Sometimes it can be difficult having an open ear for all genres of music. Especially when it comes to explaining to my hardcore rock, metal or indie friends that I do indeed like Celine Dion. It’s even more difficult for me to keep my feelings to myself about how great an entertainer and singer she is. Luckily there are some people in my life who do appreciate her as well, and considering she’s sold over 180 million albums, I suppose there are some others out there who understand her talent as much as I do if not more.
I was really hoping that one day I would be able see her show in Vegas during her five year stint at Caesars Palace. She’s at her best when performing live and is such a character. Unfortunately I won’t be able to see her in Las Vegas since her last show will be this December, and then she’s off on a world tour which starts February 14th, 2008 in South Africa, to the delight of her fans around the world I’m sure.
‘Taking Chances’ is Celine Dion’s latest album, set for release November 12th, 2007 in the UK. I’ve got my hands on it and have been enjoying it. Let’s just get this out of the way: ‘Taking Chances’ is full of pop with elements of modern country, soul and power ballads and if that’s what you’re after, then this full 16 track Deluxe Edition CD + exclusive sneak peak DVD (with Vegas footage!) is for you.
Recently I reviewed opening track “Taking Chances”, written by Kara DioGuardi and Dave Stewart and I still feel that it could be the best pop ballad I’ve heard all year.
When “Alone” came on it took me by surprise and I was singing so loud along with the track I had to play it again to hear Celine’s singing – which of course her “punchier” version of Heart’s pop ballad hit from ’87, produced by Ben Moody, sounds great. I especially like the intro – it’s gorgeous the way the bass comes in and then the cello and Celine’s voice.
“Surprise Surprise” also written by Kara DioGuardi, is a stand out track with a contemporary/country/pop feel. I wouldn’t be surprised (no pun intended) if it gets released sometime around Christmas and reached #1, but I’m just not sure if the lyrics would suit for Christmas, though. I am sure that when Celine performs “Surprise Surprise” live during her tour, it will be one of the big crowd pleasers of the night.
There’s a Barbara Streisand “No More Tears” feel to Celine’s vocal performance on the emotionally driven and atmospheric “This Time”, with the determined lyrics about being “another victim of poison love”.
It’s good to hear two Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) songs included on the ‘Taking Chances’ album. The piano-lead “My Love” and the superb gospel number “New Dawn”. Linda Perry not only wrote the songs, but she also plays electric and acoustic guitars, organ, mellotron and piano on “My Love” and she plays piano, acoustic, sings background vocals on “New Dawn” and engineered and produced on both tracks.
“A World To Believe In” could have been a Faith Hill song, but it’s good to hear Celine Dion singing on such a beautiful and modern-country tinged song. There’s quite a change of pace when the upbeat and big production of “Can’t Fight The Feeling” starts up and I can’t believe that Shaffer Smith aka Ne-Yo co-wrote, co-produced and sings background vocals on the ballad “I Got Nothing Left”, another great vocal performance by Celine. It’s easy to forget that it’s Celine Dion singing to the waltz beat of “Right Next To The Right One”. It sounds quite different from what I’m used to hearing her sing – and I like it.
I’m not so sure about “Just Fade Away”. It has a Kelly Clarkson/Eurovision feel to it, which isn’t the best combination in the world. Then again, Celine Dion did win the Eurovision Song Contest when she represented Switzerland in 1988. There’s obviously a market for “Just Fade Away”, but not for me.
Blues number “That’s Just The Woman In Me” makes up for it, though. It has a Sam Cooke “Bring It On Home To Me”/Aretha Franklin feel with Celine Dion’s soulful vocals – and a Janis Joplin like scream at the end.
Let’s not forget about the additional exclusive sneak peak DVD! It includes the trailer for Celine Dion’s “A New Day Live In Las Vegas” with interview clips. There are also four exclusive songs, including one of my favorite Celine cover songs, “I Drove All Night” originally recorded by Roy Orbison and then Cyndi Lauper.
I highly recommend this Deluxe Edition CD/DVD for Celine Dion fans everywhere!
Celine Dion ‘Taking Chances’ album track listing:
1. Taking Chances
3. Eyes On Me
4. My Love
5. Shadow Of Love
6. Surprise Surprise
7. This Time
8. New Dawn
9. A Song For You
10. A World To Believe In
11. Can’t Fight The Feeling
12. I Got Nothing Left
13. Right Next To The Right One
14. Just Fade Away
15. That’s Just The Woman In Me
16. Skies Of L.A.
DVD track listing:
1. Trailer for the DVD “Live In Las Vegas – A New Day”
2. The Power of Love
3. I Drove All Night
4. I Surrender
5. I Wish
Celine Dion – Taking Chances album on amazon.com