Loved Me Back to Life is Celine Dion's eleventh English-language album and her 25th overall album.
The album was released on November 1, 2013 by Columbia Records.
In June of 2012, Celine's official website announced that during April & May, she would begin recording songs for her next English & French-language albums (which were to be released in the fall of 2012).
The English-language album was to feature studio versions of previously unreleased songs from Celine's Las Vegas show "Celine" along with several other brand new tracks.
In August of 2012, Celine's official website confirmed that a cover version of Journey's song "Open Arms" (which opens her Las Vegas show) would be included on the English-language album.
In September of 2012, it was also announced that the song "Ne me quitte pas" will appear on the English album.
Eventually, "Ne me quitte pas" was released on the deluxe edition of Celine's album "Sans attendre" & "Open Arms was included on the Japanese album edition of "Love Me Back to Life."
"Le Journal de Montréal" stated that the English album will also contain some songs written by Francis "Eg" White (who had worked with singer Adele on her albums "19" & "21"), some tracks produced by Babyface and a duet with Stevie Wonder on "Overjoyed" (which Celine performs during her Las Vegas show).
In March of 2013, Ne-Yo confirmed information (which first appeared on Celine's official website in September of 2012) that they recorded a duet.
Ne-Yo said that it was a challenge and it made him question his vocal ability. They first worked together on Celine's 2007 album "Taking Chances" (with Ne-Yo co-writing & producing the song "I Got Nothin' Left").
Another new track written by Diane Warren called "Unfinished Songs" was included in the British-German film Song for Marion," however, when the soundtrack for the movie was released in February of 2013, it didn't feature Celine's song which was saved for her upcoming album.
The recording session for "Unfinished Songs" was posted on Celine's website in July of 2013.
On September 14, 2012, Celine's official website announced that her new English-language album called "Water and a Flame" would be released in November of 2012, however on September 26, 2012, Sony Music Entertainment decided to postpone the release date of Celine's new English-language album to 2013.
In March of 2013, René Angélil explained that they decided to delay the release date because the concept of the album has changed.
Instead of only half of the disc with original songs, they decided that the majority of the album should be original songs.
Rene stated that initially, the album was supposed to have six covers and six original songs.
After further discussion, they decided to put two covers from Celine's Las Vegas show: "At Seventeen" and "Overjoyed."
The behind-the-scenes look at Celine recording the "At Seventeen" (with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds producing it) was posted on her website in April of 2013.
The song "Overjoyed" (with new arrangement by Stevie Wonder) was co-produced by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart.
In April of 2013, Celine presented a behind-the-scenes look at her and producer Francis "Eg" White recording the song "Water and a Flame."
The rest of the album was to contain original songs including two co-written by Audra Mae (who is the great-great-niece of Judy Garland).
The album was scheduled for release in October 2013. In July of 2013, it was announced that it will be called "Loved Me Back to Life."
On July 27, 2013, Celine performed the title song live for the very first time during "Céline... une seule fois" concert in Quebec City, Canada.
Two days later, she announced that the album would be released in November of 2013.
On August 29, 2013, Billboard exclusively announced that Celine's new album "Loved Me Back to Life" would be issued in North America on November 5, 2013 & the title song would be released as the lead single on September 3, 2013.
Billboard wrote that the album will be Celine's "edgiest record to date -- just not in the ways you might think."
For example, the song "Water and a Flame" (which was originally recorded by Daniel Merriweather and Adele) finds Celine utilizing the lower, grainier register of her voice.
Even more unexpected is the lead single, the album title (which was written by Sia Furler and produced by Sham & Motesart).
Sung in a minor key, the song is described as "a different kind of power ballad for Dion, backed by a chorus that features a beat drop that could almost be described as dubstep."
The album also features a pair of tracks written by Ne-Yo (including the duet "Incredible") which sounds "so massive the Olympic Committee should start bookmarking it for the 2014 Winter Games."
