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Performance Critique: Shania Twain
By Lauran Gangl
(more articles from this author)
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So I TiVo'd Tuesday night's Jay Leno episode with Shania Twain (January 14, 2003) singing one of her recent singles "Up" from the same title CD. I LOVE Shania's new CD and with the Blue/World versions of all her Red/Pop and Green/Country mixes, too (I'm aware that the Blue version is NOT sold in US- just in UK/Europe/Asia- I was in UK when I purchased my copy- if anyone wants info on purchasing the Blue version- feel free to contact me).

I scanned thru some trade zines and the LA Times TV reviews today, Wednesday. Nothing written on the subject thus far. I could not believe the HORRIBLE vocals Shania performed with- and seemed to be oblivious to such for her Tuesday night performance. I've sung back up for Rod Stewart on this show (he started over FIVE TIMES before he got it right!)- I KNOW that it is taped and edited in the purpose to avoid such debacles I viewed Shania doing!

She was soooooo flat. I kept rewinding to see if it was her musicians were off then made her flat, I checked to see if she had her ear monitors in, I previewed for two composer friends- one with perfect pitch. All checked out- SHANIA WAS AWFUL! I've never seen her perform LIVE- just viewed HBO and a TV special on occasion; so I am unaware if this is common for her.

It was not just that she was dissonant in MOST parts of the song, but she was also OUT OF BREATH, yet she stood stationary the whole time- not much cardio or aerobics going on.... She looked great, the song is great on the CD. She sang with great security, conviction and smiling - not a hint that she knew how bad she sounded.... There were no close-ups on the musicians, so could not tell if they knew, but then I did see the rhythm and lead guitarist give a strong stare to one another that I perceived as "WOW she sucks," perhaps? But why did they not RETAPE this segment and broadcast a better version???

It was right at the beginning - 4 bar instrumental intro then her 3rd vocal note - and all went down hill - right off key, flat in most parts and then stayed with it throughout. Hey, I HAVE BEEN there - and I usually realize it, but I guarantee you the people that are paying me or that I am paying to protect me - THEY TELL ME THAT I SOUND BAD.

Point is - all the hoopla that Shania is mostly the multiplatinum artist due to her producer/husband or can she sing live??? Was this some kind of undermining sabotage for her - that no one tried to correct this mishap? Her voice was brittle and weak, in addition to the other critique I have. I'm alarmed and disappointed. I find that the Letterman, Leno and SNL shows are the litmus test for performers to their paying audience. Shania did not pass.

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