Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Celine Dion has made a strong return with ‘Loved Me Back to Life’. This is her first English language album since 2007 and her eleventh English album overall. Surprisingly, the album is slanted toward r&b and soul, a major change in style for Celine. Changing genres could have been a flop but the singer and her team have succeeded in making an album that splices r&b, soul and pop seamlessly.
Any doubts about jumping on the urban music bandwagon is put to rest once album opener and title song, ‘ Loved Me back to Life’ gets going. Celine sings with passion and conviction on this mid tempo pop and r&b track. Dion raises the ante on ‘Somebody Loves Somebody’; it too blends r&b and pop marvellously. A sweet piano passage opens ‘Incredible’ the duet with Ne-Yo. While not as good as the first two songs it is still a pleasant track that helps ease Dion’s acceptance into the current crop of artists that dominate the charts.
‘Water and Flame’ is when Dion shows that she is an artist apart. Wonderfully written and composed, the song is one of the best by a pop artist in a long time. Dion dabbles more in soul with ‘Water and Flame’, the melody and feel is powerful and effective. Another contender for best song is the ballad, ‘Breakaway’. Excellent pop lyrics and an unforgettable minor key melody are utilized exceptionally by Celine on this amazing song.
The album becomes a bit too relaxed once ‘Thank You’ comes around, loosing some of the edge that was established in the first eight songs. These latter songs are worthwhile but just a bit too mellow when all listened after each other. Overall, it’s an impressive collection of songs for a pop album and any doubts about Celine’s staying power are erased. The Canadian songbird has sanctified the pop musical landscape with this album.