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Taking Chances

Taking Chances is Celine Dion's tenth English-language album and her twenty-third studio album overall.

The album was released on November 7, 2007 by Columbia Records.

Album BackgroundEdit

On August 24, 2007, Celine's official website announced that Celine will release her new English-language album "Taking Chances" on November 12, 2007 in Europe and November 13, 2007 in North America.

The album was also scheduled for release in Japan on November 7, 2007 and in Australia and New Zealand on November 10, 2007.

Celine said about the album:

"I think it represents a positive evolution in my career. I'm feeling strong, maybe a little gutsier than in the past, and just as passionate about music and life as I ever was."

On September 2, 2007, the album cover became available for TeamCeline members, however six days later, Columbia Records has made small changes to the album cover.

On September 10, 2007, the first single form the album "Taking Chances" was sent to radio stations.

The video of Celine recording the song in the studio was posted on Amazon.com.

On September 12, 2007, Columbia Records informed in a press release that the album was written by Kara DioGuardi and the Eurythmics' David A. Stewart & produced by Grammy Award–winner John Shanks.

It was also mentioned that the album will be followed by the Taking Chances Tour in 2008 and 2009.

The music video for the first single was filmed on September 17, 2007 in several different locations in the Las Vegas area and was directed by Paul Boyd.

On October 16, 2007, the video became available for TeamCeline members and it later premiered on television.

Album ContentEdit

The album was recorded mainly over a three-week period in July of 2007 at the Palm Studios in Las Vegas.

Celine collaborated with a group of well-known songwriters and producers including: Linda Perry, the Eurythmics' David A. Stewart, ex-Evanescence member Ben Moody, Ne-Yo, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi, Kristian Lundin, Anders Bagge, Peer Åström, Aldo Nova, Tricky Stewart and Christopher Neil.

One of Celine's favorite songs on the album is the song "That's Just the Woman in Me" written by Kimberley Rew (who is an ex-member of Katrina and the Waves)

It was offered to Celine fifteen years ago, but it wasn't until she began working on her new album that she knew the song perfectly suited this new phase of her artistic development.

Celine said:

"I think this album represents a positive evolution in my career. As time goes by, and we have more experiences in life, it's easier to get in touch with our innermost feelings....to know more about what we really want, how we really feel."

The other cover songs on the album include: Heart's song "Alone," Platinum Weird's song "Taking Chances," Linda Perry's song "New Dawn" and Tim Christensen's song "Right Next to the Right One."

Album PromotionEdit

In late October of 2007, Celine visited the United Kingdom and started promoting the album by singing "Taking Chances" on "The X Factor" on October 27, 2007.

Later, she performed "Alone" and "Taking Chances" on Saturday Night Divas bradcasted on November 3, 2007.

She also filmed "An Audience with Celine Dion" which was bradcasted on December 22, 2007 and performed "Taking Chances," "Eyes on Me," "Alone" and few of her previous hits including:

"My Heart Will Go On," "Think Twice," medley of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now/Because You Loved Me/To Love You More," "I Drove All Night," "River Deep – Mountain High" and "The Prayer" (in a duet with Andrea Bocelli).

Next, Celine visited France and sang "Taking Chances" and two of her French-language hits with the contestants on the show "Star Academy" on November 2, 2007.

Celine also filmed performances of "Taking Chances" for two other French television shows "Hit Machine" and "Vivement Dimanche" which were broadcast on December 1, 2007 and December 9, 2007 respectively.

On November 4, 2007, Celine flew to Monaco where she received the Legend Award at the World Music Awards and sang "Taking Chances." The performance was shown on television on November 22, 2007.

On November 7, 2007, Celine visited Italy and performed "Taking Chances" and "I Knew I Loved You" on "Domenica In" (which was broadcast four days later_.

On November 10, 2007, she flew to Germany and sang "Taking Chances" on "Wetten, dass..?"

The promotion in the United States started on November 12, 2007 when "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (dedicated to Celine) was bradcasted on television.

Celine filmed it before her visit to the United Kingdom and performed "Taking Chances," "Alone" and also few of her previous hits: "My Heart Will Go On," "Because You Loved Me," "A New Day Has Come" and "I Drove All Night."

On November 14, 2007, Celine performed three songs on the "Today Show" including the song "Taking Chances," "Alone" and "I Drove All Night."

On the same day, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" featuring Celine was broadcast and included performances of "Taking Chances" and "Because You Loved Me."

On November 18, 2007, she also sang "Taking Chances" at the American Music Awards and on the soap opera "All My Children" on November 21, 2007.

On November 23, 2007, Celine performed "Taking Chances," "Alone" and "Because You Loved Me" on "The Early Show" and "Taking Chances" and "Alone" on "The View."

