Celine Dion, Classic or Dud

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All right, I was gonna wake up an old '03 thread about "manufactured music" but that would have been dishonest. I was surprised by the hatred for Celine on that Celine-and-Elvis-duet thread, and searching ILX revealed that hating on Celine has been quiet-and-occasional constant through three servers and half a decade. Why is this? She's certainly one of the best singers in pop - not "possessed of one of the best ranges," which is also true, but "having greater command of her formidable instrument than most pop singers I can name."

Is it mainly her material that people hate? or the creepy relation to her svengali-dude manager? How can people love Karen Carpenter's singing and not Celine's, which well consdierably more for-the-cheap-seats is of essentially the same school, and, again, has greater range?

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 16:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

side bets going on whether someone is gonna contend that having control of one's instrument is a bummer

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 16:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think the material is the problem. "That's the Way It Is" is the only Celine tune that really struck me as well-written and catchy. "My Heart Will Go On" isn't bad though.

Matt Armstrong, Monday, 30 April 2007 18:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

How can people love Karen Carpenter's singing and not Celine's

Because of Karen Carpenter's way too early death I guess. Both are/were very much dud and nothing but dud.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/ap/ny13601050004.widec.jpg
http://www.musicalstore.it/Testi%20internazionali/Celine%20Dion/Foto/Celine%20Dion%203.jpg
http://www.nndb.com/people/104/000023035/celine-dion-70.jpg
Celine Dion
AKA Céline Marie Claudette Dion

Born: 30-Mar-1968
Birthplace: Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada

Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Canadian diva
http://www.bubbygram.com/performers/celinediongmtoronto.jpg

Z S, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

Carl Wilson to thread.

jaymc, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

man I love that pic with the big hair

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

she was so awesome on that Fanatic show too

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

Btw. I think the main reason why more typical ILM'ers hate her is the fact that she appeals more to 40 year-olds than to 13-year-olds.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

but that's true of Karen Carpenter, too, and practically everybody'll give it up for the Carpenters - granted though that half of that is for Richard's unbelievable production skill.

Both Celina and Shania are underappreciated by ILM and Hans Rott for one demands satisfaction

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

hahaha "Celina"

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

I had to work in a horrible restaurant and the manageress/evil bitchface was obsessed with Celine Dion and despite the fact that everyone else actually wanted to kill themselves after about a week of Celine on repeat, she would constantly sing along as if she wasn't a dreadful dreadful woman. For that I will never like Celine Dion.

I know, right?, Monday, 30 April 2007 21:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Carpenters had lots of teenage fans in the 70s.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 30 April 2007 21:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

She looks like a parakeet.

Mordechai Shinefield, Monday, 30 April 2007 21:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

this small thread shores up my contention that somehow the discourse around this pop icon, or perhaps this type of pop icon, is in a vastly different mode than that around Madonna or Beyonce or Gwen Stefani or various other not-dissimilar figures

Hans Rott, Monday, 30 April 2007 22:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

Madonna is about 1.39 trillion times better than Celine Dion.

Z S, Monday, 30 April 2007 23:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

not similar

Z S, Monday, 30 April 2007 23:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

I don't see the similarities. I mean, I don't see any similarities between Madonna and Celine Dion. And the only two things Celine Dion has in common with Beyonce is 1. they don't write their own songs and 2. they suck.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 30 April 2007 23:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

Dreck.

NYCNative, Monday, 30 April 2007 23:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oh wait, I figured it out. Hans Rott works for Celine Dion. That's not cool, man.

Z S, Monday, 30 April 2007 23:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t214/ZachRScott/celinefire.jpg?t=1177978214

OK, I'm done.

Z S, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 00:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

Karen Carpenter had WAYYYY more soul than Celine. Come ON people.

Matt Armstrong, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

'more soul,' jeez, this has gotta be the first place anybody ever accused Karen Carpenter (who I love lots, don't get me wrong) of having 'soul.' Formally speaking, there's hardly any difference at all between the stuff Madge gets and the stuff Celine gets - "Like a Prayer" vs. "That's the Way It Is," "My Heart Will Go On" vs. pretty much all of Madge's ballads...the difference between Madonna and Celine is the difference between Nike and Adidas, not Nike and say Florsheim. I seriously thinking hating Celine is the '07 version of ignoring/hating Streisand in the late 70's, which was also a moronic position as it turned out

Hans Rott, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

Come on, are you going to tell us there is any excuse for this?

http://blog.doctissimo.fr/php/blog/Ma_premiere_annee/images/Anne%20Geddes%20-%20Celine%20Dion%20-%20Miracle%20-%20Front.jpg

Telephone thing, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Come on, are you going to tell us there is any excuse for this?

