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Viva The Divas

shania .....
Nearly every strain of divadom can be found in Canada: Dion, Morissette, the bell-voiced New Age sorceress Loreena McKennit, the art-folksy Sarah MacLachlan. There's another woman from the North who has invaded and conquered the foreign country known as country. Nashville is now the property of Shania Twain; so are the pop charts, in whose aerie Twain's CD, The Woman In Me, has resided for more than a year. The big lure was the album's first single, Any Man of Mine, a taunting feminist jest with fiddles and steel guitars and a pounding melody echoing Neil Young's Love Is a Rose.

But what catches the ear of any diva devotee is Twain's easy virtuosity. Attend to her reading of this verse: "Any man of mine'll say it fits just right/ When last year's dress is just a little too tight/ And anything I do or say better be O.K./ When I have a bad hair day." The throaty intimacy, the smart selling of each phrase, the drawl of lightly ironic girls talk in "just a little too tight," the clear but not prissy enunciation -- these are the signs of a true storyteller in a song. And since she delivers the entire verse in one confident breath, Twain gets a free pass to diva country.
Time, August 12, 1996, Viva the Divas


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