Dion tones down the often off-putting histrionics for a surprisingly contemporary collection.
Loved Me Back to Life
Blame Elvis, perhaps, but when a singer takes on a lengthy Las Vegas residency, we do tend to assume that their creative juices must now be stagnant. Not so, Celine Dion. The Canadian super-diva has spent much of the six years since her last English-language album performing classic-laden Vegas shows, but returns with a surprisingly contemporary collection. The pulsating title track has already helped refashion Dion’s previously unhip image, and some wisely chosen collaborators – from sure-fire hit-writers Sia Furler and Diane Warren to the R&B producers Babyface and Tricky Stewart – provide a lively canvas for that famous voice. She, in turn, tones down the often off-putting histrionics. Two oldies are given faithful updates – Janis Ian’s At Seventeen, and a duet with Stevie Wonder of his overlooked 1985 single Overjoyed – but generally this is Dion revelling in an unsung pop versatility. There are hints of Shakira (Somebody Loves Somebody), Michael Jackson (Save Your Soul) and Bacharach-style easy-listening (Didn’t Know Love), while a lung-testing anthem with Ne-Yo, Incredible, will surely soundtrack a million tearful TV montages. Viva the revitalised diva.