Everything We Know About Shania Twain’s New Album
To say things have changed for Twain since her last record, Up!, was released in 2002, is a drastic understatement: Her previous albums — The Woman in Me, Come on Over and Greatest Hits — were produced by her then-husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, but in 2008, the couple split following Lange’s affair with Twain’s best friend, Marie-Anne Thiébaud. In an ironic twist, Twain fell in love with Frédéric Thiébaud — Marie-Anne’s former husband — and the couple got married in 2011.
Twain stepped away from the spotlight for several years, though she spent 2012-2014 performing a Las Vegas residency and, most recently, embarked on her Rock This Country Tour, in 2015. But still, no new music has appeared — but she’s definitely still working on it.
Twain hasn’t yet revealed the title of her forthcoming new album.
The Release Date
Twain has said that she plans on releasing a new single in March, with the full album coming in May (per Rolling Stone). However, a more recent story from the Press-Enterprise states that the record will drop in the fall.
The Record Label
Twain is signed with Universal Music Group Nashville. All of her previous albums were released by Mercury Nashville, which operates as a part of UMG.
The Album Cover
Although we haven’t seen Twain’s new album cover yet, all of her records thus far have prominently featured her on the front. (With her perfectly symmetrical face, no one is complaining!)
For the first time in many years, Twain needed to find a new producer for her new project. In June of 2015, she offered an update about that process.
“I’m just looking in general for people. I’ve been listening to a lot of records and looking at a lot of music history and trying to determine, ‘Okay, who is responsible for that song that I love, or who is responsible for this record that I love or that sound that I love?’” Twain explained at the time. “I’m narrowing it down that way, as opposed to by genre.
“It’s kind of like dating for the first time,” she adds. “It’s a bit awkward, because I didn’t really know how to work with anybody else. After all those years, it’s been a real learning curve — that is a good way to put it.”
Per Twain, this project’s first single is due out in March. However, she hasn’t shared its title or what it’s about.
Fans are used to hearing pop-country hits, such as “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “From This Moment On,” from Twain, but her new record will be “diverse,” she says.
“This album is more diverse than any other album I’ve ever done — not that I’ve done a ton of albums, but it’s the most diverse of the albums I’ve done,” Twain explains. “There’s a lot of variety there, but what I’ve learned about myself is, as a songwriter of all the songs, the emotion and the voice ties it all together as one artist.”
Twain calls this album a growth in “independence,” and though she admits it’s been “a lot of hard work,” she also says it’s “the most fun hard work I’ve ever done so far.”
Though this new album may be different than the others, fans will still recognize Twain as herself — and they’ll hear a lot of rock and country on the record.
“I do think there will be a contrast there for sure. That is already just who I am anyway. Even if I was producing it myself I would maintain a level of contrast,” Twain explains. “I think that’s why it has worked so well to make the records that I make. The rock and country is something I am attracted to so I think that wide, broad spectrum of contrast is going to remain. I don’t think I would ever make a straight rock album. It just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t make that blend in there somewhere.”
Even though this album is coming after some of the darkest experiences of Twain’s life, don’t worry about it being a downer. She says, “It is a more soulful approach to my songwriting than I’ve probably ever allowed myself to have before. It’s fun music, too. I like to stay positive. I’ll make sure that I do some things on there that make you feel good and happy as well. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Twain decided to write all of the songs on this album by herself: “It needed to be really pure and my own story and my own emotional journey,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I was now alone all of a sudden, and I didn’t want to shy away from it. And that’s not a collaborative thing; it’s a very personal thing.”
One of the new songs, “Who’s Gonna Be Your Girl?” is a direct reflection on Twain’s broken marriage: “It’s about feeling unappreciated and knowing that you are secondary,” she notes. “Having to live with someone that has different priorities and accepting that you’re not the most important thing in a person’s life.”
Another song, “Swinging With My Eyes Closed,” shows her resilience: “The fighter in me wrote that song,” Twain says. “I was thinking of a boxer taking a swing, or a baby first coming out with his eyes and fists closed. They can’t even see yet and they’re swinging with their eyes closed.”
Yet another track was inspired by a baseball game; it’s called “We Got Something They Don’t.” The title suggests a commentary on her newfound love, but, Twain tells Rolling Stone, “I was sick in a hotel room, and there was Major League Baseball going on just below the hotel in the dome. I was bummed out that I couldn’t go there and enjoy the game, so I wrote this song about the winning team and what I would feel like, and I just got into the spirit of the game. It’s about feeling like a champion.”
Twain explains that many of the songs on this disc were reborn throughout the album process: “Most of them started off quite melancholy and a lot darker,” she admits; for example, “”Swinging With My Eyes Closed” was totally dark at the beginning. It’s just all of a sudden the light went on and there was light as well as darkness. There’s a lot of songs that have that contrast on it that maybe are too subtle for the listener to even realize.”
Twain also says that songs such as “Life’s About to Get Good” and “I’m Alright” — specifically, their choruses — are “very celebratory and very happy. They’re optimistic” (quote via the Press-Enterprise).
Twain embarked on her last tour in 2015; it was her first North American tour in 11 years, but she decided that she was finished with that aspect of her career.
“I just feel like I’m ready to hang my hat up in that regard,” she says. “I just really want to go out with a bang.”
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