All The Way... A Decade Of Song
by Celine Dion, pop (1999)
Sony/550, ASIN B000031XCR


Before she put out that infamously overplayed Titanic song and made a million enemies among fed-up radio listeners, Celine Dion actually sings lovely ballads. Songs of simple yet catchy melodies devoid of hysterical vocal acrobatics that plague her later albums. All The Way... A Decade Of Song is a collection of her hits from 1990 to 1999, and it's perfect for the amateur Celine Dion fan who likes one or two songs but can't make himself buy an entire CD.

Oddly enough, this collection omits Dion's first English hit, Where Does My Heart Beat Now? The songs cover hits from her second album Celine Dion all the way to the Let's Talk About Love horror.

Since Let's Talk About Love is an album that should be more appropriately called Let's Shout About Love, everything from that album stinks (except for that Titanic song). Hence the dreary I'm Your Angel, theme song for Imsomniacs Anonymous, quite spoils the mood. Her new songs aren't any better, really. The Max Martin song That's The Way It Is, while catchy, is a song intended for the Backstreet Boys. It must be a sure sign of the apocalypse that Celine Dion does a BSB song. Her duet with Frank Sinatra is alternately cold and warm, with her always in the danger of wailing into a female version of Michael Bolton.

The magic of ATW..ADOS lies in the gems from her early albums. To Love You More couples her graceful vocals with a violin orchestra that is simply divine. Her cover of Patti LaBelle's If You Ask Me To still manages to make a tear fall in its evocation of melancholic confessions of love. Love Can Move Mountains is the sole uptempo track that proves that Dion can really indeed bring the house down. And like it or not, My Heart Will Go On is a heartbreaking song, sang with surprising restrain by Dion. But the best song has to be the operatic melodrama of It's All Coming Back To Me Now, with wailing organs and bombastic lyrics typical of Jim Steinman's creations.

Unfortunately, then come the commercial pap that are Because You Love Me (snore), Beauty And The Beast (the cartoon characters sang it better), and the unpalatable The Power Of Love. Overall, this album is a 50-50 thing, with approximately half of it filled with great, hummable songs and the other half just plain fluff. Thank God for the skip button on the remote.

Rating: 75


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