How is Beyoncé so much better than your faves? Why do I have no matching socks? What the fuck happened to Shania Twain? These questions have haunted me for years and I'm still no closer to finding satisfactory answers. The latter is a particularly perplexing. You think Adele's "21" is a game-changer for selling 12 million copies worldwide? Well, Shania's 1997 opus "Come On Over" sold 20 million. In the US alone. I know albums don't sell like they used to but she was a phenomenon. And then nothing. "Up" was considered a flop for only selling 7.5 million copies in America but those numbers were still gigantic by everyone else's standards. And yes, her cheating husband/producer left her but she's had 8 years to recover. What's going on?
I thought her reality series Why Now? might offer some insight into her absence. Unfortunately, it only revealed that she's super rich and still has great hair. The show did, however, lead to a one-off single last year. "Today Is Your Day" was roundly dismissed as a hot mess but I loved it and even included it in my Best Singles Of 2011 countdown. Although the song did present one significant issue. Shania appears to have lost complete control of the powerful pipes that made her famous, sing-talking her way through the song. I put it down to nerves and hoped for the best.
Well, six months have passed and we now another track to add to the country-pop queen's incomparable discography. She teams up with Lionel Richie for a pared-back cover of his classic '80s ballad "Endless Love". The pair were shown recording the duet (below) on Why Not? and it has finally surfaced as the lead single from the R&B crooner's latest album "Tuskagee". A video is on the way and the duet is already creeping up US iTunes. So is it any good? To be honest, not really. Their vocal styles don't combine particularly well and Shania is still mumbling. However, I'll probably be hailing it as a masterpiece after a couple of listens and I love what it represents. The hard-to-impress songbird is finally showing some interest in music and I'm hopeful that a new album is on the way. Music needs you, Ms Twain.
Download "Endless Love" from iTunes now.