Loved Me Back to Life is Celine Dion's 11th English-language studio album that was released on November 1, 2013 by Columbia Records & Sony Music Entertainment.
In June 2012, Celine Dion's official website announced that during April and May, the singer began recording songs for her next English and French albums which were to be released in the fall of 2012.
The English album was to feature studio versions of previously unreleased songs from Dion's Las Vegas show, "Celine" as well as several brand new tracks. In August 2012, celinedion.com confirmed that a cover of Journey's song "Open Arms" which opens Dion's Las Vegas show, will be included on the upcoming English-language album.
In September 2012, it was also revealed that "Ne me quitte pas" will appear on the English album Eventually, "Ne me quitte pas" was released on the deluxe edition of Sans attendre and "Open Arms" was included on the Japanese edition of the English album only.
Le Journal de Montréal stated that the English album will also contain some songs written by Eg White, who worked with Adele on 19 and 21, some tracks produced by Babyface and a duet with Stevie Wonder on "Overjoyed" which Dion performs during her Las Vegas show.
In March 2013, Ne-Yo confirmed information which first appeared on Dion's official website in September 2012, that both singers recorded a duet. Ne-Yo said that it was a challenge and it made him question his vocal ability. The duo first worked together on 2007's "Taking Chances" with Ne-Yo co-writing and co-producing the track, "I Got Nothin' Left."
Another new track written by Diane Warren, "Unfinished Songs" was included in the British-German film, "Song for Marion." However, when the soundtrack for the movie was released in February 2013, it did not feature Dion's song which was saved for her upcoming album. The recording session for "Unfinished Songs" was posted on Dion's website in July 2013.
On September 14, 2012, celinedion.com announced that Dion's new English album titled Water and a Flame will be released in November 2012; however, on September 26, 2012, Sony Music Entertainment decided to postpone the release date of the new English-language album to 2013. In March 2013, René Angélil explained that they decided to delay the release date because the concept of the album has changed.
Instead of only half of the disc with original songs, they decided that the majority of the album should be original songs. Angélil stated that initially, the album was supposed to have six covers and six original songs.
After further discussion, they decided to put two covers from Dion's Las Vegas show: "At Seventeen" and "Overjoyed". The behind-the-scenes look at Dion recording "At Seventeen", with Babyface producing it, was posted on her website in April 2013. "Overjoyed", with new arrangement by Stevie Wonder, was co-produced by Tricky Stewart.
In April 2013, celinedion.com presented a behind-the-scenes look at Dion and producer Eg White recording the song "Water and a Flame". The rest of the album was to contain original songs, including two co-written by Audra Mae, the great-great-niece of Judy Garland.
The album was scheduled for release in October 2013. In July 2013, it was announced that it will be titled "Loved Me Back to Life." Dion performed the title song live for the very first time during "Céline... une seule fois" concert in Quebec City on July 27, 2013; two days later her website announced that the album will be released in November 2013.
- Loved Me Back To Life 3:50
- Somebody Loves Somebody 3:42
- Incredible (with Ne-Yo) 3:56
- Water And A Flame 3:42
- Breakaway 4:38
- Save Your Soul 3:48
- Didn't Know Love 3:36
- Thank You 3:59
- Overjoyed (with Stevie Wonder) 4:04
- Thankful 3:56
- At Seventeen 4:29
- Always Be Your Girl 4:14
- Unfinished Songs 3:39
- How Do You Keep The Music Playing 4:21
- Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) 4:18
Japanese edition bonus track
- Open Arms 3:08
In Dion's native Canada, "Loved Me Back to Life" debuted at number one with 106,000 units sold. It became her thirteenth number-one album in the SoundScan era and her eleventh to debut at the top of the chart.
"Loved Me Back to Life" marked the best one week sales total for any release in Canada since 2008, when AC/DC's album, "Black Ice" sold 119,000 units. It also became Dion's best one week sales total since she sold 152,000 copies in the first week of release of her 2002 album, "A New Day Has Come." In its second week, the album remained at number one, selling 31,000 units.
