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richard kwong (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Up!
Up!
Price: CDN$ 5.00
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up! is up, March 6 2004
This review is from: Up! (Audio CD)
I LOVE IT TO DEATH. Her songwriting is getting even better. The three cd idea is certainly unique and actually I like it. However, I don't see much difference between the red and green versions (just the instruments I guess). Both versions rock anyways. I have several favourite songs so I won't even bother to mention which ones. The music and lyrics are certainly uplifting and full of energy and her voice seems to be reaching even new heights. She uses some vocal techniques which makes her voice even more melodic on certain songs. Whoever said that Shania couldn't reach those high notes. Is this my favourite Shania album? I really can't say because I really love them all and seem to listen to them all (TWIM, COO, UP!) more or less equally. One pleasant surprise is the blue cd. This is really exotic stuff and I have only heard four tracks so far (off her fan club website) I am trying to get hold of a blue cd from overseas but so far no luck. It sounds definitely Eastern influenced and in fact Shania and Mutt were in India. After getting used to the different sounds I really came to love three of the four tracks that I have heard so far. Even Shania's voice on those tracks seems a lot more melodic than usual and the music strangely seems to complement her voice. However, it took me a few listens to appreciate fully these blue versions. Now, I have to hear them regularly, like almost daily. I enjoy playing the green, red, and blue versions of the same songs, one after the other just for the contrast and its just awesome. Man, Shania and Mutt are really out of this world. Shania's roots are country but she has evolved far beyond the confines of that narrow genre.

Come On Over
Come On Over
Price: CDN$ 8.90
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Now I know who Shania is!!, March 6 2004
This review is from: Come On Over (Audio CD)
This is an excellent, excellent groundbreaking smash hit album like no other. And she was nominated for 6 Grammys for this album and they grudgingly gave her only 2 grammys when she should have gotten all 6. But then, the Grammy's are like most of those award shows and are fixed by a small group of insiders anyways and seldom reflects reality. I love all of the songs and every one can stand on its own as a single. In fact I think 8 of the songs were hits anyways (like in the top 10) or higher. Your still the one, Man! I feel like a Woman, That don't impress me much , are of course my favourites among favourites but I love all of those songs. This is the album that propelled Shania into the stratosphere and is the second biggest seller after Michael Jackson's Thriller album. No small achievement. Thirty-five million (and still counting) people around the world can't be wrong about this artist. After TWIM, critics called that a fluke (19 million sold and still counting). But after COO, there was noticeably less criticism except from hardcore country types and Nashville. Is it country? Actually, who cares. Its beautiful music and I don't understand all the fuss about whether Shania is country or Rock/ Pop, crossover or whatever. Music is music. After listening to this album, I became a fan and then I bought TWIM. The music is uplifting, energetic, and makes people happy (thats what music is supposed to do anyways). Increasingly, as the world gets smaller, different styles of music will overlap and mix (its been going on anyways since the beginning of time). This album is like a breath of fresh air. I wouldn't normally be listening to "pure" country music anyways and I was getting tired of the Rock music of the 90's. I love 60's and 70's stuff. I don't know how to classify (why do we always have to categorize and classify anyways) this music of Shania's but I am very grateful for it. Her vocals are distinctive and unique and she sure likes to have fun. She can Rock, sing soft, melodic ballads and love songs, almost make you cry, and make you happy all in one album. Shania's voice is not just a voice but its a conveyer of real emotions and feelings, passion, and soul and this differentiates her from most others. She is also, probably one of the most versatile singers out there and seems comfortable across musical genres; Rock, Pop, Country, World Beat (listen to Up! blue cd) and what next?--Jazz. She is one of a handful of Divas or megastars and belongs up there with the best of them. Another thing about a Shania album is that she doesn't put in "filler " material. Even if you don't like a particular song its not because its a dud. Usually, when I buy an artists' album I can count on 3-4 good songs which I'll listen to repeatedly and the rest I'll never listen to again or even learn to like. So I was really surprised to find that either I liked or eventually liked every song on COO. I consider them all classics by now. All, I can say is that the more I listen to Shania, the more I like/LOVE her music. And as a guy, its really got nothing to do with her drop dead gorgeous looks as some critics keep on saying.

Shania Twain
Shania Twain
Price: CDN$ 6.25
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars vintage Shania Twain, March 6 2004
This review is from: Shania Twain (Audio CD)
Definitely a must for any Shania fan. I love it but of course its not really Shania, except for that one song that she wrote called "God ain't gonna getcha for that". She never liked that album and never sang those songs in concert. The musical direction for this album was more or less forced on her by the Nashville crowd she was involved with at the time and they didn't allow her to do any more of her own songs except the above one. She is singing other people's songs but what a voice. This is really country at the core and some of her country fans say this is her best album (of course its not). Sales were dismal and she got no particular attention or recognition and was on the verge of being given the boot by her record company since she wasn't a commercial success yet. But of course, its her most country Nashville type album and if she had followed this route the world would have been deprived of TWIM, COO, and UP! and she would have probably wound up at Deerhurst again. Thank god, someone named Lange noticed that video and gave her a phone call and of course the rest is history. I particularly liked, What made you say that, You lay a whole lot of love, God ain't gonna getcha for that, Dance with the one that brought you, Still under the weather. Her voice is so soulful. This album is good but its not Shania and nobody was interested in her ideas at the time. Notice the big difference when TWIM came out. Thats Shania (and Mutt). No Nashville producer could do Shania justice or even understand her ideas so no wonder she was/is an outcast there.

