Song Review: Shania Twain, “Life’s About To Get Good”

This song’s title is ironically appropriate, because “git gud” is exactly what I’d tell everyone associated with it.

Shania Twain was the unquestioned queen of country music in the late 90s, and rode her success all the way to becoming the highest-selling female country music artist of all time (in fact, Wikipedia claims her total record sales rival those of Beyoncé). Twain abdicated her throne in the mid 2000s, however, and has stayed mostly out of the public eye ever since. “Life’s About To Get Good” is the leadoff single for Twain’s first album since 2004’s Greatest Hits, and I’ll be frank: Everyone from Twain to the producers to the record label should be embarrassed that this song saw the light of day in its current form, because it sounds awful, and it didn’t have to be this way.

Production-wise, this is the most artificial-sounding song I’ve heard in a long time. The song opens with some bizarre synthetic tones (which plague the listener throughout the track) and a bass drum, and slowly adds more instruments as it goes along: First an acoustic guitar, then a drum machine, and eventually even a banjo, organ, and fiddle. The problem is that everything here, including the background vocals, is buried under a mountain of strange and unnecessary effects, which makes the whole thing sound hollow and contrived. The overload of audio filters detracts from the fun, optimistic atmosphere the song tries to establish (which honestly feels a bit too light and fluffy given the lyrics), and whoever produced this junk needs to be put into time-out and forced to think about what they’ve done.

If you listen hard enough to the vocals, you can hear just enough of the classic Twain sound here to know that she still has the charismatic, emotive delivery and sound that she rode to fame over a decade ago. For some reason, however, the producers decided to bury her underneath the same unsubtle mountain of filters as the rest of the production, making her sound blatantly auto-tuned and garbling her vocals to the point that you have no idea what she’s saying at times. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to take a proven performer like Twain and mess with her vocals like this, but it was a bad, bad, bad idea.

Lyrically, the song is a power anthem from a narrator who is finally ready to move on from a failed relationship, and proclaims that their future is bright and that “life’s about to get good.” It’s not a particularly deep or sharply-written song (the “life’s about to get good” hook is repeated a million times and get old quickly), and the pain of the past breakup is glossed over by the sunny production, but it’s no less cheesy than some of the romantic tunes Twain sung to great effect in her heyday. My biggest problem here is that the listener is forced to look up the lyrics because of the vocal effects, undermining whatever meaning the song had and keeping the focus on the sound rather than the writing.

Overall, “Life’s About To Get Good” is an aggravating track that grates on the listener’s ears like sandpaper, and should be placed in every recording studio on Earth as a warning about the dangers of overproduction. While here are pieces of what could have been a decent song here (Shania Twain’s voice, the traditional instrumentation, the passable writing), it is completely ruined by the sausage factory that in the modern production process. If Twain was looking to make a grand comeback, she isn’t going to pull it off with this garbage.

Rating: 3/10. Avoid this track like the plague.