Céline Dion started a new leg of her latest Las Vegas residency show last weekend and her setlist included a cover of Adele's ubiquitous "Rolling in the Deep," which you can hear above.
What I love about this is how well someone who is widely considered to be the antithesis of cool can slide back in and completely own something as culturally approved as the contemporary standard that is "Rolling in the Deep." Adele, with her objectively pristine voice and ability to move units like no one else (in its 67th week on the Billboard 200, 21 sits at No. 2 with a bullet), has helped loosen up the stigma on adult contemporary music that arose toward the end of the '90s. She's a natural descendant of the likes of Céline, but now Adele's the one opening doors. If this goes viral (and it's looking like it will), it'll become Céline's most widely heard performance in at least a decade.
I value Céline Dion mostly as a persona, but vocally the woman is beastly. This is a nice reminder.
Her cult is also really fascinating — I'll never stop recommending Carl Wilson's Céline Dion's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste. It's not just a sharp assessment of the polarizing effect of this woman and her mostly milquetoast music, but it's also an overall ingenious exploration of popular taste versus critical consensus. The contradictions are sometimes astounding.