There's also collaborations with Babyface, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Swedish trio Play Production (the latter of whom produced the song "Somebody Loves Somebody") which was penned by Audra Mae (who also wrote songs for Avicii's album "True")
The album also features two covers from Celine's Las Vegas show "Celine":
Janis Ian's song "At Seventeen" and a "reverent" take on Stevie Wonder's song "Overjoyed" (which also featured Stevie himself).
However, the deluxe edition includes two more songs which Celine performs in Las Vegas: "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" and "Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel)" (plus four collector postcards).
The album also features "Unfinished Songs" (which was written by Diane Warren for the British-German film called "Song for Marion").
The album was also released on a vinyl LP and includes "Save Your Soul" (with a rap interlude by Malcolm David Kelley from music duo MKTO).
This two disc 180 gram vinyl includes an eight page booklet featuring exclusive photos and imagery, and also a CD of the full album.
A cover version of Journey's song "Open Arms" (which is included on the Japanese edition only) was produced by Fraser T Smith.
The album also contains "Breakaway" written by Audra Mae, Johan Fransson, Tim Larsson and Tobias Lundgre.
It was previously recorded by German singer Ivy Quainoo for her 2012 album "Ivy."
On October 29, 2013, Billboard published another article stating that the song "Always Be Your Girl" was the first original song found for the album.
It was written by Dana Parish and Andrew Hollander after watching Celine's 2011 documentary "3 Boys and a New Show" on the OWN network.
Celine claims to hold a special connection to the song as she thinks of her sons when she hears the lyrics.
After little promotion with the first single "Loved Me Back to Life" in the United States in September of 2013, the second single "Somebody Loves Somebody" premiered on October 17, 2013.
On October 22, 2013, the official audio of the song was released onto Celine's Vevo channel.
On October 29, 2013, the official audio version of "Incredible" (which is a duet with R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo) was released as well.
On November 5, 2013, two more tracks from the album: "Water and a Flame" & "At Seventeen" were uploaded to Vevo.
On 5 November 2013, two more tracks were uploaded on Vevo: "Water and a Flame" and "At Seventeen."
On December 3, 2013, the audio of "Breakaway" was added as well & a few videos of the making of the songs were also posted on Vevo.
Celine began promoting her album in the United States.
On October 28, 2013, she performed the songs "Somebody Loves Somebody" and "Water and a Flame" on "The Today Show" and "Loved Me Back to Life" on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
On October 30, 2013, Celine performed "Loved Me Back to Life" on "The View." Additionally, she gave an intimate club performance at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on October 29, 2013 (which was broadcast on the QVC channel on November 1, 2013).
She performed her old hits and few new songs including "Loved Me Back to Life," "Water and a Flame" and "At Seventeen." The concert received great reviews.
On November 6, 2013, she performed "Somebody Loves Somebody" on "The Dr. Oz Show."
On November 3, 2013, Celine sang the songs "Loved Me Back to Life" & "Incredible" (along with Ne-Yo) on "Le Banquier."
While in Europe, Celine performed "Loved Me Back to Life" on "Wetten, dass..?" in Germany on November 9, 2013 & on "The X-Factor" on November 10, 2013 in the United Kingdom.
Celine recorded a performance "Breakaway" for the UK television show "Strictly Come Dancing" which aired on December 15, 2013.
On November 16, 2013, Celine also performed the "Loved Me Back to Life," "At Seventeen" and her older hits on "C'est votre vie" in France.
On November 21, 2013, she sang the songs "Loved Me Back to Life" and "Water and a Flame" during her Sans attendre Tour which started in Belgium.
In France, Celine performed "Loved Me Back to Life" on "Les chansons d'abord" in on December 1, 2013, "Vivement Dimanche" on December 8, 2013, "Les disques d'Or" on December 18, 2013 and "Ce soir on chante" on January 3, 2014.
Additionally, her concert "Céline... une seule fois" was broadcast on three European television channels: RTS Deux in Switzerland on December 24, 2013, DB in France on December 25, 2013 and La Une in Belgium on December 31, 2013.
In mid-December of 2013, Celine returned to the United States & on December 17, 2013, she performed "Incredible" with Ne-Yo during the season finale of the NBC reality show "The Voice."
