Celine Dion will release a new album titled 'Love Me Back to Life' on Nov. 5, 2013.
(Photo: Alix Malka, C Feeling Productions)
Celine Dion has spoken of taking an earthier approach to singing on Loved Me Back to Life (* * * out of four), her first English-language album in six years, out Nov. 5 and streaming now on SoundCloud. But expecting Dion to get down and dirty would be like expecting Eminem's next album to be a collection of children's songs.
Mercifully, Loved Me offers something more predictable: accomplished adult-contemporary pop that celebrates love, and occasionally laments its elusiveness or loss. Didn't Know Love and Thank You offer softer, grittier vocals and more nuanced drama than previous power ballads; the latter was contributed by Ne-Yo, also Dion's duet partner on the slicker Incredible.
But on the catchiest track, Somebody Loves Somebody, Dion starts out low and sultry, then lets her big, creamy soprano rip - a pattern she follows on the "Wall of Sound"-inspired Breakawayand Thankful, which starts out with a spare piano and crescendos with a gospel choir. A subtler, more subdued Celine Dion may be interesting in theory, but bright shades still suit this diva best.
Download: Somebody Loves Somebody, Breakaway, Overjoyed (with Stevie Wonder)