DAR: Celine Dion is ‘Falling into You’

Article is also in response to International Women's Day!

Guilty Pleasure | Seng Lim | March 11, 2016

  • Copied

Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste

– Title by Carl Wilson from the 33 1/3 book series

The 1990s was a bleak time in the memories of those who lived through it during their adulthood. Grownups recognized many historical events that opened up their eyes to what the 90s had to offer: Nelson Mandela was freed, The Soviet Union collapsed, O.J. Simpson was put on trial and proven innocent, the Unabomber was arrested, Dolly the sheep was cloned, the AIDS epidemic spurred out, and Viagra hit the market.

It didn’t seem like the 90s had much to offer that the time, but those who grew up in the 90s also remember how spectacular it was to live in.

Especially with how spirited they felt over those who grew up in the 70s or 80s. Fresh Prince and The Simpsons ruled the television, Super Nintendo drove our mom crazy, countless snacks like Squeeze It and Dunkaroos were essential to us like food and water, stealing Beanie Babies from our sister to throw at people, and Pogs and Pokémon trading cards replacde the novelty collection of toy sets and baseball cards.

Then there were times when we felt emotionally sensible for no peculiar reason, like how James Cameron’s Titanic historically made men cry (along with Celine Dion’s soundtrack hit), the final strip of Calvin and Hobbes was too memorable to forget, the first Harry Potter book got us hyped up to read more of it, no one cared when Tiger Woods won the Masters, the Columbine High School massacre made us worry, and the Y2K bug gave us even more to worry about.

With all that mashed up in our busy heads, we needed some tunes to relieve the pressure and to help us feel better. So who would you choose: Dave Matthews band or the Counting Crows? Neither. It was a trick question if you didn’t read the title first.

The Canadian hit singer Celine Dion is everybody’s loveable artist because of her brilliant pop hits that left us heartwarmed every time she sang.

Growing up with an impoverish childhood and lacking any understanding of her realness, Dion had a celine-dionprovocative sense with her songs. They forced us to hum in the shower, sing in the car in the middle of traffic, propose to our significant other or between breakup moments, and debate if the singer is in the hot list or the not list. She pierced our minds with memorable hit songs that make it seem like it wasn’t too long ago since they were released. Her songs have never aged, either. We couldn’t guess how her career would make her last forever, through such contract shows in Las Vegas, and we would never guess how she still made it alive and well known today.

Falling into You was what everyone’s mind in 1996, and it was the best reflection of the world for the early and late 90s.

It was effortless for the Montreal Chanteuse to express her feelings with those who had felt the same as she did : sad, love, joy, desperation, love, hopeless, happiness, love, flirtatious tension, and love (and don’t forget love). Following her successful album The Colour of my Love, Falling into You initiates Celine’s career into a deeper level, delving us into the world of Celine’s aromatic earworm in which we can’t get over. As a tough, fearless man growing up, Celine’s songs somehow always spellbind me into a witty, girly-girl trying to sing along her hit songs without embarrassing myself (I admit I still do so).

Falling into You became one of the best-selling albums with 32 million sales worldwide, certifying platinum to gold instantly, winning three World Music Awards and a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. That has got to be goddamn impressive for a woman artist.

In the category of pop/soft music, the DAR series celebrates 20 years of Celine Dion’s Falling into You to remember the significance of how this amazing woman sang her heart out and how much her emotional songs meant to us.

Just promise you won’t cry like a leaking facet after reading this.

Pop artists from the 80s were still winning listeners in their own ways: Madonna kept selling sex, Cyndi Lauper embellished a new sense of femininity impulse, Pat Benatar was breaking hearts, Diana Ross sang her

spirit high, and Whitney Houston just wanted to dance with somebody (who loves her).

The early 90s were changing matters away from what the 80s said. They were looking for a new way to win people’s hearts after witnessing the blazing attitude of rock music that was taking over, particularly when Nirvana’s Nevermind hit the world.

In attempt to revitalize pop music, female artists took their chances in an attempt to bring back the fandom idolization that stirred in the past decade. But it wasn’t easy to win back when the grunge and rock scene became the hot topic. To add insult to injury, the hip hop scene rose to pop music effortlessly, especially with black female artists like TLC and Queen Latifah subjecting more of their cultural nature to the pop world.

To perfect the balance of putting pop singers in the higher scene, female artists were given suggestions by the critics and audiences to see more feminine artistry occupying the music scene as songwriters. Female singers are brought into the spotlight not only for their singing capability. They

Celine_Dion_1
“Its the moment you think you can’t that you realize you can.” – Celine Dion (CC 2.0)

were expected to do different things in order to be in the spotlight: their sexual display, their credentials of celebrity status, their obscene lyrical implication, their morals of seeking into a higher stance in the media such as film or T.V. appearances, and virtually abolishing what woman’s rights was all about in the first place (sorry Sinead O’ Connor).

