Album Review: Celine Dion – “Falling Into You”

Falling Into You is Celine Dion’s fourth English language album, and it was released in 1996.  In 1997, my husband and I purchased a two-disc import version of the album; the second CD is labeled as “Special Asian Tour Bonus CD.”  The first disc of this import version also contains two additional tracks that are not available on the regular pressing.

“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” opens the album, and it’s a song written by legendary songwriter Jim Steinman.  Personally, this is my favorite song on the album.  Even though it may run for about seven-and-a-half minutes and it has the classic Jim Steinman sound, Celine is able to make the song her own with her vocal performance.  This song really deserved to be a number one single on the pop charts; however, it was kept out of that position by the “Macarena.”

Next is the song “Because You Loved Me,” which was from the film Up Close & Personal.  This song is by far the biggest hit on the album, and it has gone on to become one of Celine’s classics.  “Because You Loved Me” also has a lot of personal meaning for me, because it’s a song that came out just months before I married my husband; the lyrics of the song just encapsulated a lot of how I was feeling at that time in my life.

The title song slows the album down a little bit, but it’s still a good song.  It’s a song about being in the early stages of falling in love with someone.  The tempo picks back up with “Make You Happy,” which is a fun and upbeat song, and it’s one on the album that I really enjoy.

“Seduces Me” is another slower tempo song, and true to the title, it has a seductive sound to it.  This is followed by “All By Myself,” which is a cover of an Eric Carmen song.  Even though this song is a cover, Celine really brings her own interpretation into it with her vocal delivery.  “Declaration of Love” picks the tempo back up, and it’s a song where the speaker is declaring their love for the person that they’re interested in.

On this import version, “Declaration of Love” is followed by “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman,” which is one of the two bonus songs included.  This Carole King cover stays rather faithful to the original version, but Celine is able to bring something to it with her vocal delivery, so it isn’t simply just a retread of the original.

“Dreamin’ of You” is a song where the speaker is still dreaming of someone they loved, even though they are no longer together.  Musically, it’s a poppy song that has hints of inspiration from early 1960s pop music.  “I Love You” is also retro-sounding musically, although this one tends to sound like it was inspired by pop music of the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Musically, “If That’s What it Takes” is a straight ahead mid-1990s “adult contemporary” song.  “I Don’t Know” is probably one of the slowest songs on the album, and it’s my least favorite; it’s also an English version of a song from Celine’s French album, D’eux.  “River Deep, Mountain High,” a cover of an Ike & Tina Turner song, really brings the tempo of the album back up.  Just like the other covers on the album, Celine brings something to the cover with her vocal performance.

“Call the Man,” which was produced by Jim Steinman, is quite a powerful song.  It can offer hope to the listener at times when they’re feeling their lowest.  “Fly” is a short song, and is actually an English adaptation of a song on Celine’s album, D’eux.  “Fly” is a song dedicated to Celine’s niece Karine, who had died of cystic fibrosis.  The import version adds on the song, “To Love You More” as a bonus track; it would later be released on the domestic pressing of the follow-up album, Let’s Talk About Love.

The bonus disc of this import pressing includes five tracks: “Power of the Dream,” the song Celine recorded for the 1996 Summer Olympics, “Your Light,” a dance remix of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and live recordings of “The Power of Love” and “River Deep, Mountain High.”

Even with the few weaknesses that Falling Into You has, it is, in my opinion, the best English language album that Celine Dion has released during her career.  Not only did it have appeal to her traditional adult contemporary audience, but it also had very strong pop appeal.  Celine, along with the songwriters and producers, were able to bring together songs with very different styles, but produce them in a way where they all sound like they should appear on the same album.  If I pull out a Celine Dion CD to listen to, it’s either Falling Into You or Unison.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Falling Into You that my husband and I purchased.

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