope/At night I’d lie awake and cry/Prayed we would get by/And for the courage to cope”. ‘I’m Not in the Mood (To Say No)!’ isn’t about sex, but is, rather, a song about not being lazy and shy.
‘In My Car (I’ll Be the Driver)’ is a carefree modern country number: “You can choose the channel when we’re watchin’ the T.V./Oh, babe, it’s okay/And you can pick the flavor when we’re orderin’ ice cream/I don’t mind, yeah, that’s fine/I’d do anything for you.../But in my car, I’ll be the driver/In my car, I’m in control/In my car, I come alive and/In my car/I am the driver/Watch me now!” The song has a rock influence. Last up is ‘When You Kiss Me’. It is a poetic, romantic ballad: “Oh, when you kiss me/I know you miss me/And when you’re with me/The world just goes away/The way you hold me/The way you show me that you adore me/Oh, when you kiss me/Oh, yeah.../I can see the two of us together/I know I’m gonna be with you forever/Love couldn’t be any better”.
UP! is a perfect album from the lovely and very talented Shania Twain. It blends the best of pop music with the best of modern country music. I don’t have to tell you how rare it is to get 19 original songs on one album in any genre these days. These songs here explore life and love in ways that the average Joe and Jane can easily relate to. Both happy and sad songs are found here, but Shania’s optimism and zest for life prevail! This is a real fun album to listen to! I’m rating it 100%. In 2004 Twain released GREATEST HITS which included three new songs. In 2011 she released the single ‘Today is Your Day’. She’s been working on a new album! For more information visit: www.shaniatwain.com.