In a head-scratching and soul-stirring move, Sony Music has sent me not one, but two new Celine Dion albums. The first, My Love - Essential Collection, features seventeen beloved Celine classics, among them one-of-a-kind titles such as "The Power of the Dream," "The Power of Love," and "A New Day Has Come." The cover, featuring Celine in an unbuttoned white blouse, finds the chanteuse staring moodily down into her cleavage. The power of the dream, indeed. And if essential isn't good enough for you, Sony has also issued My Love - Ultimate Essential Collection, which splits the goodness between two discs and 26 tracks. This time the cover shows Celine in the same unbuttoned white blouse, but the wider shot reveals what the first cover does not: Celine is actually, inexplicably, standing half naked while holding a camera. As you might guess, there are several additional and equally essential tracks, including "Where Does My Heart Beat Now?" (hint: right above the camera, and right below ... ah, never mind)
I find the marketing curious. I don't pay much attention to Celine's music, so I will admit that I expect nothing more than the usual robodiva scale trilling and overemotive schmaltz. But the covers baffle me. If I had to guess, I would guess that Celine's music appeals primarily to young women. But the covers suggest a concerted effort to woo young men. And maybe it will work. The images are, ah, arresting. But I just can't see many young, virile dudes belting out the love theme from Titanic. But it has me curious, and at least somewhat interested to see if there might be an upcoming My Love - Definitively Ultimate Essential Collection box set.