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Shania Twain

UP! – 2002 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Shania Twain

When listening to Shania Twain's first album in five years, the listener is faced with making the big decision - blue or green disc. Green supposedly contains 19 country songs. With red, you get the pop version of those same exact songs recorded (international fans get a blue album with Asian sounds).

Twain may be generous with the amount of material here, but the overall effect is one of too much music and not enough quality. Yes, there are some country touches and instrumentation, but if you didn't know this was coming out of Nashville, this would not be considered country.

Twain along with hubby and producer Robert Mutt Lange show their social conscious on "Ka-Ching!" with the underlying theme of more is never enough, but their writing is clunky. Otherwise, Twain pretty much covers the same old ground. Fortunately, she has a fine, alluring powerful voice, but that doesn't make the material come alive no matter the format. The songs can be quite catchy and fun sounding.

And frankly while Twain considers this a chance for listeners of different stripes to hear her music, it seems to smack of ka-ching of a different sort - the pop crowd can have their music and the pop country crowd can have theirs. The wait for new music from Twain may have been long, but it's more of the same bright sounding, commercial pop country. That is if you go green.