Early 90s artists started to practice these examples to get lovable attention, proving there is no static opinion about the wrong way to hit the mainstream.

Swedish group Ace of Base provokes sexual desire, Sheryl Crow blazes with her own blend of rock and roll ideology, Lisa Loeb sang heartfelt relationships and teenage tales, trio group Wilson Philips proves that three is better than one singer, and Shania Twain became the “Queen of Country Pop”. Such examples of these female artists answered to the people, but did not do much for the artist themselves (as if they ever intended to have their career the way they wanted to be in the first place). Do they like be subjected sexually? Do their songs hypnotize people to make love? Do they make it to fame correctly? More importantly, do people really care about them?

Celine Dion, from a young age, had ambitions to be a singer.

Straightforwardly, she denies any failure to make it all the way with her first album at the age of 13 entitled La voix du bon Dieu (The Good Lord’s Voice) which is a French-Canadian album. With her struggling first album release in her English-language albums of Unison and Celine Dion, audiences felt somewhat excited about this promising singer on the rise. But the critics did not accept any of it, referencing how it did not follow along the suggestive theme of early 90s feminine exploitation. Celine refused to be knocked down and acknowledge more in D’eux, which became the best-selling French-speaking album. As notable attention rises there, The Colour of My Love gave reason for audiences to put Celine in the spotlight during the finest time of her career.

Then Falling into You was released, and that came to define what Celine Dion is all about.

It projected her music further into the pop mainstream, showing how possible it is for fans to talk about her music, haters to digress her issues, and jokers to mimic in parody of it. But that is how popular music is intended in the first place, examples today like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” or Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” are the key sources for music’s adoration of liking from listeners. Celine Dion‘s Falling into You is an example of having that one song stuck in your head that will haunt you for the next 100 years or so (if that is possible).

Celine_Dion_Concert_Stage_@_Montreal
Live in Montreal (C.C. 2.0)

Even with the fact that the entire album consisted of covers, the album still remains a signature sound that drew audiences to Celine Dion, much in a way how Jimi Hendrix did covers in his first album Are You Experienced?. It shows audiences that covers can sound amazing and more beautiful than the original.

The opening cover track “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, which was also covered from an all-female pop group Pandora’s Box, led us visually in front of a musical French door that opens up to Celine’s heartfelt voice. Originally to be the greatest love-power ballad song from Jim Steinman, Celine stole the show with her imaginative ideal of a love song and overcome more than Steinman’s love ballad.

It gained  her acknowledgment in the pop world that her voice could bring tears to your very eyes without even noticing, and she does that in this impressive introduction track.

The following track was completely crucial for Falling into You. Written by Diane Warren, “Because You Loved Me” became one of the first hit wonders for Celine’s career. Her opening solo voice at the first second embarks the typical voice we can all identify upon hearing on the radio. The lyric expresses gratitude to her one significant person. Celine preaches “for all” that person has done for her and all “he/she gave” to her has meant so much to her life. As the song stay along the tempo, Celine’s voice becomes more assertive as she opens her arms wide open for thankfulness, synching beside the slow, soft songs of the retrospective R&B elements of Roberta Flack. Amazing as it is, the song became the theme song for the 1996 Romantic Drama Up Close & Personal which stars Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Falling into You” is the song and album title that captures the overall concept of the album.

Originally from the Argentine singer Marie-Claire D’Ubaldo, Celine adapts the smooth, sultry flow of a Latin affair or a Spaniard night theme to allude a charming love tale told by Celine’s breathtaking voice. However, behind the recording was a different story. The first original take of this track did not satisfy Celine’s expectation. She explains her reason of not finding the perfect match: “This is a song with many nuances, with half-tones. I found Celine-Dion_3the arrangements were too violent, my voice didn’t flow enough”.

After clarifying her requests with her directors and sound producers, they agreed to do another take which then became the final astonishing version on this album. From there, Celine states her evolving character was due to the song’s sweetest tune she had ever sung: “This song marked a step of my emancipation as an artist… I was becoming a mature, grown-up, autonomous artist— But it is, in my opinion, one of the thrillest songs on the album, and I love the lyrics.”

