The singer has released her first English language album for six years – but what do the critics make of it?
Rolling Stone: *** 1/2 “Consider Courage to be Dion’s version of Cher’s Believe: an album that arrived at exactly the right time and proved to a new generation that she’s worth revisiting and recognizing as a diva very capable of keeping up with the times.”
The Guardian: *** “There may conceivably be someone out there more interested in hearing Dion do pumping house music or cod-reggae than Courage, but as it reaches its climax, drenched in high-drama strings, that’s hard to imagine.”
Variety: “One could argue that “Courage” is the sound of Celine Dion unbound and unwound, ready to experiment beyond her usual theatrical soundscapes, and play in the fields with her tween chart contemporaries. That’s fine. Get it out of your system now. At least half of the album is fantastic. But don’t let her make a habit out of this.”
The Independent: *** “when Dion allows her voice to do the heavy lifting – on the Sia-penned “Lying Down”, it is as fibrous and precise as a bow across a taut string – Courage is a force to be reckoned with. It seems unlikely that more than a few of its tracks will jostle their way onto Dion’s setlist, given the decades of power ballads they have to compete with. But those that do will make their mark.”
Slant Magazine: ** 1/2 “Co-written by Sia and David Guetta, the string-laden “Lying Down” feels both modern and classic, while “Best of All” comes closest to recapturing the timeless quality of Dion’s peak output.”
MusicOMH: **** “Unsurprisingly, the album truly soars in the intimate, sparsely produced moments. The title track is an honest and cathartic depiction of grief and its vulnerable mindscape. Dion’s vocal is so nuanced and bittersweet that her fragility is truly palpable and jarring. Perfect Goodbye is a powerful and almost celestial ode featuring a muted, ethereal vocal. The touching torch-song Say Yes is gorgeous and the Sam Smith penned ballad For The Lover That I Lost is scant, yet captivating.”
Evening Standard: *** “Lovers Never Die starts like a vintage Christina Aguilera song — rich, soaring, intense — before seguing into a bit of R&B which no one saw coming, while on The Chase, things take a turn for the folky.”
The Times: ** “Celine Dion claims to be dealing with personal tragedy on her new album. But these tearjerkers are too obvious to hit home.”
The Daily Mail: *** “There’s still enough in her supple voice to keep her old fans onside, but Courage might tempt some new ones, too.”
Metro: **** “while Courage contains several nods to modernity, such as the creamy R&B of Lovers Never Die and a swirling electro-country bop, Nobody’s Watching (unexpected first couplet: ‘I’ve had it up to here, up to my neck/ With everything politically correct’), it’s the classic-Celine tracks that strike home.”
Courage is available to buy and download now.