A NEW DAY HAS COME

MIKE ROSS

, Last Updated: 2:06 PM ET


A NEW DAY HAS COME
Celine Dion
(Columbia-Sony)

In stores today, A New Day Has Come picks up where Falling Into You left off. In other words, the new album is a fully loaded Hindenburg of bombast, melodrama and soaring love ballads indistinguishable from anything she's ever done. Attempts at modernity are spotty, though welcome. Some of it sounds like Destiny's Child outtakes. A track called Ten Days reveals her rock 'n' roll side, such that it is, or maybe it's an Alannah Myles outtake. She channels Cher in Sorry For Love while singing circles around same.

A couple of pop standards round out the collection. And there's even a bit of Spanish frippery called Aun Existe Amor, which one can safely assume is also about love.

Yes, at the heart of her heart that will always go on and on are the love ballads. Celine is at her lovey-doveyest in Mutt Lange's Goodbye's (The Saddest Word), helped by not one, but two soaring key changes in the same song, which is then launched into a high Earth orbit of melodrama by an orchestra that would make John Williams blush with envy. Nothing has changed. Dion still falls into the breed of singers who use songs to show off their voices, rather than voices to show off songs. Big difference. The Streisand-in-waiting has magnificent pipes, of course, and is convincing in her emotional declarations of undying love or lack thereof. She should get an Oscar for some of these performances. One wonders if she's thinking of Rene when she sings lines like "I'm not sorry for my touch, the way I made your hands tremble and my heart rush."

Perhaps she just has an active imagination.

LOVE, BY THE NUMBERS: It's no fun slagging Celine Dion, who is, apart from hype and enormous wealth, a genuinely nice person with a genuinely nice voice. Besides, A New Day Has Come will sell oodles whether critics like it or not. Here's the breakdown:

DANCE TUNES: 4

LIGHT POP: 2

ROCK 'N' ROLL SONGS: 1

LOVE BALLADS: 9

LOVE ITSELF: mentioned 66 times.

HEART: 16 references

ANGEL, SPIRIT, GOD, etc: invoked 31 times.

SONGS THAT COULD BE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD: 4

SOARING KEY CHANGES: 7 (including two in the same song).

SONGWRITERS, ARRANGERS and PRODUCERS: 53, including Corey Hart and Aldo Nova. No David Foster!

PREVALENT NATIONALITY OF ABOVE: Swedish.

BACKGROUND VOCALISTS: 25, including Shania Twain, Chantal Kreviazuk and St. Albert's own Roberta Michele.

TOUR: No tour yet, at least not until her three-year, 600-show contract in Las Vegas is up.

TV: Airing April 7 will be the CBS special Celine Dion: A New Day Has Come, whose taping was also beset by technical glitches that left this trouper unflapped.

"What are you going to do?" Celine tells TV Guide. "Are you going to scream? No. You have to wring the best out of those moments. It is often when you are tired or you don't have your full voice or you have problems that the best comes out of you." (More on Celine Dion).

Track Listing

  • 1. I'm Alive
  • 2. Right In Front Of You
  • 3. Have You Ever Been In Love
  • 4. Rain, Tax (It's Inevitable)
  • 5. A New Day Has Come (Radio Remix)
  • 6. Ten Days
  • 7. Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)
  • 8. Prayer
  • 9. I Surrender
  • 10. At Last
  • 11. Sorry For Love
  • 12. Aun Existe Amor
  • 13. The Greatest Reward
  • 14. When The Wrong One Loves You Right
  • 15. A New Day Has Come
  • 16. Nature Boy
     

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