After six long years, Shania Twain, the household name of the Nineties, the undisputed Queen of Country Pop, and a global star, finally made a comeback with ‘Queen of Me.’ The new album dropped last February 3, 2023, under Republic Records, and a 49-date tour is set to start in April, with big names joining her onstage on select dates.
The 57-year-old singer was definitely excited to share her new songs with fans. In her Instagram post, Twain expressed how this era of her music is a reflection of her unapologetic and empowered self and hoped that it would be a reminder to every listener that they have the same power inside themselves.
“I’ll be Queen of Me – you be Queen of YOU!”
The name Shania Twain has definitely made a mark in country music, especially in the ‘90s with her hits “You’re Still the One,” “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” and “From This Moment On.” Aside from being a hitmaker, she also has a reputation for being the best-selling female country artist in the history of the genre. She also has five Grammy awards under her belt.
As Rolling Stone put it, Twain ‘brought country music forward into a new era with arena-rock attitude, sex appeal, and hooks to match.’ But this 2023 comeback – her sixth studio album – serves a fresh Shania Twain. The vocals hit differently after she went through open throat surgery, and the overall vibe and sound of the album are so new compared to her old, hot, and romantic tracks.
Let’s take a quick look at her tracklist.
1. “Giddy Up!”
This infectious feel-good song perfectly sets the tone and message of the album to be comfortable and celebrate one’s own skin.
2. “Brand New”
This is a soulful and uplifting anthem for anyone who wants to finally close a chapter in their lives and bravely begin a new one.
3. “Waking Up Dreaming”
Serving as the lead single of the album, “Waking Up Dreaming” encourages us all to embrace the high of being in love.
4. “Best Friend”
This is the exciting background track for all the duos while they get themselves into trouble.
5. “Pretty Liar”
Twain adds more trouble with this cool, perky girl-group sound. It’s so catchy and full of attitude – if you know what we mean.
6. “Inhale/Exhale Air”
You will never take one single breath for granted when you hear this track. The singer wrote this song after her own near-fatal battle with COVID-19.
7. “Last Day of Summer”
A sentimental song about a love that ended in summer that will surely take you back to your own almost love story.
8. “Queen of Me”
It’s a short but powerful and catchy anthem of self-empowerment.
9. “Got It Good”
This track showcases a touch of Twain’s signature maximalist energy and is one of those songs you’d dedicate to a partner to reassure them that you’re there for them – always.
10. “Number One”
Another love song from Twain’s album, but with a different vibe: hot and sexy.
11. “Not Just a Girl”
In this song, Twain champions the capability of a girl – someone who isn’t boxed into the traditional notion of society and someone who can fly and rule the world.
12. “The Hardest Stone”
Closing off the album is a vulnerable vocal performance by Twain. It’s a comforting pep talk that everyone who has been through a heartbreak needs to hear.
The Nineties was undeniably the imperial phase of Shania Twain’s career. Everyone knew her name and every lyric to her song. And until now, her songs have remained to be classic hits that people sing in competitions and karaoke. But after contracting Lyme disease, Twain suffered from damaged nerves in her vocal cords. She had to relearn everything and go into physical therapy. She didn’t release any track or album for fifteen years.
In 2017, Shania Twain courageously took center stage again with her comeback album ‘Now.’ Aside from being her first release after a long time, it was also a milestone in her career as she reintroduced herself and her music without the influence of her ex-husband and ex-producer, Mutt Lange. It was a departure from her old sound, but it was still very much Shania Twain.
This latest project, ‘Queen of Me,’ is no stranger to change. This time around, Twain unveiled her new vocal prowess after finally undergoing open throat surgery due to Lyme disease in 2018. But unlike her previous album, this one was met with so much criticism.
Pitchfork literally brought out the pitchforks with their review, noting the underwhelming material, the plasticine sound, and the lack of Twain’s signature energy. Additionally, they pointed out the awkward shift into pop and the singer’s poor attempt in jiving in the current trends. The album scored 5.2 points out of 10.
But as one fan pointed out, Shania Twain made the album for her fans. And we agree. She didn’t have anything else to prove, and her status remained unimpeachable. More importantly, there’s something that we have to remember: Artists go through phases. They wouldn’t have the same sound throughout their entire career simply because, just like anyone else, they grow and mature. Experiences shape us and our perspectives in life which in turn, for artists like Shania Twain, shape the art they create.
Trust us, ‘Queen of Me’ may not be Shania Twain’s best, but it is a bussin’ bop. The tracks are so enjoyable to listen to and are very catchy. The message is simple but powerful. They’re worth every minute.