Celine Dion (Epic)

Celine Dion returns with her eighth English-language studio album, which will hit stores on March 25, the same day that she opens her three-year, 600-show engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This satisfactory set, which includes her driving cover of Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night," shows surprising restraint for a diva who just had a coliseum custom-built for her. There is a lightness to One Heart that has been missing from much of Dion's previous work, as she leans more toward upbeat dance numbers, easy-listening rock and even borderline country-pop. The slightly twangy "Naked" sounds like it could have been on a Faith Hill CD.

Even her trademark ballads feature less of the vocal histrionics that we've come to expect from Dion, She displays a subtler, sometimes hushed delivery on "In His Touch." Still, the results can be a bit jarring at times. Dion sounds so strangely subdued on some tracks, you keep waiting for her to really let rip. Although there are only a couple of real clunkers in the bunch, none of the songs comes close to touching such Dion faves as "My Heart Will Go On" and "Because You Loved Me." Two of the strongest cuts are actually recycled from last year's A New Day Has Come: "Have You Ever Been in Love" and a ballad version of "Sorry for Love."

BOTTOM LINE: Decent Dion

  • Contributors:
  • Chuck Arnold,
  • Ralph Novak.