View Single Post
Old 12-01-2002, 05:57 PM
cbspock's Avatar
cbspock cbspock is offline
Board Administrator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: at the edge of the final frontier...
Posts: 49,422
I just found their error in thier it is....

Shania Twain waves to the crowd during an appearance at the Much Music studios in Toronto

Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002
Shania Reigns
Shania Twain aims to sell more records than anyone in history and she just may
Every once in a while, Shania Twain will munch on a carrot stick, whip her curly hair over her shoulder and issue a modest decree. It is worth paying attention to these pronouncements, even though Twain, who is Canadian and thus constitutionally averse to star trips, never quite means what she says. On a brisk October night, with the bleat of Paris traffic in her ears, the Twain fiat is this: she is going to stop singing in public. "I never burned to perform, and I don't care if I ever perform again," she says. "I have no need to do that."

First in line among the things she has no need to do is Star Academy, a French reality game show in which marginally talented young aspirants live in a house and vote one another out on the basis of their progress in becoming slick professional singers. (Imagine the cheese factor of Big Brother, Survivor and American Idol in French.) But just a few hours after her edict about performing, Twain, 37, is singing her signature ballad, You're Still the One, in a duet with Jeremy, a young Frenchman whose penchant for accidental key changes augurs poorly for an extended stay at le Star Academy chateau. As Jeremy bludgeons the first verse, Twain closes her eyes and sways in a convincing facsimile of joy. Star Academy is wildly successful in France; Twain is only moderately successful in France. Yes, she really wants to stop performing, but what she wants more than anything is to have the biggest-selling album of all time, and she will do anything, including Star Academy, to get it.

"Overcoming any situation and performing at your best that's being a professional," she says later of her battle with Jeremy's howl. "It was an obstacle, and I overcame it." Twain speaks in formal, syllogistic sentences, especially when the subject is her job. "I am a commercial singer. When I write a song, I'm thinking about the people who are going to be listening to it. The whole process is done with that in mind. I hear other

singers say, 'What I do is artistic, and I do it for myself.' I don't get that. If you're making it just for yourself, why sell it?"

It is this unabashed commercialism (plus a great gift for pop hooks) that makes Twain the ruler of the vast collection of ears between Madonna and Garth Brooks. She began her career appealing to a country audience that was first scandalized and then hypnotized by her pop sensibilities and her conspicuously bare midriff. Then in 1997 Twain recorded Come on Over, a brilliantly calculated mix of pop and country that has sold 19 million copies and is the most popular album by a female singer in American history. Twain and Whitney Houston are the only women to have two albums sell more than 10 million copies each. Twain's newest, Up!, released Nov. 19, sold 874,000 copies in its first week, meaning it should be just a matter of months before she's the only woman with three 10-million sellers.

Because her songs are aimed at a mass audience, they are built with the same focus on demographics and inoffensiveness as a political campaign. Twain will not record edgy, experimental or controversial songs. She will do universal ballads like You're Still the One and exuberant up-tempo tunes like Man! I Feel Like a Woman! that start with synth fanfares and cowbells and end usually 3 1/2 minutes later with a giddy repetition of oooh-yeah!s and uh-huh!s over a cavatina of power chords, leaving listeners with the wonderfully woozy feeling of having just eaten a bale of cotton candy while watching a Jerry Bruckheimer movie during a roller-coaster ride.

Like all great cheap thrills, Up! is shamelessly produced and guiltlessly enjoyed; it's easily the best pop album of the year. The contagious first single, I'm Gonna Getcha Good ("I'm gonna getcha while I gotcha you in sight/I'm gonna getcha if it takes all night"), is less a love song than Twain's declaration of intent to consumers, while Up!'s 18 other tracks back her claim with the kind of energy that reminds you how much fun the genre can be. If there's a weakness, it's that Twain is too busy standing everywhere to stand anywhere. Only she could write a song, Juanita, about the independent goddess raging inside all women, include a line like "When someone tries to take away the freedom of your choice" and insist that it never occurred to her that it might be interpreted as a reference to abortion. "I wouldn't even know what to say about that," says Twain, "because my feelings about that have changed so much over the years. I go back and forth, and it's such a difficult issue. So it wasn't intended to I mean, if people take it that way, it's fine. I'm not saying, 'Don't take it that way ...'" And so on.

She asserts, "The songs themselves, the attitude, the personality, is all from my personal character." Yet none of the songs on Up! reveal anything specific about that character, such as the fact that Twain recently moved into a 100-room chateau in Switzerland or that she gave birth to a baby boy, Eja. "Who wants to hear about my kid? It's private," she says flatly, dropping the subject for a moment, only to pick it up again. "Who's gonna relate to that, anyway? People are going to go out and pay for the record, and I want my music to relate to their lives, not vice versa."

To ensure that Up! relates to as many lives as possible, Twain decided that it had to be a double CD. Both discs contain the same 19 tracks, but one was recorded with the snare hits and techno zooms preferred by pop fans, whereas the other is sprinkled with mandolin and slide guitar for the country folk who first made Twain a star. A third disc, with what she calls "an Asian, Indian vibe," replaces the country disc in Europe and other parts, but everybody gets two CDs. She's gonna getcha either way.

The irony of Twain's reluctance to write personal, revealing songs is that her history is filled with examples of courage. If Loretta Lynn and Charles Dickens met while under contract to the Lifetime network, they might come up with the grim frontier tale that is Twain's youth. She grew up in Timmins, Ont., a mining town in the heart of the Canadian bush. Her father ran off when she was 2. Her mother Sharon and her adoptive father Jerry Twain, a full-blooded Ojibwa Indian, continually struggled for work. The five Twain children considered themselves lucky to find a mustard sandwich in their school lunch boxes.

Twain's vocal talent was discovered when she was 4 and still called by her birth name, Eilleen. "I was singing along with the jukebox in a diner," she recalls. "These guys heard and asked my mom if I could sing louder. She put me up on the countertop, and from that moment on, she was convinced I was going to be a little performer." In need of cash, Sharon booked Twain in front of every open microphone in northern Ontario. If there were no talent shows or telethons, Sharon was not above hauling Twain out of bed in her pajamas to sing Dolly Parton covers before last call at a local bar.
Shania's Place
Shania: often imitated, never duplicated!!

"...Living, Loving, Laughing and Dreaming....."-Shania Twain
Reply With Quote