808s / The World's Greatest Hits

The World’s Greatest Hits: Falling Into You – Celine Dion

Falling Into You  – Celine Dion – 1996

Claimed Sales: 32m

First listen?: Yes

Format Listened?: CD/Apple Music

Celine Dion owned the 90s. It’s genuinely a surprise that it has taken me this long to cover one of her albums and it’s more of a surprise that I had never listened to Falling Into You before. Her global reach was unmatched, a French Canadian that had both won the Eurovision Song Contest and scored a #1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, Celine Dion managed to release seemingly hundreds of albums in this decade and Falling Into You remains her all time best seller. Opener It’s All Coming Back To Me Now is a Jim Steinman written power ballad with power house vocals to match. Originally intended for Bat Out Of Hell II it’s 7 minutes of ridiculous crashing drums and soaring backing vocals. As with most of what follows it’s quite exhausting, Celine’s vocal performance is equal parts controlled and over the top like no one else. All By Myself is another example of this, with vocals dominating pretty much the entire track. Falling Into You is a true singers album and because of that the only thing that really ties these songs together is Celine’s massive voice. This is how the reggae tinged Make You Happy is placed next to the Lisa Stansfield-esque intro of Dreamin’ Of You. Then you have the rock infused Your Light that’s full of big hair 80s sassiness. There’s rarely a song that doesn’t end with some ridiculously huge notes or more likely a key change and for the most part this is more than okay. The Dianne Warren written Because You Loved Me is both the standout track here and one of Celine Dion’s most memorable singles; it’s conventional structure allows it to stand as a killer moment here. Everything else is just so excessive though. Tracks last far too long than they need to, the European version of the album comes in at well over 80 minutes. The version of Tina & Ike classic River Deep, Mountain High verges on sounding like Celine belting out at a karaoke night thanks to the featherweight production, while the inclusion of You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman) feels needless even if the version is nice enough. Perhaps we didn’t need English versions of original French hits If That’s What It Takes and I Don’t Know, but tellingly these ended up being two of my favourites on the record. Celine Dion is a legendary singer and with Falling Into You she showcases her talent brilliantly. It’s just a shame it doesn’t really work as an album at all.

Rating: 6/10

Will I listen again?: Probably not

Best Track: Because You Loved Me is undoubtedly the best song here and is possibly second only to Think Twice in her long discography.

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