Everything We Know About Shania Twain’s New Album, ‘Now’
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 -- until now (pun intended).
Twain's new album will be titled Now.
The Release Date
Now is due out on Sept. 29 -- though that date has changed a few times. Twain originally said that she planned on releasing a new single in March, with the full album coming in May (per Rolling Stone); however, per an April press release, the record was due out in September, with the single coming in June. Then, during an intermission-time interview during Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on June 11, Twain told Hockey Night in Canada host Scott Oake that her new album would be out in "late August."
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
The Now album cover is black and white. On it, Twain is donning leopard print -- perhaps a throwback to her “That Don’t Impress Me Much” music video?
When crafting Now, for the first time in many years, Twain needed to find a new producer. 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 added. “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."
The producers of "Life's About to Get Good," Twain's first single from Now, are Matthew Koma and Ron Aniello. On the record, she also worked with Jake Gosling and Jacquire King, and co-produced herself.
However, an interesting footnote: While doing press for Now, Twain shared that she and Prince had been talking about working together prior to his death.
An April 25 press release confirmed that "Life's About to Get Good" would be Twain's first single from Now; Twain tells Taste of Country Nights that her son helped pick it. The singer debuted her new single during her headlining set at the 2017 Stagecoach Country Music Festival on April 29; the song is also being used in an ad for NBC's 2018 Winter Olympics coverage.
“I was at home, looking out at the ocean, and I said to myself, ‘Here I am stuck in this past of negativity, but it’s so beautiful out. I’m not in the mood to write a feeling-sorry-for-myself song,'" Twain recalls of the inspiration for "Life's About to Get Good." "You can’t have the good without the bad. And that’s what the song ended up being about.”
Twain says that the chorus of "Life's About to Get Good' is “very celebratory and very happy" (quote via the Press-Enterprise). She also notes that the song is "optimistic.”
During an intermission-time interview during Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on June 11, Twain told Hockey Night in Canada host Scott Oake that her new single would be officially released on June 16 (the date that Twain was scheduled to perform on Today). However, one day earlier, on June 15, the single officially shipped to country radio.
On July 27, Twain released the music video for "Life's About to Get Good." Directed by Matthew Cullen, the clip finds Twain purging the things she’s been hanging on to from her past — though not that “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” music video costume! — and adding a little color to her life.
On Aug. 17, Twain announced that "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed" -- which Twain first shared during her Today appearance on June 16 -- as Now's second single. The song, she says, shows her resilience: "The fighter in me wrote that song. 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."
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 Now 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 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, ""Swingin' 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."
On July 5, Twain shared Now's complete track listing via Instagram Stories. The titles of each of the record's 16 tracks are below; four of the songs will appear only on the album's deluxe version.
Shania Twain, Now Track Listing:
1. "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed"
2. "Home Now"
3. "Light of My Life"
4. "Poor Me"
5. "Who's Gonna Be Your Girl"
6. "More Fun"
7. "I'm Alright"
8. "Let's Kiss and Make Up" *
9. "Where Do You Think You're Going" *
10. "Roll Me on the River"
11. "We Got Something They Don't"
12. "Because of You" *
13. "You Can't Buy Love"
14. "Life's About to Get Good"
16. "All in All" *
* deluxe version only
Twain embarked on what was supposed to be her final 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.”
Now, however, Twain has reconsidered, and will embark on her Shania Now Tour in 2018. Twain's said that she feels as though her “final” tour “kind of ended too soon,” as it was routed around her son’s school schedule; he’s her priority, but she's ready to hit the road again.
“I felt like at that time maybe that was all I had left in me. I really felt that way,” Twain says, “but I was so energized by the tour and by the fans. For the first time in my career, I really felt like it was easier and the fans really gave me more than ever before for some reason.”
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