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November 17, 2004

Exclusive: Twain melts Rove's arctic heart

"Shania Twain's 'Party for Two' might be the single of the year. [It's] a laser-guided, petri dish-corrected, space age polymer orgasm of clean burning, unadulterated joy. In other words, its pitch-corrected tickle has a mandate to make you smile". - Johnny Loftus, Metro Times, 11/17/04

Wounded forest animals flock to her side, finding solace and healing in the folds of her skirts. She wipes the runny noses of statesmen with Kleenex from her sleeve; she sings exclamation point songs to needy legions of disgusted Wal-Mart greeters. Shania Twain - the world's best hope for peace. Her new Greatest Hits is exactly that - an abstract of the work she and husband/producer Mutt "Back in Black" Lange did to rid the world of bland radio singles. Of course the genius of this endeavor is how the surface of their music resembles that very same vacuous style, but digs much deeper into both craft and your brain. Think about the blaring, processed fiddle figure in Shania's 1997 hit "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!", the one that punctuates her drawling of the title phrase and hooks into your brain matter like a pointy-toed boot. Now, compare that moment with the legendary piano break in Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time", released just two years later. "[da-DAH-DAH!] Oh baby baby how was I supposed to know..." - it's one of the most enduring pop moments of the 1990s. But it also binds Britney to Shania, since these songs became templates for their careers. Yes, Britney was just starting out. But "...Baby One More Time" is still her guiding principal. Even though she was already a star, Come on Over sold listeners on a new, genre-less Shania. Still country enough, but pop all the way to the bank, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" was an addicting slice of sex, empowerment, and intoxicating songcraft. It put Shania in a can't-lose category; she became a curvier Will Smith.


Posted by Johnny Loftus at November 17, 2004 10:11 AM