I already told you her excuse! She's half-parakeet! It's a problem, and not fair to mock.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

" "Like a Prayer" vs. "That's the Way It Is," "My Heart Will Go On" vs. pretty much all of Madge's ballads"

That's the Way It Is is a very unusual song for celine. Which Madonna ballad sounds anything like My Heart Will Go On? Something from Evita?

Matt Armstrong, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

nobody on ILM likes adult contemporary - if you like music you can't like adult contemporary. It's quite simple. Celine has rarely tried to do branch her way out of the Oprah audience. And also, she is always chosen to do the tedious eye-rolling variety shows - American Idol, Oscars, Olympics, Sept 11 etc... And duets with the likes of Il Divo, Pavarotti, Beegees don't help either. And also she is fugly.

That said, Celine Dion + Jim Steinman = classic. And I'm sure there are people on ILM who like Shania.

danzig, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 03:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

nobody on ILM likes adult contemporary

I don't think this is true! I'm pretty sure jbr does

I cannot reconcile my defensio in extremis of Celine with my frothing hatred of Shania but I suspect that this, too, points toward the interesting cultural/aesthetic assumptions and biases that make Celine outcaste in these parts

Hans Rott, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

I like "Think Twice" a great deal. "My Heart Will Go On" I can't separate enough from the film. Don't know many others. There are a few posters here who will rep for Celine - Frank Kogan, cis I think. The point about adult contemporary is a good one though - if your music fandom is rooted elsewhere there's a barrier there, though I can't quite pin down what.

Groke, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

I like Shania's big singles too, obviously.

Groke, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

The Madonna comparison doesn't work for me - Madonna is always more playful, sexual, ambiguous: Celine's delivery tends to be more solemn and careworn, on "Think Twice" it's like she's having to wring the notes out. Not surprising - it's a song aimed at an older audience and decisions about leaving, staying, soldiering on or starting over are more momentous and agonising if you're 40 than if you're 20. Perhaps the hatred of Celine is rooted in the way her music has no adolescent content?

Madonna sounds more autonomous too.

Groke, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

The Karen Carpenter comparison works even less for me. Madonna you could argue at least stepped into Celine territory on a couple occasions--probably the Evita stuff, I'm thinking, but even something like "Rescue Me" has some of that overbearing Celine-ness--but Karen Carpenter and Celine Dion could simply not sound any less alike. One sang quietly even when she was singing upbeat numbers, one belted it out even when she was singing quiet ballads. I don't hear a bit of similarity between them.

sw00ds, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

By the way, I think one Celine song sounds kind of gorgeous: "A New Day Has Come"--but it's probably more the backing track than her that I like, not that I think she ruins it or anything, it's just the music that stood out as being memorably quite pretty (I haven't heard it in a few years).

Isn't the real point of comparison with Celine Dion Barbra Streisand?

sw00ds, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe the reason Celine inspires such hatred is that she brings a Streisand thing more directly into pop? Pop fans didn't have to hate Streisand because they didn't have to deal with her (she was more directly associated with movies and broadway, right?). Dion, on the other hand, was, for a period, an inescapable pop icon. Had she resided solely in the adult contemporary world, maybe people wouldn't have had reason to hate her so much? Just positing a theory.

sw00ds, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

there are quite a few dion songs i like - either when she turns it down a bit ('falling into you' which is a weird smooth trip-hoppy mid-tempo thing - in retrospect this pretty much invented dido) or when she turns it RIGHT UP ('it's all coming back to me now', penned by jim steinman, completely over the top, approx eight minutes long). there's also 'misled', a rare and bizarre venture into the world of dance beats.

don't really care for her generally, apart from that, but there are worse artists in the world.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

'misled,' a rare and bizarre venture into the world of dance beats

Don't know if I know the track--title vaguely rings a bell--but I doubt that's a rare venture. Most of Dion's early pop stuff, I'm pretty sure, is completely dance-poppish (I know for certain she's had many dance remixes). Also, she did a dancehall track a few years back--maybe that's "Misled."

sw00ds, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:32 (ten years ago) Permalink

[insert '?' at end]

sw00ds, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

misled,' a rare and bizarre venture into the world of dance beats

I'm really hoping it's a remake of the Kool and the Gang song. I won't be disappointed if it isn't.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Alfred completely OTM though I would pay double to hear Celine do "Fresh"

Hans Rott, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 13:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think the root of the Celine D hatred is that she seems so arrogant.

Out of all singers past and present, Celine D would be the most likely to title
an album "The Voice" and not think twice about it.

Z S, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 19:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe the reason Celine inspires such hatred is that she brings a Streisand thing more directly into pop?

Definitely not. I love Streisand, and I can't stand Celine Dion.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 21:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah I suspect that's a generational thing. Streisand has a nice patina of nostalgia and is safe to love - she's part of The Sixties, she has an I.D. for The Seventies and her eighties stuff also subsumes itself in cultural identity. Celine is the ever-uncomfortable now. Still, Streisand has sung with her several times.