Make You Happy” (not to be confused with Sheryl Crow’s ‘If it Make You Happy’ because I fell for that) instigates another of Celine’s 90’s throwbacks where it falls in the line between Ace of Base and R&B singer Brandy. To my surprise I’m still fond of this little loving tune that definitely defines “classic nostalgia” since I hung around the 90s. Written by Andy Marvel, the song depicts a person’s commitment to a relationship. In Celine’s case, she reaches out for her lover and proposing to be his girl, relating with other folks who seek a relationship desperately as well. Honestly, what better way to commit a relationship with this song as well as an anniversary theme to remember for? *awww*

“This song marked a step of my emancipation as an artist… I was becoming a mature, grown-up, autonomous artist— But it is, in my opinion, one of the thrillest songs on the album, and I love the lyrics.” – Celine Dion on “Falling into You”

The album has its ups and downs about the game of love to which Celine sings constantly about in the album. She made darn sure to include such examples how love can totally be a bitch in life. No matter how many times I heard it, “All By Myself” (or as late 21th centurians calls it ‘Obama’s Elf’) just grasps me every time, like a kick in the sensitive part of your heart or squeezing ounces of tear out of your eyes.

Originally a power ballad by Eric Carmen, Celine promoted her incredible talent by singing one of the most touching songs to ever lie on Earth. Considered to be listed as the most played track for a breakup playlist (second to Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable’ in my tear-jerking opinion), the song is also established as the most depressing, heartbreaking song from a devastated moment that anyone can suffer from. Whether it was getting fired from a job, losing a relative or a friend, losing the most valuable thing you ever had, finishing that second last piece of Twix bars you lust for, or grieving to pass the time during delayed overnight flights, “All By Myself” speaks about the fundamental alienation of one’s emotions toward a emotional life breakdown: “When I was young/ I never needed anyone / Making love was just for fun / Those days are gone”. The song parallels the same way how R.E.M. speaks about suicidal depression in “Everybody Hurts”, or Foreigner’s reasoning of a relationship breakup in “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.

Declaration of Love” initiated Celine’s take on rock and pop connection, and the result was quite catchy for everyone. The lyrics are bonded cutely with the nation’s pledged anthem and undertaking a commitment to a love one: “I pledge allegiance to the heavens above / Tonight to you baby I make my declaration of love”.

One of Celine’s rarest single to be released in Mexico, “Dreaming of You” is an easing-pop tempo tune that anyone can figure out easily on a karaoke machine.

(C.C. by-SA 3.0)

It certainly puts the listeners in the setting of bedtime and imagining your loved one hanging around in your deep, mindful head: “You’re the one I’m dreamin’ of / I can’t live without your love Tonight”. If this case occurs repetitively, consider waking up in the middle of the night to call your significant other just to say how much you miss each other (Sorry if that was pretentious. I’m not much of a love doctor and I hope to never be one).

If That What It Takes” is an English version cover of her French version “Pour que tu m’aimes encore” (So That You’ll Love Me Again) from her album D’eux. The song depicts how Celine once again (and you guess right) sang about love and for love. This song particularly seeks to patch up a broken relationship as Celine sang for her ex-lover that she would do anything to win his affection again. This is another lesson in love song to remind that relationships can be horrific once broken, but can stitch up the damage if each partner can give it another try.

River Deep, Mountain High” is a surprise to longtime Celine Dion fans.

Originating from the amazing Tina Turner, alongside with Phil Spector, (THE Phil Spector) the lyrics remind one of how a little girl’s heart can grow stronger than ever with love, no matter how aging or damaging it can get. There is wide use of percussion instruments in the song which projects like an African tribal chanting sing-along like The Lion King theme. It is much familiarized with the way David Byrne, from the New York post-punk band The Talking Heads, did with his influence from world music in their album Remain in Light. It just comes to show that world music elements like this particular song can still be dwelled as a pop hit.

Céline_Dion_René_Angelil_2012
Celine and her late manager/husband René Angelil. (C.C. by-SA 3.0)

Listeners who discover Celine Dion often find her as another pop cliché idol who just wanted to sing for fame.

But no one would ever had witnessed Celine’s career in motion if it wasn’t for her impoverished childhood, the instability of her emotional talent, and her manager-turned-husband who fought with cancer for many years (but sadly lost to it earlier this year). Fans can look at her as one of the devastated celebrities who grew up horribly downward, like a holocaust survivor struggling to live on, but Celine declines to be look down on. She is a fighter in her music career: singing her way to sold out shows in Las Vegas, touring worldwide for international recognition, and shouting “My Heart Will Always Go On” to mild-mannered lovers who still believe Titanic made a big impression to the cinema world, and how romantic films can dominate the box office just by advertising Celine’s soundtrack promotion. We would be sucked into Celine’s world further if she had ever done any more singing that proves she’s still got it, and her recent cover of Adele’s “Hello” is still an incredible evidence for the Canadian hit singer (why do fans believe this was a major fail for her?).

Whether we love her or hate her, the tensions of Celine’s song implores bravery in her career, shining a heartfelt sunlight to listeners who are always with her or just beginning to know her in an unforgettable sense.

Celine_Dion_en_Vegas
Celine Dion Vegas show ad in Caesars Palace (C.C. 2.0)