Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion – 1997
Claimed Sales: 31m
First listen?: No
Format Listened?: Apple Music
Once again we have an album that I heard a lot growing up. Let’s Talk About Love was a big favourite of my mum’s in the late 90s as well as about 31 million other people across the world. When a Celine Dion album is playing in the house, you can’t really avoid it, vocals on the likes of Love Is On The Way all but shattering the windows when the chorus arrives. Overall it’s a much more polished offering than Falling Into You, with less songs that feel out of place in its still lengthy hour long runtime. Even the Spanish midtempo Amar Haciendo el Amor blends nicely with the soft rock of Miles To Go (Before I Sleep). The most obvious highlights are surely the collaborations which manage to range from the reggae of Treat Her Like A Lady with Diane King to the classic Bee Gees ballad Immortality. I Hate You Then I Love You sees Pavarotti make an dramatic appearance, but arguably the biggest moment comes in Barbara Streisand duet Tell Him. Cementing her own talent alongside arguably ‘the’ voice of the 60s and 70s Tell Him never becomes a battle between Celine and Barbara. It’s a remarkable vocal duet on one of the strongest songs on the album. Let’s Talk About Love still suffers from some of that same variety of genres that is a staple of Celine Don albums, but the tracklist and flow of the record is much stronger here. A brilliant song like Us could easily be lost between the massive hits at the top end of the album, opener The Reason is especially epic and all but drowns out the ballads that follow, but in the middle it finds its own place here. Of course I haven’t mentioned the biggest hit of not just the album and not just Celine Dion’s career but one of the biggest songs of all time. My Heart Will Go On is still as impossibly ridiculous as it was in 1997 and it’s surely the definitive Celine Dion vocal performance. It’s a hit so huge, tied to a film that was literally the biggest movie release of all time, that it’s truly impressive that Let’s Talk About Love doesn’t collapse under the weight of it. It’s placement within the tracklist, not as an opener or a bonus track tacked on at the end makes this it that bit more impactful too, especially coming straight after the baffling 90s dance of Just a Little Bit of Love. Let’s Talk About Love manages to be a great album because it not only focuses on the always impressive vocal performance of its star, but manages to bring all sides of her together in one listenable package. It’s probably Celine Dion’s best album.
Will I listen again?: Probably yes, returning after all these years had made me remember how much I liked it in the first place.
Best Track: While you’d think My Heart Will Go On would be the obvious choice here, I’ve opted for the Barbara Streisand duet Tell Him. A song so strong that it manages to hold itself together under two of music’s all time greatest voices.