After just these two weeks of sales, the album was placed at number nine on the Billboard Year-End chart of Top Canadian Albums.
For the next three weeks, it occupied the number two position on the Canadian Albums Chart selling 15,000, 19,000 and again 19,000 copies. Later, "Loved Me Back to Life" fell to number six with sales of 13,000 units and in the seventh week it rose to number four selling another 19,000 copies.
In the last week of 2013, the album fell to number six with sales of 10,000 units, bringing the total sales to 231,000 copies, becoming the second best-selling album in Canada in 2013 after Eminem's album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" which sold 242,000 units.
In December 2013, Dion's album was certified four-times Platinum by Music Canada for shipping 320,000 copies.
In the United States, "Loved Me Back To Life" debuted at number two with 77,000 copies sold in its first week and became Dion's highest charting album since One Heart also bowed at number two in 2003. In the next two weeks, the album fell to number thirteen and twenty-six, selling 25,000 and 13,000 units.
In the fourth week, it moved up one spot to number twenty-five selling 30,000 copies (up 132%). It later dropped to number thirty-five with sales of 16,000 units and number thirty-eight selling another 16,000 copies.
On its seventh week, thanks to Dion's performance on the grand finale of "The Voice" and the CBS 15th annual "A Home for the Holidays" television special, the album went up to number twenty-six with 28,000 units sold (up 72%).
In the final week of 2013, "Loved Me Back to Life" fell to number thirty-one selling 19,000 copies and bringing its total to 224,000 units sold. As of June 2014, it has sold 300,000 copies in the US.
In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number three with 53,000 copies sold, becoming Dion's highest charting album since her 2002 chart-topper, "A New Day Has Come." On November 22, 2013, "Loved Me Back to Life" was certified Silver in the UK for selling over 60,000 copies.
In the second week, it fell to number four selling 28,000 units and in the third week it slipped to number eight with sales of another 28,000 copies. After these three weeks, on December 6, 2013 the album was certified Gold in the UK for selling over 100,000 units.
In the next two weeks, the album stayed at number eight selling 34,000 and 44,000 copies respectively. In the sixth week, after Dion's performance on Strictly Come Dancing, the album jumped to number seven selling 64,000 units (biggest weekly sales; up 45%).
The next week, "Loved Me Back to Life" fell to number thirteen, selling 33,000 copies, bringing the total sales to 283,000 units. After these seven weeks in 2013, it reached number twenty-three on the UK Year-End Albums Chart.
As of February 2, 2014, the album has sold over 300,000 copies and five days later it was certified Platinum in the UK. In total, it has sold 350,000 units in the UK (as of June 2014).
In France, "Loved Me Back to Life" entered the chart at number three selling 31,000 copies. In the next weeks, it occupied the following positions: number five (17,000 units sold), number six (19,000), number seven (17,000), number ten (20,000) and number eleven (24,000).
In the seventh week, the album jumped to number ten with its biggest weekly sales of 34,000 copies (up 40%). In the last week of 2013, it rose to number nine selling 25,000 units and bringing total sales to 186,000 copies.
On December 18, 2013, "Loved Me Back to Life" was certified two-times Platinum by SNEP for shipping 200,000 units. As of June 1, 2014, it has sold over 215,000 copies in France.
The album proved similarly successful in other countries, peaking at number one in the Netherlands, number two in Belgium and Taiwan, number three in Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa, number four in Austria, Hungary and China, number seven in Norway, number eight in Czech Republic and South Korea, number nine in Germany, Australia and Croatia, and number ten in New Zealand.
"Loved Me Back to Life" also reached top twenty in Denmark, Italy, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Croatia and Finland. It was also certified Gold in Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and South Africa, and has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.
"Loved Me Back to Life" garnered positive reviews from music critics. According to the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received a score of 65/100, indicating generally favorable reviews.
AllMusic gave the album three and a half (out of five) stars, and called it "a record that flirts with new ideas but never hooks up. Yet, that flirtation counts for something: it means the album is livelier, less self-conscious, less beholden to the expected, and quick-footed enough to not seem mired in show biz glitz".
