The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - IAIN SHED­DEN

AS time goes by and we have more ex­pe­ri­ences in life, it’s eas­ier to get in touch with our in­ner­most feel­ings . . . to know more about what we re­ally want, how we re­ally feel. Th­ese days, I’m feel­ing strong . . . maybe a lit­tle gut­sier than in the past . . . and just as pas­sion­ate about mu­sic and life as I ever was.’’ In case you’re won­der­ing, I am Ce­line Dion, and I have a new album com­ing out, so I thought it would be a good time to cut through the crap and let you know what’s go­ing on in my heart and in my man­ager’s of­fice. That’s why I’m bring­ing to you a fresh thought that my team and I came up with, just like that, for my latest press re­lease. All I said was ‘‘ feel­ings’’ and ‘‘ gut­sier’’ and sud­denly we had a whole para­graph. Amaz­ing. I mean, I am feel­ing a bit stronger, but not in a mu­si­cal way, nec­es­sar­ily. Fi­nan­cially, cer­tainly, but is that re­ally strength? At the end of the day, as we have more ex­pe­ri­ences in life, it’s eas­ier to get in touch with our in­ner­most feel­ings, and that has to be more im­por­tant than your bank bal­ance. You can’t put a price on in­ner peace, can you? That’s a good thought, I think. Oops, there I go again with a thought. Must hang on to a few for the next album. There’s prob­a­bly more where that came from. Af­ter all, as we have more ex­pe­ri­ences in life, the eas­ier it is to get in touch with our in­ner­most feel­ings. Wow, that’s a good one. Oh, my album’s called Tak­ing Chances , which is pretty gutsy if you ask me. SPEAK­ING of in­ner­most feel­ings, some­times re­ferred to as acute nausea, emo­tions were frayed here at Spin Doc­tor HQ while view­ing a gnarly nugget of tear­jerk­ing ter­ror from the Idol queen of the plat­i­tude, Mar­cia Hines, who is also flog­ging a new album, this one called Life , which — don’t get ahead of me here — is about her life. Her press re­lease comes with an ac­com­pa­ny­ing film in which the for­mer first lady of pop gushes forth on a variety of top­ics, all re­lated to how she climbed from hum­ble be­gin­nings in the back streets of Bos­ton to the dizzy heights of tal­ent- quest television. ‘‘ If you be­lieve in your­self, you can do any­thing,’’ Mar­cia’s mother told her. ‘‘ I will sing . . . and I will have a good life,’’ she thought to her­self when she was nine. Whether she heard the ac­com­pa­ny­ing an­gelic cho­rus isn’t men­tioned, but you can al­most sense a greater force, an almighty, right there in the room with you, when she goes for the big one: ‘‘ In the his­tory books . . . when I’m dead and gone . . . peo­ple will be able to look in the book and say, ‘ Hey, there’s a chick called Mar­cia Hines’.’’ But she’s no Dicko, some­one will add, amus­ingly. ON a thor­oughly more worth­while note, the Na­tional Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion’s Pink Tie com­pi­la­tion CD fea­tures tracks by Sarah Blasko, Josh Pyke, Missy Hig­gins and many oth­ers. For de­tails, log on to the NBCF web­site at www. nbcf. org. au.

spin­doc@ theaus­tralian. com. au song struc­ture, Seven Seven , his sev­enth album, is a much more re­fined piece of work, lyri­cally elo­quent and mu­si­cally lush in places but still al­low­ing room for un­ex­pected in­stru­men­tal flour­ishes. Echoes of El­liott Smith abound in the cli­mac­tic opener, Ev­ery­thing Feels Now, and the overtly poppy Love Won’t Wait . Need a Mir­a­cle , with tabla and strings, is equally ad­dic­tive, while I’m Changed sounds like Prince rock­ing out on the Bea­tles’ White Album. Iron­i­cally, one of the best songs is the least adorned, with Walker wrap­ping his plain­tive, warm croon around the acous­tic bal­lad She Makes Signs . A man of many tal­ents, and sur­prises.

Iain Shed­den

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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