On November 27, 2007, Celine sang "Taking Chances" and "My Heart Will Go On" on the finale of Dancing with the Stars.

The next day, she performed "Taking Chances," "Alone" and "The Christmas Song" at the Annual NYC Tree Lighting Ceremony.

On December 21, 2007, two performances filmed during one of the last "A New Day..." concerts were shown on "Larry King Live": "Taking Chances" and "The Christmas Song."[

In late January of 2008, Celine returned to France. On January 25, 2008, she appeared on the finale of "Star Academy" and sang "Alone" and two of her French-language hits with the contestants.

The next day, Celine performed "Taking Chances" at the NRJ Music Awards where she received the NRJ Award of Honor.

Before her second visit to France, Celine filmed the "That's Just the Woman in Me" television special for the United States and Canada which was broadcast on February 15, 2008.

Celine sang the songs "Taking Chances," "Alone," "Eyes on Me" Remix featuring will.i.am, "That's Just the Woman in Me," and also "Something" (featuring Joe Walsh on guitar), "The Power of Love," "River Deep – Mountain High" and "The Prayer" (in a duet with Josh Groban).

On February 12, 2008, the latter track was released as a digital download.

On February 14, 2008, Celine started her Taking Chances Tour which visited Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. It ended on February 26, 2009.

The tour grossed over US$279 million becoming the third highest-grossing tour of all-time by a female artist, only behind Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour and MDNA Tour.

It was chronicled in the "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" documentary issued on DVD and Blu-ray in April of 2010.

The concert itself was released on DVD and CD at the same time as "Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert" and "Tournée mondiale Taking Chances: Le spectacle."

TracklistingEdit

  1. Taking Chances (4:02) (written by Kara DioGuardi & David A. Stewart; produced by John Shanks)
  2. Alone (3:23) (written by Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly; produced by Ben Moody)
  3. Eyes on Me (3:53) (written by Kristian Lundin, Savan Kotecha & Delta Goodrem; produced by Kristian Lundin)
  4. My Love (4:08) (written & produced by Linda Perry)
  5. Shadow of Love (4:10) (written by Anders Bagge, Aldo Nova & Peter Sjostrom; produced by John Shanks)
  6. Surprise, Surprise (5:14) (written by Kara DioGuardi, Martin Harrington & Ash Howes; produced by Emanuel Kiriakou & Kara DioGuardi)
  7. This Time (3:47) (written by David Hodges, Ben Moody & Steven McMorran; produced by Ben Moody & David Hodges)
  8. New Dawn (4:45) (written & produced by Linda Perry)
  9. A Song For You (3:27) (written by Anders Bagge, Aldo Nova & Robert Wells; produced by Anders Bagge)
  10. A World to Believe In (4:08) (written by Tino Izzo & Rosanna Ciciola; produced by John Shanks)
  11. Can't Fight the Feelin' (3:51) (written by Aldo Nova; produced by John Shanks & Aldo Nova)
  12. I Got Nothin' Left (4:20) (written & produced by Shaffer Smith & Chuck Harmony)
  13. Right Next to the Right One (4:10) (written by Tim Christensen; produced by Christopher Neil)
  14. Fade Away (3:17) (written by Peer Astrom, David Stenmarck & Aldo Nova; produced by Peer Astrom)
  15. That's Just the Woman in Me (4:33) (written by Kimberley Rew; produced by John Shanks)
  16. Skies of L.A. (4:24) (written by Tricky Stewart the-Dream & Kuk Harrell; produced by Tricky Stewart)

Japanese & Digital Bonus Albums Tracks

  1. Map to My Heart (4:15) (written by Guy Roche & Shelly Peiken; produced by Guy Roche)
  2. The Reason I Go On (3:42) (written by Christian Leuzzi, Aldo Nova & Anders Borgius; produced by Ben Moody & David Hodges)

French Digital Bonus Album Tracks

  1. Immensité (3:34) (written by Nina Bouraoui & Jacques Veneruso; produced by Jacques Veneruso & Patrick Hampartzoumian)
  2. Map to My Heart (4:15) (written by Guy Roche & Shelly Peiken; produced by Guy Roche)
  3. Taking Chances (i-Soul Extended Remix Version) (7:33) (written by Kara DioGuardi & D.A. Stewart; produced by John Shanks)

Chart PerformanceEdit

In Canada, "Taking Chances" entered the chart at number one with 80,000 copies sold, suprassing Celine's own record for the biggest debut of 2007 (her French-language album "D'elles" sold 72,000 units in its first week in May 2007).

Garnering two of the highest sales entries in Canada for two different albums in one year gave Celine an unprecedented achievement in the Canadian Nielsen SoundScan history.