The next day, Celine sang the songs "Loved Me Back to Life," "Incredible" (with Ne-Yo) and "Didn't Know Love" at the CBS 15th annual television special "A Home for the Holidays."
On December 30, 2013, Celine returned to performing her show "Celine in Las Vegas" and recorded "Loved Me Back to Life" especially for the Canadian Global Television Network as part of the ET Canada's "New Year's Eve at Niagara Falls."
On December 31, 2013, Ne-Yo surprised Celine when he showed up to perform "Incredible" at the New Year's Eve performance of "Celine in Las Vegas."
- Loved Me Back to Life (3:50) (written by Hasham Hussain, Denarius Motes & Sia Furler; produced by Sham & Motesart Hussain)
- Somebody Loves Somebody (3:42) (written by Johan Fransson, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren & Audra Mae; produced by Play Production)
- Incredible (featuring Ne-Yo) (3:56) (written by Andrew Goldstein & Emanuel "Eman" Kiriakou; produced by Shaffer Smith and Emanuel Kiriakou)
- Water and a Flame (3:42) (written by Francis "Eg" White & Daniel Merriweather; produced by Francis White)
- Breakaway (4:38) (written by Johan Fransson, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren & Audra Mae; produced by Play Production)
- Save Your Soul (3:48) (written by Daniel Murcia; produced by Emanuel Kiriakou, Danny Mercer & Goldstein)
- Didn't Know Love (3:36) (written by Francis "Eg" White, Jessi Alexander & Tommy Lee James; produced by Francis White)
- Thank You (3:59) (written by Shaffer Smith; produced by Jesse "Corparal" Wilson Reginald "Regg" Smith & Shaffer Smith)
- Overjoyed (featuring Stevie Wonder) (4:04) (written by Stevie Wonder; produced by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Aaron Pearce & Kuk Harrell)
- Thankful (3:56) (3:56) (written by Dana Parish & Andrew Hollander; produced by Emanuel Kiriakou)
- At Seventeen (4:29) (written by Janis Ian; produced by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds)
- Always Be Your Girl (4:14) (written by Parish & Hollander; produced by Kenny Edmonds & Walter Afanasieff)
- Unfinished Songs (3:39) (written by Diane Warren; produced by Christopher Stewart, Dernst "D'Mile" Emile II & Kyle Townsend)
Deluxe Edition Bonus Album Tracks
- How Do You Keep the Music Playing (4:21) (written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman & Michel Legrand; produced by Christopher Stewart, Aaron Pierce & Kuk Harrell)
- Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel) (4:18) (written by Billy Joel; produced by Kenny Edmonds)
Japanese Album Edition Tracks
- Open Arms (3:08) (written by Steve Perry & Jonathan Cain; produced by Fraser T. Smith)
In Celine's native Canada, "Loved Me Back to Life" debuted at number one with 106,000 units sold.
It became her thirteenth number-one album in the SoundScan era and eleventh to debut at the top of the chart.
The album marked the best one week sales total for any release in Canada since 2008 (when AC/DC's album "Black Ice" sold 119,000 units).
It also became Celine's best one week sales total since she sold 152,000 copies in the first week of release of her 2002 album "A New Day Has Come."
In its second week, the album remained at number one, selling 31,000 units.
After just these two weeks of sales, the album was placed at number nine on the Billboard Year-End chart of Top Canadian Albums.
For the next three weeks, it occupied the number two position on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 15,000, 19,000 and again 19,000 copies.
Later on, the album fell to number six with sales of 13,000 units and in the seventh week it rose to number four selling another 19,000 copies.
In the last week of 2013, it fell to number six with sales of 10,000 units, bringing the total sales to 231,000 copies.
The album became the second best-selling album in Canada in 2013 after Eminem's album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" (which sold 242,000 units).
In December of 2013, Celine's album was certified four-times Platinum by Music Canada for shipping 320,000 copies.
In the United States, the album debuted at number two with 77,000 copies sold in its first week and became Celine's highest charting album since her 2003 album "One Heart."
