2007 album from the French/Canadian diva, a brilliant step forward for one of the most respected female vocalists of modern times. Features such songwriters and producers as John Shanks, Ben Moody (formerly of Evanescence), Linda Perry, and Ne-Yo. Features 14 new Celine classics including the first single 'Taking Chances'.
is not without its daring moments--we'll get to those--but the first order of business in any review of this much-hyped record, on which Celine Dion is said to have slunk away from her songbird instincts in favor of embracing her inner rock & roll wild child, should be fan reassurance. Therefore: fear not. Taking Chances
has its share of poignant, pretty ballads (both "A Song for You" and "Right Next to the Right One" are goosebump-raisers) and love songs (the hopeful, heartfelt title track, which unfolds into an anthemic power ballad midway through, may be the best one). As far as standard Celine fare goes, in fact, Chances
is likely her strongest non-French outing since 2002's A New Day Has Come
; nobody unfolds a lyric with more care or nuance. And, as the subtle "My Love" deftly proves, any early-career instincts to over-sing have gone poof along with her '90s-era, sweet-natured-kook persona. Because it's a generous 16 songs long, it may even be possible to ignore the non-Celine-like moments on Taking Chances
and just enjoy the more fan-faithful tracks. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it? There are songs here--"Can't Fight the Feelin'," "Fade Away," "That's Just the Woman In Me"--that will astound diehards and make fans of those who've dissed her for more than a decade. If you didn't think the diva behind Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" had it in her to screech from the bottom of her soul, a la Janis Joplin, flip to track 15 and guess again. --Tammy La Gorce
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