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Shania goes 'desi'

Shania Twain's latest album with an Indian Remix shows signs of a desire to reach to music lovers of the sub-continent.


IF YOU are the kind who loves to surf through the music channels on television, it is very unlikely that you would have missed the video of the latest single by Canadian pop queen, Shania Twain, I'm Gonna Getcha Good - and if you had noticed closely, you would probably already have discovered that the subsequent videos of the same song have been featured on an `Indian Remix' version of the same song. Sounds surprising? Sure does, but Shania's latest album, her first in five years , Up! ( Universal; Rs 125) comes in a twin-cassette pack - one, the original versions of the 19 tracks and two, the Indian Remix versions of the same songs. Colour coded red and blue respectively, the twin-cassette album is sure worth its money.

In Shania's words, "When listening to the music, depending on what mood I am in, I might put on the red MC to hear the songs with an electric, rockier-edged sound, and if I want to get into a groove mood and hear them with a more rhythmic feel, I listen to the blue MC. There are two distinct flavours of the same album featured here." True to her words, the red cassette does feature songs, which are rockish but fitting into Shania's characteristic `Country-meets-Pop' kind of sound. I'm Gonna Getcha Good is more rockish, but the rhythm is pop and the vocals are country. The title track Up is short and fast. She is Not Just A Pretty Face is an interesting track which conveys the message of an independent women who can break free and do what she pleases - She hosts a TV show; She's an astronaut; a journalist for Time; a geologist; a soldier; a surgeon... goes the lyrics of this song.

Juanita is a lyrically deep number, which speaks of hope, strength and freedom during times of emotional trauma in a woman's life.

Set against a backdrop of soft orchestration, this number sets you thinking and makes you want to listen to repeatedly while In My Car is very peppy and energetic, with a light meaning about breaking free and having fun.The blue Indian Remix tracks are very impressive and catchy.

Remixed by Simon and Diamond Duggal, who have collaborated earlier with Apache Indian, each of the 19 tracks inject a sense of `josh' after the very first listening.

Loads of `tabla', `flute' and skillful percussion stand out and make the album a compelling one.

I'm Gonna Getcha Good has a steady `tabla' flow with the occasional flute renderings making it one of the best fusion tracks heard in recent times..

]Forever And For Always and In My Car have a bhangra flavour while the others have an earthy feel to the rhythm. Shania's voice seems to blend miraculously with Indian accomplishments.

Shania, who shot to fame earlier with her album Come On Over featuring the hits, You are The One and That Don't Impress Me Much, is going back to her roots with this latest album. According to her, it has been a magical journey where the music has been written and recorded in trains, cars and planes in Berlin, Paris, Rome and also in Mumbai, where Indian musicians performed in Indian studios.

Shania Twain's music has come full circle. Come to think of it, world music itself has come a full circle - so, don't be surprised if you find other artistes following Shania's footsteps in giving us back, our very own `desi' sound.

A.VISHNU

(vishnua@hotmail.com)

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