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Album Review

Shania Twain is back after fifteen years of musical silence. In that decade and a half, she's weathered a high-profile divorce from super-producer Robert "Mutt" Lange (who had an affair with her best friend) as well as the vocal condition dysphonia, a tightening of the vocal coards that produces hoarseness and makes it hard to speak.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Twain admits that the resulting change in her voice was something she had to wrestle with. "I'm a different singer now," she said. "There was a lot of coming to terms with that. It's been one of the obstacles in my life I've just had to learn to live with."

Given those experiences, it's no surprise that Twain's fifth album, Now, bounces between sorrow and despair, light and joy—in a poppy, folky kind of way. The result? Fans will catch a glimpse of Shania Twain that showcases sides of her personality that they've perhaps never heard before.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

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Pro-social Content

On "Swinging With My Eyes Closed," Twain embraces a sense of possibility and freedom in an uncertain world: "Got my hair down, a wide open road/Only God knows how far it goes." She also sings, "Fear disappears each time I close my eyes." Meanwhile, "Home Now" deals with getting lost and finding your way back to a true sense of who you are: "Lost my way trying to find truth/But I'm home now, home now."

"Light Of My Life" imagines a satisfying, love-filled future: "Tomorrow, you may still be out of reach/But someday, you and I will be possible." She also promises, "I'm saving myself for you/There is no wait long enough/Ain't no way I'm giving up." Twain also describes what it will feel like someday to look back on shared years together: "You are the light of my life/My little piece of the pie/American beauty, apple of my eye."

Twain laments her ex-husband's infidelity in "Poor Me." She wonders, "Why do I keep looking back?" And she still struggles to understand why he cheated: "Still can't believe he'd leave me/To love her." "Who's Gonna Be Your Girl" is a somber song about a woman trying to convince her wayward man that she'll still love him even when others don't ("Who's gonna be your girl/When all of the boys are gone/ … When living is no more fun"). The song also hints, sadly, that alcohol has impacted their relationship ("You down the fire/It burns a hole/Deep inside you/Feels so cold"). In "I'm Alright" she tells her cheating ex, "You let me go/You had to have her," but then admits, "I'm alive/I think I'm gonna be OK."

Sitting down to work things through is one theme in "Let's Kiss And Make Up": "Let's be honest, let's be open/We're not broken, not yet." We also hear about Twain's desire to be cherished on "Roll Me On The River," where she asks, "Hold me like a promise, never give me up." Similarly, "Where Do You Think You're Going?" splits the difference between desperate and a determined, as a woman tells her guy, "Where do you think you're going?/I wanna go with you, can I come, too?" Perhaps doubting he'll say yes, she adds, "Nobody knows you better/Nobody loves you quite like I do." Those themes are reiterated again on "We Got Something They Don't."

While she admits she can be "independent to a fault," Twain also recognizes the positive influence of a man who loves her anyway on Deluxe Edition bonus track "Because of You": "All of a sudden, I'm something I wasn't/Because of you, I see/Everything I can be, lonely is history."

"Soldier" poignantly pines for a military man's safe return: "Has anybody seen my soldier/Standing all alone?/Has anybody seen my soldier/Just tryna get home?"

On "Life's About To Get Good," Twain sings that although she was "broken" and "shattered" by her ex-husband's infidelity, she's also learned some hard-but-important lessons about what matters most in life: "It's all about forgiving and the will to walk away/I'm ready to be loved/And love the way I should/Life's about to get good." Optimism fills bonus track "All in All" as well. Twain tells us that even though love and pain often go hand in hand, we can make it through with God's help: "God is older than I am/He was where it all began/I try to do the best I can/To see truth from where I stand." Twain also confesses, "I'm praying/I'm praying."

Objectionable Content

"Swinging With My Eyes Closed" talks about summer nights that include "one more beer." Mildly suggestive lines hint at a physical encounter, too: "Life is short, nights are long/ … I kiss you once (kiss, kiss), kiss you twice." Those lyrics are hardly racy, but overall the song perhaps implies throwing caution to the wind in the name of embracing the moment.

Several other songs include sensual references, too. "Light of My Life" daydreams about a future sexual relationship: "We'll be all alone, making love on the beach." We also hear, "'Cause in my sleep, you hold me close in the dark/A million times I've tasted your lips." And on Deluxe Edition bonus track "Let's Kiss and Make Up," she doesn't want to wait another minute to "kiss and make love." Similarly, "Roll Me on The River" also exudes sultry sensuality, with Twain saying, "Give me sugar, when I'm feeling down/ … Lay me in the sun/ … Follow me until we go too far."

"Home Now" includes conflicting references to faith, prayer and religion. Twain tells us, "Had the faith but I couldn't keep it/ … Sold my soul to a new religion/When I heard my name through the distance." She never clarifies what that new religion is, however, even though she suggests elsewhere that her prayers are often heard: "And I'm one of those lucky ones/Who prays for rain and down it comes."

On "Poor Me," Twain's post-divorce sadness morphs into a longing for alcohol to numb her pain: "Poor, poor me/ … Pour, pour me/Another." "Who's Gonna Be your Girl" begins with a woman's willingness to turn a blind eye to her husband's indiscretions: "I don't need to know just where you're going/You don't need to tell me where you've been."

"More Fun" glories in weekends where revelers "get a little crazy and forget what happens later." The song also reminisces about teen recklessness: "One day we'll be sitting back, laughing all about the times/We were doing donuts in the parking lots and running lights."

Summary Advisory

Shania Twain's comeback album brims with overflowing emotions. Having suffered through a brutal divorce, she's learned what it means to pick yourself up again and how to find joy in the midst of suffering.

Several songs along the way indulge sensual daydreams, while a handful of other moments wink at country clichés such as partying 'til you can't remember what happened. That said, Now concludes an a positive spiritual note, suggesting that prayerfully seeking God is ultimately what helps us become the best version of ourselves.

Plot Summary

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Debuted at No. 1.

Record Label

Mercury Records




September 29, 2017

On Video

Year Published



Kristin Smith

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