In the next two weeks, the album fell to number thirteen and twenty-six, selling 25,000 and 13,000 units.
In the fourth week (which included Thanksgiving weekend), the album moved up one spot to number twenty-five selling 30,000 copies (up 132%).
Later, it dropped to number thirty-five with sales of 16,000 units and number thirty-eight selling another 16,000 copies.
During its seventh week (thanks to Celine's performance on the season finale of "The Voice" and the CBS 15th annual television special "A Home for the Holidays"), the album went up to number twenty-six with 28,000 units sold (up 72%).
In the final week of 2013, the album fell to number 31, selling 19,000 copies and bringing its total to 224,000 units sold.
In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number three with 53,000 copies sold which became Celine's highest charting album since her "A New Day Has Come" album.
On November 22, 2013, the album was certified Silver in the UK for selling over 60,000 copies.
In the second week, it fell to number four selling 28,000 units and in the third week it splipped to number eight with sales of another 28,000 copies.
On December 6, 2013 (after three weeks), the album was certified Gold in the UK for selling over 100,000 units.
In the next two weeks, it stayed at number eight selling 34,000 and 44,000 copies respectively.
In the sixth week (after Celine's performance on "Strictly Come Dancing"), the album jumped to number seven selling 64,000 units (biggest weekly sales; up 45%).
The next week, the album fell to number thirteen, selling 33,000 copies, bringing the total sales to 283,000 units.
After these seven weeks in 2013, it reached number twenty-three on the UK Year-End Albums Chart.
As of February 2, 2014, the album has sold over 300,000 copies and five days later it was certified Platinum in the UK.
In France, the album entered the chart at number three selling 31,000 copies.
In the next weeks, it occupied the following positions: number five (17,000 units sold), number six (19,000), number seven (17,000), number ten (20,000) and number eleven (24,000).
In the seventh week, the album jumped to number ten with its biggest weekly sales of 34,000 copies (up 40%).
In the last week of 2013, it rose to number nine selling 25,000 units and brought in total sales of 186,000 copies.
On December 18, 2013, the album was certified two-times Platinum by SNEP for shipping 200,000 units.
As of May 4, 2014, the album has sold over 210,000 copies in France.
The album proved similarly successful in other countries, peaking at number one in the Netherlands, number two in Belgium and Taiwan, number three in Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa, number four in Austria, Hungary and China, number seven in Norway, number eight in Czech Republic and South Korea, number nine in Germany, Australia and Croatia, and number ten in New Zealand.
It also reached the top twenty in:
- Croatia & Finland
The album was also certified Gold in:
- Hungary & South Africa
As of December 18, 2013, the album has sold more than 1.3 million copies worldwide.
"Loved Me Back to Life" garnered mostly positive reviews from music critics. According to the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received a score of 65/100 (which generally indicates favorable reviews).
AllMusic gave the album three and a half (out of five) stars, and called it
"a record that flirts with new ideas but never hooks up. Yet, that flirtation counts for something: it means the album is livelier, less self-conscious, less beholden to the expected, and quick-footed enough to not seem mired in show biz glitz."
The review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that "there's nothing here that screams big hit –- but it's something better: the work of a diva who is comfortable in her own skin."
In a positive review, The New York Times critic Jon Caramanica first noted Celine's usual musical inclinations towards melodrama and bombast, noting that:'
"She is the iceberg, destroying all Titanics." However, he then commended Dion's attempt to evolve, commenting "that she'd bother to innovate at all on the strong Loved Me Back to Life, her first English-language album in six years, is worthy in and of itself. Compared with her usual motor-powered balladry, this album is positively peppy. You can just register the faint outline of contemporary R&B and even hip-hop, thanks to a pair of productions by Tricky Stewart. On the vinyl version of the track "Save Your Soul," there's a rap interlude by Malcolm David Kelley, late of Lost and now of the pop-hip-hop duo MKTO. There's also an implicit embrace of current dance-pop on the title track, which was written in part by Sia, the Australian singer and songwriter whose "Titanium" (made with the producer David Guetta) was one of last year's most vocally ambitious dance-diva hits."
