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All The Way – Celine Dion

A meeting of two over-the-top pop minds was said a few years ago to have happened. If work between chest-pounding pop balladeer Celine Dion and legendarily eccentric producer Phil Spector hadn’t been aborted in its early stages, fans of the Canadian superstar might have heard her best, most interesting music. As it is, Dion has shown herself game for a challenge, notably in a collaboration with Meat Loaf svengali Jim Steinman on the offbeat opus “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” All the Way… A Decade of Song is just what you’d expect of a multiplatinum seller’s greatest-hits package, but it’s also more. Displaying a generosity toward her fans, Dion cherry picks nine signature singles (“My Heart Will Go On,” “Because You Loved Me,” “Beauty and the Beast”), then fills the rest of the CD with seven new cuts when one or two would have done the commercial trick. Most of these are just what admirers and detractors would expect, and Sinatra lovers will hope that All the Way’s title track is the last time his family allows an invented Frank-and-random-celebrity duet to take place. But the textures of “I Want You to Need Me” and “Live,” while hardly understated, are more measured. They give hope that Dion may yet take herself to a higher artistic plateau, while still pleasing her millions of listeners.

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