Hans Rott, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 21:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

Also, Streisand, Madonna, Beyonce, etc. have legions of gay fans - I can't imagine Celine being a gay icon.

danzig, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 23:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

I respect Celine Dion similarly to the way I respect the guitarist from Dream Theater or something - they have a very impressive ability on their instrument, but I find the way they wield that ability to be in poor taste. Like this one time I heard Jessica Simpson sing the national anthem before a baseball game. It was all fast and melismatic and rangey and shit. Her voice sounded powerful and impressive in a way, but the whole display was really garish and distasteful and I found it awful to listen to.

Madonna seems very different - she isn't known for her mastery of her instrument, but rather for her good taste.

St3ve Go1db3rg, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 23:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah I'd argue in favor of Celine as rather greater than a technician - I know what you mean, musicians who're all chops and no voice (Yngwie is the classic flogging-horse here I think), but Celine dialed-back is capable of some really haunting, emotional work - comparable to Carpenter in her lower register (the "ago" in "long ago" in "Superstar" is what I have in mind here)

sorry if I'm being totally boring, I find the subject interesting and am really curious about whether Celine will, long after she's a distant memory, be excavated and praised as a pop icon of great depth once the irritants of her presence are out of the way

Hans Rott, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 00:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

I honestly don't know anyone under the age of 50 years old who likes her.

Z S, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 00:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

except me

Hans Rott, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 00:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

i think so xxpost

Surmounter, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 01:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

i have a soft spot for celine. i mean, yeah, i do.

Surmounter, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 01:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe the reason Celine inspires such hatred is that she brings a Streisand thing more directly into pop?

>Definitely not. I love Streisand, and I can't stand Celine Dion.


You're likely an exception, and it doesn't negate my point. As a general rule, I don't think there was ever a huge love, or even much tolerance, among rock fans (and rock critics) for what Streisand did (or does), though she's obviously not as despised as Celine, granted.

sw00ds, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 02:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

I don't mean you're an exception that you love Streisand and hate Celine--I know two other people who've said the exact same thing. I just mean that among rock fans, I don't think Streisand was particularly well-liked either (but I'm sorry if I was presumptive; I don't know you or what you listen to!).

sw00ds, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 02:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Just listened to 5 x Celine hit singles in a row*, and surprised at how wrong my idea of "really grating & loud" was. Voice actually mostly very pleasant, even when belting. Maybe a bit unfairly maligned yeah.

Material still crap though.

*) Every time I hear "My Heart Will Go On", I do so for the first time. I'm confused about how such a hookless song can be remembered in listeners' minds long enough to be a world No 1 etc. Maybe it's just that its tempo falls beneath my personal w number**, the same that also renders me helpless in identifying slow movements of the most obvious classical works etc.

**) Invention of Tom E: the Westlife Factor, IIRC, beneath which everything sounds the same.

anatol_merklich, Sunday, 5 October 2008 01:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

sw00ds OTM re Carpenter/Dion.

(Hating it is totally understandable but I'm a little amazed someone could find "My Heart Will Go On" hookless.)

Sundar, Sunday, 5 October 2008 02:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ultimate dud.

After The Hurricane (The Brainwasher), Sunday, 5 October 2008 02:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

"i'm your lady" is killin it this morning

yeahhh (surm), Thursday, 4 March 2010 17:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

don't give up on your faith
loves come to those who believe in it
and that's the way it is

big (surm), Monday, 22 March 2010 06:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, classic

booches (Tape Store), Monday, 29 March 2010 07:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

it's time.

valerie (surm), Friday, 3 December 2010 20:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

^looooool

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

uh ur right

PERFECT morning for celine

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

*ugh

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

anyway, i'm on hold right now w/ a bank & the music is an instrumental version of "my heart will go on" -- i'm not sure what this means

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

jordan why are you always doing something with the bank

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

you're like the bank's best customer

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha -- well this was some random bank in VA that i was calling for my job

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

what job are u workin?

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

for a private investor -- it's actually a dece job

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

wow!! v cool

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

well, i won't be talking to steve buscemi anytime soon, so it's not that cool

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha stop :P

i like lucy (surm), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
six months pass...
one year passes...

Seriously considering checking out a greatest hits compilation.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 02:30 (four years ago) Permalink

(after hearing "My Heart Will Go On" on the radio and remembering how much I love it)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 02:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Probably worth doing. She had two or three really good songs on most albums. Don't forget about the French stuff, though. Je danse dans ma tête might be my favourite song of hers.

