Lullaby and Goodnight, With Fee Waybill Sleep Tight


Even Laurie Anderson would find the collaborative billing too David Byrne. Inside Celine Dion and baby photographer Anne Geddes’s new Miracle is a blurb for the “180-page large-format full-colour book complete with music CD and DVD,” so you have to get the box set for the full multimedia experience. La révolution ne sera pas télévisée, ce sera un coffret. Producer-ROCist David Foster reaches back to his Tubes-Alice Cooper days, but the “babies” here are plantoid pods instead of “dead,” and none of them (despite “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”) are holding an apple.

There are only two or three Titanic crescendos. One of those (“In Some Small Way”) has the focused intensity of a drive-thru clerk on a comedown. The concept (“Enter Sandman”-type songs with slasher-flick music boxes) is interesting if you want to see what Celine does when martial law’s been imposed on her volume control. (“Just watch me.”) Despite singing in two languages, she doesn’t have two voices like Barney Rubble or Pat Benatar—just one, which she does cool things with, like pronouncing “protect you” as “pr’uh-tehxjj” (“Mother’s Prayer”), and (elle est une beauté) adapting Lennon’s nihilistic bitterness in a way any mother of 12 from the Duplessis era would understand.

The French song is Stranded produced like Avalon. As The Interim, “Canada’s Pro-Life, Pro-Family Newspaper,” might say: “The Quiet Revolution was a naive entrance into modernity. . . . We have lost our soul because we have lost our faith.” Que voulez-vous de la vie?