After reading a ferocious takedown of Celine Dion, the writer Mary Gaitskill decided to have a listen. “I thought her voice was pretty, even beautiful at moments,” Gaitskill wrote, “but her overall sound made little impression.” It was an appearance on Larry King, where the singer tearfully pled for Katrina’s victims, that caught Gaitskill. “It struck me as absolutely sincere and sane.” Dion’s fierce earnestness borders on camp, a sensibility that endears her to fans. Emotion shimmers along the contours of her voice, which wavers in strength before slipping into masterful vibrato, a charming unevenness. —C.J.F.
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