(Polygram Records, 1995)

by Sandra L. Toney


Whether or not you've been a country music fan for forty years or you've only stumbled upon it while waiting to see Boyz II Men on the Grammy Awards show, if you don't know who Shania Twain is, you've probably had your head in the sand for the past year or so.

Who IS Shania Twain, you ask? She is the hottest thing to hit country music since Garth Brooks. Born Eilleen Edwards, she changed her name to Shania (which is Indian for "I'm on My Way") Twain in 1992. Her appeal crosses the lines of music genre. She's talented, beautiful, hip, sensitive, knows the right people (she's married to big-time record producer, Robert John "Mutt" Lange), writes most of her own songs and, on top of all this, owns a Grammy.

Her second album, "THE WOMAN IN ME," has sold over seven million copies and has generated hit single after hit single. The single, "No One Needs To Know," was even selected to appear on the soundtrack for the blockbuster movie, "TWISTER."

The Shania sensation began when her first single off the album, "Any Man of Mine," burst upon the airwaves and had women everywhere nodding their heads in agreement with her chorus , "Any man of mine better walk the line/Better show me a teasin' squeezin' pleasin' kinda time/I need a man who knows how the story goes/He's gotta be a heartbeatin' fine treatin' breathtakin' earthquakin' kind/Any man of mine."

The types of song on "THE WOMAN IN ME," aren't just songs that Twain picked because they seemed right for her, she wrote or co-wrote ALL of the selections on the album except for "You Win My Love," which was written by husband, Lange. While Shania wrote the ballad, "Leaving is the Only Way Out," on her own, the remaining ten songs were penned by the husband and wife team of Twain and Lange -- their first official project as man and wife (they were married in 1994).

And what a successful project it has been. Twain croons a touching ballad almost as well as an attitude-driven tune. Ballads worth listening to include the title hit, "The Woman in Me," "Home Ain't Where His Heart Is (Anymore)," "Is There Life After Love," and "Raining On Our Love," which tells the story of a woman who took for granted she was the only one in her husband's life as she questions herself as being the one who pushed him into another's arms, "I didn't know you were so lonely/Am I to blame for makin' you that way/Did I neglect all that mattered/With my head so far above the clouds I didn't see/That is was raining on our love." This depressing song, although sung with every bit of Twain's heart, isn't representative of the rest of the album, which is fun and upbeat.
Besides "Any Man of Mine," the song that brought national attention to Shania Twain, there are many other energetic songs that should equal the success gained by that particular hit. Such singles include the "TWISTER" soundtrack hit, "No One Needs To Know," "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" "If It Don't Take Two," and perhaps even a better attitude song than "Any Man of Mine," the sensational single, "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here!"

Finally, if you happened to be one of those who DIDN'T know who Shania Twain was, you certainly should know by now. As for Shania, her name change was right on target, she indeed was "on her way."

I wonder what the Indian word is for "I've Made It!" Shania might want to consider it.

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