Inte Regina Lund eller nån, mitt namn är (ShariVari), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 07:36 (four years ago) Permalink

je sais les hivers
je sais le froid
mais la vie sans toi (SANS TOI!)
je sais pas (je! sais! pas!)

dyl, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 13:58 (four years ago) Permalink

french stuff is amazing.

surm, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 15:06 (four years ago) Permalink

i suppose it's too much to hope that celine is somewhere in the list of shitty boring polls that will clog up ilm for the next decade

r|t|c, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 15:13 (four years ago) Permalink

remember the barbra duet

surm, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 15:38 (four years ago) Permalink

Celine on Larry King following Hurricane Katrina remains completely amazing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXD4BGvPngM

"How come it's so easy to send planes to another country to kill everyone in a second... to destroy lives... we need to serve our country and for me, serving our country is to be there right now to rescue the rest of the people"

Inte Regina Lund eller nån, mitt namn är (ShariVari), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 21:46 (four years ago) Permalink

I thought this revival was going to be about her $72 million home for sale. The place doesn't look like a house, it looks like a resort. It's weirdly fascinating. 500,000 gallon water park built in! I'd love to learn how much it costs simply ("simply") to staff and operate. Like, what are the monthly electric bills?

Also, I could be wrong, but I could have sworn she gets paid $500K per Vegas performance. That's insane! I only know the one Celine Dion song.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 30 August 2013 11:48 (four years ago) Permalink

It's the highest-grossing Vegas show since Elvis, iirc.

Inte Regina Lund eller nån, mitt namn är (ShariVari), Friday, 30 August 2013 11:51 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think the show so far has made $500 million?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 30 August 2013 12:02 (four years ago) Permalink

I only know the one Celine Dion song.

Interesting: I didn't know who Calvin Harris was but I'm very surprised by this tbh. AC radio and its biggest hits seem to be completely unavoidable ime, more so than top 40 or classic rock.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Friday, 30 August 2013 13:09 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f5KuRXtjeE

New! Not totally amazing but decent enough. Always thought that Mylene-Farmer-style dreamy electro would be a good direction for her. This doesn't totally nail it.

Inte Regina Lund eller nån, mitt namn är (ShariVari), Friday, 13 September 2013 18:46 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

So I'm devouring Carl Wilson's book right now and his argument that her French songs carry much more subtlety has piqued my interest. However, when I Google "Best French Celine Dion songs" the recommendations come from her English fan base, who I presume prefer the same OTTness in that catalogue that attracted them in the first place. Can anyone here provide guidance to a fool just trying to carve a little space in his heart for a national hero?

Adam J Duncan, Saturday, 28 March 2015 08:20 (three years ago) Permalink

the only french song of hers i know is "je sais pas" which is not exactly subtle but give it a listen anyway :P

dyl, Saturday, 28 March 2015 15:23 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm no expert but as a kid growing up in Ottawa my favourite Celine song was this one, which is FR and relatively subtle by the standards of later things -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY7A17Uq4L8

sean gramophone, Saturday, 28 March 2015 16:20 (three years ago) Permalink

Yep, that's also my favourite. The Dion Chante Plamondon album is good in general.

The fact it was her 15th or 16th does highlight exactly how dauntingly large her French back catalogue is though and i can't claim any real expertise there.

Rainbow DAESH (ShariVari), Saturday, 28 March 2015 16:54 (three years ago) Permalink

Not so bad! I find myself actually looking forward to the stuttering hook in the chorus. The movement here is just the listener getting progressively locked into the groove. I could see Madonna covering this.

Why is it that French pop uses smooth jazzy fusion as a base? How did that become the norm there and not the Anglosphere?

Adam J Duncan, Saturday, 28 March 2015 18:21 (three years ago) Permalink

The arrangement is very much of its time I find. I remember people here in Québec thinking the d-d-d-d-d part was ridiculous and making fun of her about it, but I think it sounds good.

Usually when critics talk about her French stuff being more subtle they're referring to her work with Jean-Jacques Goldman, specifically her album D'eux, her most critically acclaimed and comercially successful album. Her early teenage material is just as schmaltzy as her English songs if not more.

LeRooLeRoo, Sunday, 29 March 2015 19:04 (three years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Céline is a widow.

RIP, René.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 14 January 2016 21:43 (two years ago) Permalink

She also lost her brother on Saturday.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 18 January 2016 21:11 (two years ago) Permalink

With all the (bad) news about her the past few days, I was trying to remember the one single of hers I liked at the time. Must have been "Nothing Broken but My Heart"--just played the video and it still sounds pretty good.

clemenza, Monday, 18 January 2016 21:34 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

BARBRA, BE A LADY!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajnu3YSkbvQ

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:57 (three months ago) Permalink

that's p intense...

interesting to see the comment field full of journalists asking permission to use the vid on their sites and uploader replying with pms, wonder what he could get paid

niels, Wednesday, 10 January 2018 20:11 (three months ago) Permalink


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