Friday, May 18th, 2018

Céline Dion – Ashes

Is it fair to call THIS the most ambitious crossover event in history?


Hannah Jocelyn: The whole point of Deadpool is dumb meta-jokes executed with a disproportionate amount of passion and effort, and making your mock-Oscar song go as inexplicably hard as possible is the best example of that. Just the fact that they got an all-star team of people like Steve Mac (Ed Sheeran, CHVRCHES) and Serban Ghenea (basically everything) to work on a song for Deadpool 2 is an impressive, highly amusing flex. It’s reminiscent of the time when Josh Groban sang a Josh Groban parody song on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but unlike “The End Of The Movie,” Celine Dion never performs “Ashes” like a parody. She takes it seriously, with little of the smugness most people despise about the titular character, and more emotion than the first two phases of the MCU put together. The song is legitimately beautiful, even as it transparently goes through the motions and is also a thinly veiled Infinity War reference. The criticism of the movies and the characters is entirely valid and in more than a few ways I agree with it, but the song — and its accompanying video’s ending — explains why anyone fell in love with the character/movies in the first place.

Will Adams: I can’t help raise my brow at the idea that the Deadpool team are treating a sweeping Céline ballad as a joke, as in, “isn’t it hilarious how we got this uncool, sincere pop song to soundtrack the shenanigans of this bad-ass bro?” (The damn cover art features the superhero recreating Flashdance.) But if any performer is able to cut through cynicism that thick, it’s Céline. That “Ashes” doesn’t reinvent a single facet of the slow-build, phoenix-rising formula goes without saying, and it’s for the best; it provides her another opportunity to demonstrate her craft even with material as standard as this.

Alfred Soto: Shaking the moorings off her vowels like George Jones at his most tremulous, Céline Dion is at her most desolate when her prowess is most impressive. When she sings, “Let beauty come out of ashes,” she seems to will a harvest of seedlings to rise from the fallow ground. 

Alex Clifton: Do you ever just hear a song from a movie and instantly know how it’ll be performed at the Oscars, because there’s no way it won’t be nominated? “Ashes” is literally everything you can ask for in a cinematic ballad. Those strings! The chorus build-up! Céline flipping Dion! I’ve no idea how this will work with Deadpool 2, because this is so earnest and sincere for a franchise that seems heavily based on sarcasm, but I guess it becomes ironic for that very reason.

Dorian Sinclair: In a way, Céline Dion is a perfect mirror for Deadpool 2 — where the latter’s goofiness overlays what sounds from reviews to be a fairly standard superhero flick, Dion’s reputation as a cheesy balladeer masks what a deeply eccentric person she is. Unfortunately “Ashes” plays it very safe indeed, probably in an effort to highlight the perceived mismatch between Dion and the context she’s performing in. It’s fine, but not much more.

Thomas Inskeep: What does it mean when a brand new, super-dramatic Céline Dion single can’t get played on Adult Contemporary radio? It means that AC radio sucks, for one. And especially at a time when it feels like we’re in the midst of a Céline-aissance! Is “Ashes” over the top? Of course. That’s a chunk of what makes it great, with Dion swimming against every possible musical tide in 2018. They don’t really make ’em like this anymore. Céline’s the only true belter of her kind left, and thank goodness she’s still here. Steve Mac’s production is appropriately grand and grandiose, and Céline does exactly what you want her to do: sing the ever-loving hell out of the song.

Ian Mathers: Blah blah Deadpool, yeah yeah yeah. Look, I’m Canadian and in my mid-30s, so this would have to be truly dire for it to fall below a decent score for me, and Céline has not let me down: stirring chorus, nicely compact, emotive as hell, it’s got that bit where the drums start pounding in the background, her voice sounds amazing (and if you want, the narrative can definitely apply to her own life). I refuse to score this based on the goofy bits in the video or how it may be used or misused in a movie. It is exactly what I was hoping for from her, and more ballads should be three minutes long.

Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Céline Dion – Ashes”

  1. Jesus why was i so cranky when i reviewed this, relaxed Dorian would give it at least 1-2 points more

    Sorry for letting you down, rest of canada