The Woman In Me
The Woman In Me
Price: CDN$ 7.54
88 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I disliked country music for 50 years but........., March 6 2004
This review is from: The Woman In Me (Audio CD)
I am not a country fan despite trying to listen to country radio and watching CMT daily (mainly to get a glimpse of Shania--no luck as CMT ignores her now). All of the male singers sound the same and most of the women too. So since I can't see Shania on CMT (rarely) I'll drop CMT from my daily viewing. However, The Woman In ME really got my attention but only after I had bought Come ON Over (which really got me liking Shania). At first I listened to TWIM sparingly as it wasn't as high energy as COO or UP! However, its her voice and the emotion and passion in it as she sings the songs that really got to me. And then I started listening to the words and singing along and bang; I realized just how much emotion I also felt. Her songs make a very strong emotional connection with me and its through that magnificent and often underrated voice of hers which definitely has some magical quality to it (but I can't put it into words). The messages are very straightforward and clear and I think that there is absolute brilliance in the simplicity of the whole package. Her and Mutt are brilliant songwriters who write about things in everyday life that most people can relate to. Critics pan the lyrics as being too simple, mundane, whatever. However, they fail to recognize that GENIUS is basically being able to keep things simple and direct and still getting the message or meaning out. (There are already too many "complicated" ,"deep" songwriters out there and I for one haven't the patience to try and figure out what the heck they are singing about) This is a characteristic of all of Shania's work and that is why she is often panned by the critics. Whats this nonsense about her voice having no range (its true that Whitney and Celine have a higher range but they don't evoke the same emotions as Shania). Every song on TWIM is a hit as far as I am concerned and Shania has no filler stuff on her albums period. This is one album which I can listen to again and again and never get tired of it especially when in the mood for something contemplative. Shania's voice is like no others and you know its her singing the moment she utters the first words. It is soulful, passionate, and melodic and actually if you have listened to several of her albums and seen several of her live performances you would realize that she has quite a range and versatility in her voice like no other singer, which can easily cut across musical genres. Thats why Nashville and country music traditionalists have such a hard time figuring her out and taking her seriously. You can call it country-rock/pop, new country, commercial country or whatever you like but the truth is; it is just beautiful and brilliant music. So I don't try to find a category for Shania because I would get just as confused as the Nashville crowd. Shania is Shania who comes from country roots but has been exposed to all genres of music and influenced by them all; which results in a totally unique and distinctive musical style reflecting all of these diverse elements. She sounds like no other artist and that is one of the BIG reasons millions of people including myself are such diehard fans. Compared to her, everyone else sounds the same and thats just boring and thats why, even though I can appreciate the "other" talent out there I don't feel particularly motivated to go out and buy Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Faith, Martina etc. So when you add a superb and unique voice to the songs and great musicians you get an album like no other country album. I don't want to talk about traditional or non-traditional country, pop, rock or whatever; who cares. Its brilliant soulful music which moves a lot of people and that is the power in it. I can't really say which Shania song on any album is my favourite since it fluctuates week to week---I think they are all my favourites.
TWIM is more country than COO and UP! but that is simply one phase of Shania's career. She will constantly evolve as any artist must (otherwise they stagnate) and it may be a while before we see something closely resembling country again but you know that artists often return to their roots every so often as their career progresses. I really don't care because I am not obsessed by country, rock, pop, world beat or whatever; only in beautiful, soulful, music. This is what Shania and Mutt produce and I hope they keep it up forever and for always.

Wild & Wicked
Wild & Wicked
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 18.98
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.48

3.0 out of 5 stars a different side of shania, March 6 2004
This review is from: Wild & Wicked (Audio CD)
I bought Beginnings and The Limelight Sessions cds and they have the same songs (only better produced) as Wild and Wicked. Since I am a Shania hardcore fan I am prejudiced in favour of anything she does but I will try to be objective as always and do her justice. Although I am giving this stuff three stars, actually I really love it and listen to it whenever I feel like loud rock music. The sound quality is very good as it was produced by Mr Hinde and Paul Sabu. Shania really had no say in the matter since they had the master demo tapes and I don't think she wanted to go through a lawsuit to prevent the release. Anyhow, even though it is not her best work it certainly does not discredit her and she has nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it showcases the Voice of the singer who we have all come to love. She has such a powerful voice and I really believe she could have made it as a Rock singer also. I am constantly amazed at how versatile Shania is; she can Rock, sing Country, of course Folk if she ever got into that, probably give Norah Jones a run for her money if she ever got into Jazz. This woman is the most amazing artist I have ever had the privilege to listen to over the past 50 years of my life. The cds are more than worth it just to listen to that Voice. You can feel the power and passion coming through and the indicators of her future greatness. Several songs: The heart is blind, Don't give me that once over; and Two hearts one love (the precursor to If it don't take two from TWIM) could stand on their own as singles in my opinion. And her rendition of Half Breed is better than Cher's. The lyrics of most of the other songs are interesting to say the least but of course, her present work is far superior.
Definitely a must for any Shania fan. Combine these songs with her other cds and you have a collection of songs and music for any mood and occasion. Once again, what is really impressive is the fact the Shania can handle so many different musical styles and is not limited to just one genre as are most other artists and these cds certainly show another totally different side of her. I guess that is why Nashville and CMT still have a hard time figuring her out simply because you can't really categorize an artist such as Shania: she really belongs in her own unique category called "Shania". GO BUY IT NOW!!!!

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