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Shania Twain could share new music during PPL Center stop in Allentown


Lehigh Valley Live
By Matt Smith
June 1, 2015



The Lehigh Valley might be among one of the few stops to hear new material from Shania Twain
during the Rock This Country tour date Oct. 2 at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Shania Twain kicks off her first North American tour in 11 years on Friday, and she brings with her a catalog of music that has gone on to sell more than 75 million albums.

That includes "Come On Over," released in 1997, which spawned six singles to reach the U.S. Billboard top 40 singles charts as it became the best-selling album released by a female artist.

It's quite an impressive musical legacy the 49-year-old singer has made for herself. But with her return to the large arenas on what she is calling her final tour, it will surely bring with it a demand for something new to fill the gap left since her last studio release, 2002's "Up!"

With a new album in the works, the Lehigh Valley might be among one of the few stops to hear some of that material during the Rock This Country tour when the final leg swings through Oct. 2 at the PPL Center in Allentown.

"I'm dying to do it," Twain said during a conference call with reporters. "If the album progresses quickly enough and the timing works out, then I might very well just put one or two songs in closer to the end of the tour. It would bum me out to not do some of those songs live."

The focus on writing and recording music is strong within the singer as she seems intent to put the touring life behind her once she takes this last opportunity to reunite with her fans.

"I miss making records, Twain says. "I haven't made enough records in my life and in my career. I've done a lot more live performing than I have recording."

Twain had hoped to have an album of new music completed before the start of the tour. But with the planning of tours and albums needing to happen far in advance, things didn't come together the way she had hoped.

"The timing of the tour was decided on not leaving too much of a gap from when my residency finished in December," Twain says. "At the same time, I was hoping that my album would be further along by the time I finished my residency. It was just one of those things where the timing didn't work out very well."

What this means is that Twain will be recording her new album while on tour.

"I'll have a very portable set-up and I just sing and record my vocals," Twain says. "It's how I do my demos and you can be electronically connected with your producer wherever they are. And the producers will come out to me as well while I'm touring and we'll just poke away at it like that. There's just various ways to do this now that is pretty efficient, very effective."

It will take efficiency to juggle the next five months of touring with recording what sounds like a large amount of material that's been gathering in the 13 years since the release of her last album. According to Twain, she has been writing music ever since.

"I never stopped writing, so I have been writing all the time," Twain says. "It's a creative outlet that I would do whether I was touring or not, or recording or not. Why I didn't record anything is primarily because my voice just wasn't there. I wasn't sure I was ever going to sing again. So I was writing music but I didn't know what to do with it."

The uncertainty in her voice references her battle with vocal dysphonia, which is not a singing condition but an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs.

Twain's voice has recovered through years of therapy and was put to the test during a two-year residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. That gig wrapped up in December.

There are still many unknowns as to what Shania Twain will produce musically as she approaches songwriting and recording on her own for the first time. Her last three albums were all headed by producer and ex-husband Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- and all went on to sell 10 million units in the United States.

"I'm leaning towards wanting the music to sound more organic than my previous stuff," Twain says. "Less slick maybe in that sense -- a really live feel to things and with a contemporary edge to everything."

One thing for sure, there will be a more personal touch to her new album whenever it comes out.

"I think there are going to be a lot of unexpected elements to the music for sure because I am writing it all myself," Twain says. "Lyrically, I'm still doing the self-reflection and writing in that vein. I'm just different now and I've lived a lot of different things since then, so the stories and the themes will be obviously different and will reflect how I've evolved.

"It's a very personalized songwriting and therapeutic process for me. I'm pouring my heart out in the music."

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