The review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that "there's nothing here that screams big hit –- but it's something better: the work of a diva who is comfortable in her own skin".
In a positive review, The New York Times critic Jon Caramanica first noted Dion's usual musical inclinations towards melodrama and bombast, noting that "She is the iceberg, destroying all Titanics". However, he then commended Dion's attempt to evolve, commenting: "that she'd bother to innovate at all on the strong Loved Me Back to Life, her first English-language album in six years, is worthy in and of itself. Compared with her usual motor-powered balladry, this album is positively peppy. You can just register the faint outline of contemporary R&B and even hip-hop, thanks to a pair of productions by Tricky Stewart. On the vinyl version of the track "Save Your Soul", there's a rap interlude by Malcolm David Kelley, late of Lost and now of the pop-hip-hop duo MKTO. There's also an implicit embrace of current dance-pop on the title track, which was written in part by Sia, the Australian singer and songwriter whose "Titanium" (made with the producer David Guetta) was one of last year's most vocally ambitious dance-diva hits". Caramanica also complimented Dion's improved delivery: "On this album she's singing with more rhythm, if not more clarity, than usual".
Unusually favorable review came from Rolling Stone (by editor Dave Dimartino from Yahoo! Music): "new Celine album is a damned fine, polished thing, exactly what you'd want to release when you're renowned as the highest-grossing touring artist in the world from 2000 to 2010, and a solid listen through and through!"
Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave the album three out of four stars, acknowledging Dion's use of "softer, grittier vocals and more nuanced drama than previous power ballads". Gardner also noted: "A subtler, more subdued Celine Dion may be interesting in theory, but bright shades still suit this diva best".
The Oakland Press critic Gary Graff awarded the album three out of four stars, stating that the disc "finds Dion creatively frisky and exploring new sonic environments for the muscular voice that helped sink the Titanic, at least on film — with help from producers such as Hasham Hussain, Emanuel Kiriakou and the Swedish team Play Production. The more contemporary approach is evident from the get-go on the Sia Fuller co-written title track, with its stuttering vocal hook and dubstep-style beats, which wouldn't sound out of place on, say, a Rihanna album".
Graff concluded: "It's not a wholesale reinvention, but Loved Me Back to Life will make fans look at Dion a little differently, and might even bring some new folks in from the sidelines".
Slant Magazine gave "Loved Me Back to Life" a more mixed review. Despite allowing the overall album a seemingly positive score of three out of five, critic Eric Henderson found the shift to more contemporary material unconvincing, noting that: "If Chaka Khan was every woman, Dion is and ever shall be every awkward soccer mom. Only now, she's taken her CD-R of Celtic pop tunes out of the SUV stereo and is bumping a mix of midtempo neo-power ballads from the likes of Kesha and Katy Perry instead. Typical of mothers struggling to fit in with the next generation, the chief intention of Loved Me Back to Life is to pass for contemporary".
On a positive note, Henderson opined that the album works when Dion sticks to her established signature style: "Dion's cover of Janis Ian's rueful "At Seventeen" comes off less like a lament for childhood dreams that didn't come to pass and more like a lilting word of advice from someone old enough to know better, which is precisely the zone where the album excels: when Dion drops the act and embraces her manic, Hallmark card-brandishing guru of schmaltz".
Steve Morse of The Boston Globe dismissed the album as "littered with syrupy, easy-listening, trite-lyric ballads that undersell her talent".
Similar to Slant Magazine critic Eric Henderson's review, Morse maintained that Dion is at her best when she reverts to her old formula, stating: "She experiments at times with a more gravelly voice, suggesting a bid for more street appeal, but the overall effect is stiff and mechanical, minus the warmth for which she is known".
RenownedForSound.com praised the album, giving the collection a four star review saying "It goes to show that Celine Dion has released something delightful for old and new fans, with a mixture of songs that have both a Pop/RnB focus as well as encompassing her adult contemporary-pop roots".