In the second week, the album remained at the top of the chart, selling 44,000 copies.

The next week, she fell to number two and stayed on this position for four consecutive weeks selling 39,000, 45,000, 37,000 and 43,000 units, respectively.

Celine returned to the top of the chart for the final week of 2007, selling another 13,000 copies.

Because of this commercial success, the album became the third best-selling album in Canada in 2007 according to the Nielsen SoundScan with sales of 301,000 units.

The album spent two more weeks inside top ten in Canada.

In July of 2008, it was certified four-times Platinum by the CRIA for shipping over 400,000 copies.

It also became the number-one album on the 2008 Billboard year-end chart in Canada.

In the United States, the album debuted at number three selling 215,000 units, but it later fell to number eight and remained at that position for two weeks with sales of 128,000 and 93,000 copies, respectively.

For the next four weeks, the album stayed inside top twenty on the Billboard 200, selling 84,000 (number twelve), 92,000 (number fifteen), 134,000 (number eighteen) and 50,000 units (number twenty) respectively.

In February of 2008, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA and has sold 1,067,236 copies there as of May 22, 2011.

The album also reached number one in Switzerland, South Africa and on the European Top 100 Albums, and peaked inside top ten elsewhere.

It was certified Gold in many countries & Platinum or Multi-Platinum in others.

According to IFPI, the album has sold 3.1 million copies around the world in 2007.

Critical ReceptionEdit

With ratings based upon an aggregate score of 53/100 from Metacritic, "Taking Chances" received mixed to average reviews from most music critics upon release.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic rated it 3 stars and said that the album is:

"an album of its time: it offers extravagance in the guise of self-help, which can be alluring in doses, especially those bizarre blues-rockers, but it's just too much of a very expensive yet not particularly tasteful thing."

The Billboard review said that:

"Packing an emotional wallop, Chances should quash critics who insist that Dion's voice is stainless steel."

Bill Lamb of About.com rate the album three-stars out of five, and said:

"Listening to 16 consecutive songs can be an endurance test for even the most ardent Celine fan. 14 of the songs here suffer, to various degrees, from leaning to the ordinary or seeming to lack in inspired artistic fire. However, they are sandwiched by 2 brilliant tracks that, sadly, give a hint of what Taking Chances might have been."

Sarah Rodhman from The Boston Globe commented that:

"Are chances taken? Not many, but there are rewards if you're willing to enjoy Dion's precise vocalizing and the hooky songs."

The Entertainment Weekly review saw that: "It's cool that Dion can mimic everyone from Shakira to Sam Phillips...but her appalling Janis Joplin impression is a Chance too far."

Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine opined that:

"The laborious 16-track record purportedly finds the queen of adult contemporary-turned-Vegas attraction taking chances by modernizing her treacly power ballad sound with lots of overdubbed guitars and of-the-moment collaborators."

The Amazon.com review was positive, saying that:

"As far as standard Celine fare goes, in fact, Chances is likely her strongest non-French outing since 2002's A New Day Has Come; nobody unfolds a lyric with more care or nuance."

The NOW review, expressed that:

"The album is also comfortably ignorant of the times. With its feathery production and common pop arrangements, it could have come out in 1996."

Edna Gundersen from USA Today said that:

"With Chances, the diva seems to be stretching artistic muscles, yoga-style not aerobically, and seeking an escape from expectations."

Ashante Infantry from Toronto Star concluded that:

"Taking Chances, Dion's 10th album, finds her doing just that. With an obvious reach for contemporary radio, Dion padded the efforts of longtime collaborators with in-the-now hitmakers: Ne-Yo, Linda Perry and Ben Moody, who co-wrote the self-empowering anthem "This Time" about an abused woman breaking free. The result is an edgier rock sound that won't alienate loyal fans, but may engage some new ones."

Album PersonnelEdit

  • Manager: René Angélil
  • Production manager: Rick Mooney
  • Assistant production manager: Shari Weber
  • Stage manager: Alexandre Miasnikof
  • Front of house engineer: Francois “Frankie” Desjardins
  • Audio system engineer: Mario St-Onge
  • Production assistants: Sharie Weber & Stephanie Duval
  • Production director: Lonnie McKenzie
  • Musical Director, Keyboards: Claude "Mégo" Lemay
  • Drums: Dominique Messier
  • String arrangements: David Campbell
  • Bass: Marc Langis
  • Guitars: André Coutu
  • Violin: Jean Sebastien Carré
  • Keyboards: Yves Frulla
  • Percussion: Nannette Fortier
  • Cello: Julie McInnes
  • Background Vocals, Cello, Tin Whistle: Élise Duguay
  • Background Vocals: Mary-Lou Gauthier & Barnev Valsaint