Today Is Your Day

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"Today Is Your Day"
Single by Shania Twain
Released June 12, 2011 (2011-06-12)
Format Digital download
Genre Country pop
Length 3:14
Label Mercury Nashville
Writer(s) Shania Twain
Producer(s) David Foster, Nathan Chapman, Shania Twain
Shania Twain singles chronology
"Shoes"
(2005)
"Today Is Your Day"
(2011)
"Endless Love"
(2012)

"Today Is Your Day" is a song performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain. It was self-penned by Twain and co-produced by the singer alongside David Foster and Nathan Chapman. The song was released on June 12, 2011 by Mercury Nashville Records, as a promotional single to accompany the documentary television series Why Not? with Shania Twain (2011). The song marked Twain's first song release in over six years. Twain wrote the track for self-inspiration, during the development of Why Not? with Shania Twain. To her, "Today Is Your Day" became the theme song for the series, expressing the purpose behind it via music. Despite feeling apprehensive, Twain decided to record the track, which induced her to create her forthcoming fifth studio album. The track is midtempo ballad in the country pop genre. Lyrically, "Today Is Your Day" regards personal upliftment. "Today Is Your Day" is Twain's first piece of music to have had no involvement with now ex-husband Robert John "Mutt" Lange in 18 years.

"Today Is Your Day" has received mixed reviews from music critics and mild commercial performance in Canada and the United States. On the Canadian Hot 100, the song peaked at number 16, while, in the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 66. It became Twain's first effort to enter the main-genre chart since "Party for Two" (2004). Despite not receiving an official music video, a promotional music video was gathered from footage from Why Not? with Shania Twain.

Background[edit]

In 1993, prior to success, Twain released her eponymous debut studio album, which caught the attention of record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The two collaborated on songwriting via phone calls for six months, and later established a romantic relationship. Soon after, they wedded in December 1993[1] and Twain's second studio album The Woman in Me (1995) established Twain as a superstar, selling over 12 million copies in the United States.[2] Twain and Lange continued to collaborate on her subsequent albums Come on Over (1997) and Up! (2002); the prior went on to sell over 40 million copies worldwide[3] and became the best-selling album by a female artist.[2] After selling a total of over 75 million records worldwide, making her the top-selling female artist in country music history,[4] Twain decided to take a musical hiatus in 2005.[2] In 2008, it was announced that after 14 years of marriage, Twain and Lange were in the process of divorcing.[1] The singer had discovered her husband was infidel with her best friend Marie Anne Thiebaud, although Lange and Thiebaud never admitted to it.[5] The divorce was finalized on June 9, 2010.[6]

According to Twain, she became depressed and lost her desire to live following the divorce.[7] As a distraction from it, Twain commenced to write her memoir From This Moment On (titled after the 1998 song of the same name). She then began to re-evaluate her life and noted a pattern of attempting to withhold emotions, which affected her voice (for both speaking and singing).[8] She explained the loss of her voice was attributed to a cumulative stress that began with domestic violence in her childhood,[5] continued with the death of her parents and the stress from her musical career,[3] and finally exploded with the divorce.[9] As a result, the singer developed dysphonia, an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs as a result of tightened muscles enveloping her voice box.[7] In order to recover her voice and heal wounds caused by the divorce, Twain embarked on a documented journey with the series Why Not? with Shania Twain.[5] The goal was executed via Twain performing acts out her comfort zone to once again be able to perform, while inspiring viewers to be proactive about their dilemmas.[9]

Writing and recording[edit]

David Foster (pictured) was the first producer Twain collaborated with since her divorce from Robert John "Mutt" Lange.

After repeating to herself, 'Today is your day! You can do it!', Twain decided to compose a song for self-inspiration. Twain described the decision to write the song as crucial because it was her first since her separation from Lange. She had to "find [herself] as a songwriter again" and become independent once again.[9] "I was petrified of writing a new song without Mutt. A whole new world for me. It had been many, many years since I had written by myself so that was new and scary", Twain said.[10] For Twain, the music was simple to write, only occupying approximately two lines of sheet music.[8] Then, the lyrics began to flow as Why Not? with Shania Twain progressed.[9] "Today Is Your Day" inspirited her; consequently, she contemplated sharing it with the series.[10] a concept that frightened her: "Sharing that song with other people, exposing, and basically allowing myself to be vulnerable the and judged, it scared the heck out of me."[8] She believed it ultimately became "the natural theme song of the series".[9] She explained the song's relevance to the television series: "From the inception of documenting the journey, the song was also created at that moment. And it has evolved with it all along the way."[8]

