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Céline's Live Vocal Talents Amaze Her Native-Language Fan-Base 'At the Heart of the Stadium'!,
This review is from: Au Coeur Du Stade (Audio CD)
Beginning in 1998 and continuing into 1999, Céline Dion embarked upon her eighth concert tour, visiting North America, Europe and Asia. The 'Let's Talk About Love' Tour was named after Céline's fifth English studio recording album, after having achieved high chart success, especially with the catapult popularity of the Titanic soundtrack theme, 'My Heart Will Go On'. Within her Anglophone set-listing, Céline performed a variety of tracks from that album, along with a chosen few of her popular hits. Within French-speaking territories, the tour also supported her eleventh French studio recording, S'il Suffisait D'aimer, which also charted high alongside its English equivalent. With an additional Christmas album released during the tenure of the concert tour, alongside several television broadcasts of the show which included a special cameo appearance on the television programme 'Touched By An Angel' and a special 'Millennium Concert' shown on TVA in Canada, the tour was considered a huge success by fans and critics alike.
During her European leg of the tour, Céline performed at the Stade de France in Paris on 19th - 20th June 1999, wherein she performed in front of more than ninety-thousand spectators over two nights. This recorded show, which was released onto VHS and DVD in Europe, Asia and Canada during September 1999, consisted of songs from her Francophone set-list, which included a mixture of some English songs from her Let's Talk About Love album and highlights from 'S'il Suffisait D'Aimer', alongside other popular hits from her vast back-catalogue. Jean-Jacques Goldman and Taro Hakase made accompanying guest contributions, whilst Diana King was shown on four big screens placed around the set's circular staging during the performance of 'Treat Her Like a Lady'. Céline also paid tribute to the Bee Gees with some disco-style dancing towards the end of the set-listing, and she also added an acoustic medley, incorporating a selection of songs from her earlier French albums.
Whilst the DVD release Celine Dion: Au Coeur De Stade [DVD] includes most of Céline's performances during this concert that are mentioned above (except for a duet with Barbara Streisand via a television screen that had to be cut for, presumably, copyright issues), this Audio CD of the same name is a much-more stripped-down version of the show. Released primarily in Europe on 27th August 1999, the album consists of eleven tracks taken from the show; most of them French, with only the opening and closing tracks being in English ('Let's Talk About Love' and 'My Heart Will Go On', respectively). In this way, it can be said that the album's running time of approximately sixty-five minutes runs more like a live version of the tour's supporting album 'S'il Suffisait D'aimer', with a few accompanying tracks incorporated from Céline's previous French works. However, this is, by no means, a bad thing, as the album still highlights Céline's amazing vocal prowess whilst singing in her native French language.
The insert booklet has some lovely glossy photos incorporated within, and for those who are interested, there are lyrics provided for all the songs performed on the album. 'Dans Un Autre Monde' was also released as a promotional single within France and Belgium, with its official music video being taken from the concert recording in order to promote the CD/DVD package.
Céline's live recordings are always stunning to listen to, with her vocals always sounding so perfect and toned, and I would most certainly place 'Au Coeur Du Stade' within the frame of that definition. However, I would consider this album by the legendary French-Canadian singer/artist more as a welcome accompaniment to the VHS/DVD of the same name; containing the full concert, including the English songs that are placed within her Francophone set-listing for the 'Let's Talk About Love' World Tour, along with a few special features, such as the recording sessions of the two studio albums that supported the tour, plus a couple of music videos.