Shania Twain is one of these artists, where I feel that writing an About The Artist section feels like an insult to her career. The Canadian is such a legend in country music, that I just cannot reflect that sufficiently in the short overview of her career. Twain released her album Queen of Me on 3rd February 2023. I just had to have a listen.
Shania Twain – About The Artist
Eileen Regina Shania Twain was born under the maiden name Edward on 28th August 1965 in Windsor, Ontario. She is the best-selling female country music artist of all times, selling over 100 million records. Her surname Twain is coming from the second husband of her mother, who is Ojibwa tribe origin. Despite she is that successful, her list of albums is not that long – Queen of Me is just her sixth studio album overall.
While her self-titled debut in 1993 rather has become successful after she established as an artist later, the two releases thereafter were a massive global seller. The 1995 The Women in Me was sold over 20 million times worldwide, the 1997 Come on Over even roughly doubled that figure. Thereby, Come on Over topped the charts in multiple countries and even was a Top 10 in Germany, which is typically not the most fruitful ground for the genre.
After Up! released in 2002, Shania Twain took a hiatus of fifteen years, before Now again has been at the top of sales in many countries. On the singles side, Shania Twain has 13 Canadian Country Charts #1 songs, but songs like That Don’t Impress Me Much (which is not one of them, by the way) had global success.
Shania Twain – Queen of Me – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 36 minutres.
1. Giddy Up!
Out of the four single releases Twain did before the album, Giddy Up! is the most successful on Spotify. However, eight million streams might not be a bummer for an artist who is also having some songs with over 100 million streams on that platform. And that’s how I feel about the song as well. It does have a nice touch and a good catch. It is also a nice blend of country music and pop. But first of all, the pre-chorus reminds me of High School Musical and the la-la-la bridge just feels a bit too naive to me. Hmm…
2. Brand New
You made me bleed
I cut you out
When you cut me deep
So I deleted our history
‘Cause you’ll always be the same old you
But I’m a brand new me
While Giddy Up! definitely had a stronger country music heart, I still like that breakup pop ballad ditty more. It also sounds like a Shania Twain song to me.
3. Waking Up Dreaming
Regarding the single releases, this song is my favorite. Like the whole album, Waking Up Dreaming is stronger towards pop than towards country music, but the third song on the album feels very compact, streamlined, it just a good and straight listen.
4. Best Friend
The fourth song is a slower, but very rhythmic pop track with a nice groove. The song does not have a huge range of notes and is overall rather mousy in the context of the album. Not really a bad song, but still rather a filler.
5. Pretty Liar
Okay, the country music influence on this song is at most minimal, but Pretty Liar is a nice pop track, which is even spreads some summer vibes. The bridge is not working out for me at all, it just interrupts the thought to move to the music and enjoy yourself.
6. Inhale/Exhale AIR
This one feels a lot like Shania Twain to me again. At least the kind of songs I have in my heart from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. That’s nice on the one hand – but on the other hand, it makes Inhale/Exhale AIR feel a bit like a copy and outdated.
7. Last Day of Summer
A bit of country, a touch of pop and a lot of ballad and emotions: Last Day of Summer sounds and feels just like you would imagine this day to be alike. Really nice one, even though it is not even close to the Canadian’s best ones.
8. Queen of Me
Oh, I’m queen of me
And I’ve got a life and so many other amazing things
To do like getting out there, following my dreams
You can’t be king of everything
‘Cause I’m busy being
Here we are at the title track. The chorus has a nice vibe, but it is another of these “it is indeed a nice one somehow” songs. I am still waiting for the big catch.
9. Got It Good
Actually, Got It Good is one of my favorite listens of the album. It sounds like Shania, it has a nice catching groove and you just have to move to it. Not the deepest and most thoughtful song in Shania’s discography, but listening to this one is really fun.
10. Number One
Could Number One be a number one song one day? At least Twain is trying to do a modern pop song with a Shania Twain – which does not work out too poorly. Nice chorus as well.
11. Not Just A Girl
Finally, the selection of singles from this album hasn’t been too bad. Not Just A Girl is a good listen. Even if you hear it on the radio, you become excited about that there is new stuff by the Ontario lady. Straight and enjoyable 3:10 minutes.
12. The Hardest Stone
The album does not close with a bang (did you still expect that?), but The Hardest Stone definitely does a very good job as a gentle chucker-out.
Shania Twain – Queen of Me – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Shania Twain – Queen of Me – My View
Queen of Me is not a bad album at all – but if you compare it to previous releases, I don’t feel that Shania Twain did a good transition into 2023. Some of the songs aim to be very modern, others are rather trying to please existing fans. Unfortunately, there is no catch, no really good songs.
Canadian Country Music Reviews
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