236. Celine Dion – ‘That’s The Way It Is’ (1999)

“Love comes to those who believe it”

Taken from the album All The Way… A Decade Of Song

US #6, UK #12, AUS #14

Rememeber the days when a song like this could go top ten in the US? Good times. ‘That’s The Way It Is’ is completely cheesy, overblown, naff, and unexpectedly nutso at times, just like Celine Dion herself. From the pen of Max Martin, who was coming off a huge high from Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ and ‘I Want It That Way’ by the Backstreet Boys, the single fit in with the music of the time and summarised the last ten years of Celine’s career – keeping up with the trends while never, ever trying to be cool.

I think I’ve already made it quite clear that I do not have cool music tastes (Enya, anyone?), and any shame I felt for thinking ‘That’s The Way It Is’ is a fucking incredible song has long since washed away. The sentiment behind it – “Don’t give up on your faith” – is as cliched and overdone as Max Martin is now, but it works brilliantly. Celine sings with so much conviction behind her lyrics, she could be singing about absolutely anything and sell it through pure enthusiasm. The video seemed to include many people of the world coming together through The Power Of Celine, which is a beautiful dream indeed. If only we could abolish organised religion and all come together under the Church Of Celine Dion, Enya and Latter Day Saints.

The best thing about ‘That’s The Way It Is’ has to be the key change. This is the fucking art of the key change, right here. The trademark Max Martin change-the-way-the-chorus-sounds has never sounded more orgasmic. When Celine sings “love comes to those who believe it…” at this point, she suddenly breaks into this long glorious note, as if she was so taken up in the moment she could even finish her sentence properly, she just needed to express through the medium of the wordless ad-lib. That note is quite possibly the closest humans will ever come to flying like an eagle through the air. You know those videos of people trying to fly in little amateur planes and failing every time? Someone should play ‘That’s The Way It Is’ and synchronise that note with take off – I reckon the plane just might make it by using, you guessed it, The Power Of Celine.

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