At one point on her new album, Canadian songstress Shania Twain chastises our "greedy little world" for being so money-driven. Presumably it was for purely artistic reasons, then, that she chose to record three separate versions of each of the 19 tracks on Up! - country for the American market, mainstream pop for the Europeans and world music for her Latin and Asian fanbase. Every purchaser gets two of the three CDs, which allows people on this side of the Atlantic to see how, for example, Dire Straits keyboards can be so seamlessly replaced by reggae strings, leaving the original song miraculously intact. As a marketing device, Twain's concept is breathtakingly cynical - but then, seeing as this lady has sold 34 million albums worldwide, she's clearly doing something right. The songs, themselves, meanwhile, are as bland and one-dimensional as they were on the smash hit Come On Over, sassily upbeat stuff with a dash of girl power thrown in for good measure. A high proportion of them, however, are also infuriatingly catchy - suggesting that Twain may well have another global success on her hands. Resistance, as ever, would appear to be futile.
Review by | 09:00 | Thursday 19th December 2002 | Album Review