He also complimented Celine's improved delivery:
"On this album she's singing with more rhythm, if not more clarity, than usual."
Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave the album three out of four stars, acknowledging Celine's use of "softer, grittier vocals and more nuanced drama than previous power ballads."
She also noted:
"A subtler, more subdued Celine Dion may be interesting in theory, but bright shades still suit this diva best."
The Oakland Press critic Gary Graff awarded the album three out of four stars, stating that the disc
"finds Dion creatively frisky and exploring new sonic environments for the muscular voice that helped sink the Titanic, at least on film — with help from producers such as Hasham Hussain, Emanuel Kiriakou and the Swedish team Play Production. The more contemporary approach is evident from the get-go on the Sia Fuller co-written title track, with its stuttering vocal hook and dubstep-style beats, which wouldn't sound out of place on, say, a Rihanna album."
He concluded that:
"It's not a wholesale reinvention, but Loved Me Back to Life will make fans look at Dion a little differently, and might even bring some new folks in from the sidelines."
Slant Magazine gave the album a more mixed review.
Despite allowing the overall album a seemingly positive score of three out of five, critic Eric Henderson found the shift to more contemporary material unconvincing, noting that:
"If Chaka Khan was every woman, Dion is and ever shall be every awkward soccer mom. Only now, she's taken her CD-R of Celtic pop tunes out of the SUV stereo and is bumping a mix of midtempo neo-power ballads from the likes of Kesha and Katy Perry instead. Typical of mothers struggling to fit in with the next generation, the chief intention of Loved Me Back to Life is to pass for contemporary."
On a positive note, he said that the album works when Celine sticks to her established signature style:
"Dion's cover of Janis Ian's rueful "At Seventeen" comes off less like a lament for childhood dreams that didn't come to pass and more like a lilting word of advice from someone old enough to know better, which is precisely the zone where the album excels: when Dion drops the act and embraces her manic, Hallmark card-brandishing guru of schmaltz."
Steve Morse of The Boston Globe dismissed the album as "littered with syrupy, easy-listening, trite-lyric ballads that undersell her talent."
Similar to Slant Magazine critic Eric Henderson's review, Steve maintained that Celine is at her best when she reverts to her old formula, stating:
"She experiments at times with a more gravelly voice, suggesting a bid for more street appeal, but the overall effect is stiff and mechanical, minus the warmth for which she is known."
RenownedForSound.com praised the album, giving the collection a four star review saying:
"It goes to show that Celine Dion has released something delightful for old and new fans, with a mixture of songs that have both a Pop/RnB focus as well as encompassing her adult contemporary-pop roots."
The album was originally supposed to be called "Water and a Flame" (which was named after a track on the album written by Australian singer-songwriter Daniel Merriweather & British musician Francis "Eg" White).
In an April 2013 interview on The Katie Couric Show to promote the album, Celine played a recording of her cover version of "Water and a Flame."
Right before hearing the song, Katie Couric asked Celine and her husband/manager, René Angélil, in reference to the then title of the album: "Where did 'Water and a Flame' come from?" Rene responded, "It's, you know, the opposites" and Celine replied, "It's the name of the song."
Musician Samantha Ronson (who is a friend of Daniel) wrote a blog post that included the video of the interview and the text that stated:
"Dear Celine Dion, when you cover someone else's song- you might want to give them credit."
In June of 2013, Daniel linked to Samantha's post from his Facebook page and harshly criticized Celine, writing:
"This song has every ounce of my heartache and pain in it and she pretends as if she wrote it herself."
Two days later, Celine's management responded on her website, saying while Celine often does not mention the writers of her songs, "she has been very vocal about the fact that she does not write her own songs" and that she did not intend any harm by the omission and that all of the writers & producers were always credited on the liner notes.
On July 25, 2013, Celine's website confirmed that the album's title was changed to "Loved Me Back to Life."
Thanks to the success of the album, Celine was nominated for four Juno Awards of 2014:
- Artist of the Year
- Fan Choice Award
- Album of the Year
- Adult Contemporary Album of the Year