Shania Twain - Come on Over
Shania Twain - Come on Over (international version)
Album Comparisons: Come On Over
Shania Twain is one of the best selling female recording artists of all time, and the best selling female artist in the country genre as of this writing (November 2016). The Canadian native exploded onto the scene in 1995 with her sophomore release The Woman in Me, which shifted over 20 million copies worldwide and earned her a Grammy for best country album. This was followed up by the even more successful Come On Over, which saw the release of "You're Still the One," the breakthrough crossover single which catapulted her popularity into the stratosphere. While subsequent releases Up! (2002) and The Complete Limelight Sessions (recorded 1989-90 but released in 2001) betray far more pop oriented than country sensibilities, Come On Over remains an essential entry in the canon of 1990s country, at least in North America. European and world listeners were treated to a "de-countrified" remix which sought to remove genre elements from the music in order to make it more marketable as a pop record. How do these two versions compare?

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

Come on Over (1997)

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

I'm Holdin' on to Love (To Save My Life)

Come on Over (1997)

I'm Holdin' on to Love (To Save My Life)

Come on Over (1999 international version)

I'm Holdin' on to Love (To Save My Life)

Love Gets Me Every Time

Come on Over (1997)

Love Gets Me Every Time

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Love Gets Me Every Time

Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

Come on Over (1997)

Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

From This Moment On

Come on Over (1997)

From This Moment On

Come on Over (1999 international version)

From This Moment On

Come On Over

Come on Over (1997)

Come On Over

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Come On Over

When

Come on Over (1997)

When

Come on Over (1999 international version)

When

Whatever You Do! Don't!

Come on Over (1997)

Whatever You Do! Don't!

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Whatever You Do! Don't!

If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!

Come on Over (1997)

If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!

Come on Over (1999 international version)

If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!

You're Still the One

Come on Over (1997)

You're Still the One

Come on Over (1999 international version)

You're Still the One

Honey, I'm Home

Come on Over (1997)

Honey, I'm Home

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Honey, I'm Home

That Don't Impress Me Much

Come on Over (1997)

That Don't Impress Me Much

Come on Over (1999 international version)

That Don't Impress Me Much

Black Eyes, Blue Tears

Come on Over (1997)

Black Eyes, Blue Tears

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Black Eyes, Blue Tears

I Won't Leave You Lonely

Come on Over (1997)

I Won't Leave You Lonely

Come on Over (1999 international version)

I Won't Leave You Lonely

Rock This Country!

Come on Over (1997)

Rock This Country!

Come on Over (1999 international version)

Rock This Country!

You've Got a Way

Come on Over (1997)

You've Got a Way

Come on Over (1999 international version)

You've Got a Way
And the winner is: 1997 original North American version. The 1997 CD really pushes the boundaries of what I consider to be reasonable levels for the mixing and mastering of upbeat music, but it still sounds good. The 1999 European pop remix takes this further and shows definite limiting and clipping on most selections, with some beginning to adopt the pop aesthetic of layered synthesizer and vocal effects over the basic tracks in lieu of actual instrumentation. This phenomenon is at its very worst in the synthesizer-heavy remixes of "You've Got a Way," "That Don't Impress Me Much," and "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" all of which reek of cheesy pop synth effects. Had Twain, at this point in her career, been a bona fide pop musician, I can imagine this entire album having been made with computers and programming instead of with real instruments, and had it come along only a few years later still, being rife with vocal performances absolutely smothered in Auto-Tune. Fortunately for me, at this point one could still make a decent case for her being a country singer, and Nashville, while definitely not immune to the Loudness War, still tends a bit more toward the conservative when it comes to levels. This, coupled with the international version's late 90s era release, keeps things from getting *too* out of hand, resulting in a CD that's mastered a lot louder than it should have been, but one that is still very listenable. Though I don't personally care for the "international" (e.g., pop) version of this CD, I think it goes without saying that it is the one with the far superior front and back cover artwork, even if it's lacking much of the warm heart and soul of the original mixes.