As part of Why Not? with Shania Twain, she then arranged an appointment with music producer David Foster, hoping to collaborate on "Today Is Your Day".[8] In order to prepare with her session with Foster, Twain visited vocal coach Eric Vetro to prepare, although feeling skeptical. Twain and Vetro executed several vocal exercises to loosen her up from the tension and tightness she experienced. "The goal is to free up, to let go. She has to take all of that tension and tightness that she's been feeling for so long, and transform it to free herself from it. And to start singing from her heart again, the way she did when she was a little girl, when she started", Vetro stated.[8] He also expressed his belief that Twain was prepared enough to once again record and perform music. Twain felt she learned divergent techniques that were beneficial to her voice and appreciated Vetro's understanding of her psyche as a performer.[8]

Nevertheless, Twain was apprehensive about collaborating with Foster and frightened that he would dislike the song or her voice. To ease the process, she approached it as if she were introducing "Today Is Your Day" to the producer as a songwriter, rather than a singer. Twain and Foster recorded the demo of "Today Is Your Day" at Foster's home studio in Los Angeles, California, creating the musical arrangement as the recording prolonged.[8] Background vocals were provided by Twain and her sister, Carrie Ann Twain, using a handheld microphone. Foster then suggested for Twain to record lead vocals in his home's vocal booth. After agreeing, Twain commenced it nervously, but then enjoyed it. She considered it a "landmark moment in [her] journey" through Why Not? with Shania Twain and described it as second nature and very natural, as if she never put her musical career to a halt.[8] Twain later recorded the studio version of "Today Is Your Day" and co-produced it along Foster and Nathan Chapman.[10] The song "set [Twain] off", allowing her to feel comfortable anew recording music, and triggering her to create her forthcoming fifth studio album.[10]

Release[edit]

The song premiered on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on June 12, 2011, immediately after the broadcast premiere of Why Not? with Shania Twain '​s final episode, "Endless Love" at 11 P.M. EST.[4] Subsequently on the same night, "Today Was Your Day" was released to country radio and digital retailers in Canada and the United States,[4][11] with an international release the next day.[12] It became her first song release since "Shoes" (2005) from the Desperate Housewives soundtrack,[13] and her first self-penned song released since "Leaving Is the Only Way Out" from The Woman in Me (1995);[14] the two are her only self-penned tracks released. It is also Twain's first promotional single.[11] An official music video for "Today Is Your Day" was not filmed; instead, the song was given a promotional music video compiled from highlights from Why Not? with Shania Twain. It premiered on Vevo on June 23, 2011,[15] and was released to the iTunes Store on June 28, 2011.[16]

Composition[edit]

"Today Is Your Day" is a song with a length of three minutes and 12 seconds.[11] The song is a slow mid-tempo ballad of the country pop genre.[17][18] Nonetheless, several critics, such as Nicholas Köhler and Ken MacQueen Maclean's, have described the track to be a piece of pop music, rather than country music.[19] It commences with a sole piano accompanying Twain's voice, and later progresses to an assortment of banjo, string instruments, and other instrumentation.[17] However, the production is maintained sparse, leaving Twain's vocals at center.[18] The lyrics are written in second person and discuss optimism[19] and personal upliftment.[17] In the bridge, she sings, "Brush yourself off no regrets/ This is as good as it gets/ Don’t expect more or less/ Just go out and give it your best", meaning one must be able to disregard dreaming for a better day because "today is all you’ve got". Melinda Newman of HitFix presumed, considering Twain's back story, that Twain wrote "Today Is Your Day" as message for herself.[17]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received mixed reviews from music critics. Melinda Newman of HitFix said it was "a bit snoozy", however complementing Twain's reasonably strong vocals. Newman added, "She’s not pushing or belting in any way, but she’s upfront and center. However, her delivery is hardly the peppy rallying call that the lyrics call for and if a song ever demanded to be uptempo, this would be it."[17] Sean Daly of the St. Petersburg Times called the song "a shocking stinkeroo every which way."[20] Daly criticized Twain's vocal delivery, noting she sounded as though she sang through the side of her mouth much like James Cagney, and said the track reinforced the skeptics who insisted Lange was the reason for Twain's success. He concluded, "If 'Today Is Your Day' is a sign of things to come, you might want to hold your breath on that comeback."[20] Jenna Hally Rubenstein of MTV was disappointed with "Today Is Your Day", but said she would "take it" following the singer's long absence from music. Rubenstein commented that the song was undoubtedly saccharine, yet Twain's lush and rich voice prevailed.[18]

Chart performance[edit]

On the week ending July 2, 2011, "Today Is Your Day" debuted at number 14 on the Canadian Hot 100.[21] The following week, it descended to number 45.[22] Since, the song has spent six weeks on the Canadian Hot 100.[23] On the week ending July 2, 2011, "Today Is Your Day" also entered on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number 66 with 46,000 digital downloads (its sole week on the chart).[24] This marked Twain's first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since "Party for Two" (2004) spent its last week on the chart in February 2005.[13] On the same week, "Today Is Your Day" entered at number 40 on the US Hot Country Songs chart, ranking Twain's fourth-highest debut.[13] Two weeks later, on the week ending July 16, 2011, the track reached its peak at number 36,[25] and spent a total of six weeks on the chart.[23]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital Download[11]
  1. "Today Is Your Day" – 3:14

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[26] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 66
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[28] 36

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Shania Twain, Husband Split After 14 Years Of Marriage". Access Hollywood. NBC Universal Television Distribution. May 15, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Shania Twain Was Inducted To The Canadian Music Hall Of Fame At The 2011 Juno Awards". Umgnashville.com. Universal Music Group Nashville. January 12, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Boyle, Simon (March 19, 2011). "Country star Shania Twain says she has lost her singing voice". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Shania Twain Honored for 75 Million in Worldwide Sales". Umgnashville.com. Universal Music Group Nashville. June 10, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Hughes, Sara Anne (May 3, 2011). "Shania Twain discusses divorce, surprises audience on ‘Oprah’". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ Lee, Joyce (June 9, 2010). "Robert "Mutt" Lange and Shania Twain Officially Divorced; Singer Seen With Frederic Thiebaud". CBS News. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Collins, Leah (May 4, 2011). "Shania Twain talks abuse, affairs and losing her voice". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shania Twain, Gay Rosenthal (June 5, 2011). "Finding My Voice". Why Not? with Shania Twain. Season 1. Episode 1. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
  9. ^ a b c d e Shania Twain, Gay Rosenthal (May 8, 2011). "From This Moment On". Why Not? with Shania Twain. Season 1. Episode 1. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
  10. ^ a b c d Shelburne, Creg (June 8, 2011). "Shania Twain Can't Wait to See Her Fans in Las Vegas". CMT News. Viacom. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Today Is Your Day - Single by Shania Twain". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Today Is Your Day - Single by Shania Twain". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Trust, Gary (June 20, 2011). "Shania Twain Returns To Country Songs Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  14. ^ The Woman in Me (CD). Shania Twain. Mercury. 1995. 
  15. ^ ""Today Is Your Day" Video Premier". Shaniatwain.com. June 23, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  16. ^ ""Today Is Your Day" Video Now Available on iTunes!". Shaniatwain.com. June 28, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Newman, Melinda (June 13, 2011). "Listen: Does Shania Twain's new song, 'Today is Your Day,' impress you much?". HitFix. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c Rubenstein, Jenna Hally (June 13, 2011). "New Song: Shania Twain, 'Today Is Your Day'". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Köhler, Nicholas; Ken MacQueen (June 17, 2011). "Newsmakers: June 9 – 16, 2011". Maclean's. Rogers Communications. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Daly, Sean (June 22, 2011). "'Today' is not Shania Twain's comeback day". St. Petersburg Times. Times Publishing Company. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Week of July 2, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Week of July 9, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "Today Is Your Day - Shania Twain". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  24. ^ Trust, Gary (June 22, 2011). "Katy Perry's 'Friday' Flies Up Hot 100, Adele Still No. 1". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Country Songs - Week of July 16, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Shania Twain Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Shania Twain.
  27. ^ "Shania Twain Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Shania Twain.
  28. ^ "Shania Twain Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Shania Twain.

External links[edit]