Celine Dion's new Columbia album, "Taking Chances," certainly represents a sonic set forward for the artist, who must be eager to search out a fresh direction after singing mostly the same songs for t

Celine Dion's new Columbia album, "Taking Chances," certainly represents a sonic set forward for the artist, who must be eager to search out a fresh direction after singing mostly the same songs for the past four years during her sold-out "A New Day" show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

"When people sent me all those romantic songs to make people feel better or to cry, I went there because I had to prove myself," she says. "Those songs are great and made me who I am today. It wasn't a mistake, but I didn't have a lot of choices. Do you think I wanted to hold those long notes forever and kill myself onstage every night? But everybody always sent the hardest songs to sing to me: 'If somebody can hit those notes, it's Celine Dion.' And I can do it; I can hit them, baby.

"Now maybe we're all tired of those 10-second notes-the writers, the people-and they've evolved, too," she continues. "Maybe no one thought I was capable of doing anything else, but I've got Heart and Doobie Brothers and Janis Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival inside of me, too."

The ballad-cum-midtempo rocker title track is likely to surprise those who typically identify Dion with her hit parade of power ballads, with its front-loaded electric guitars and a restrained vocal that, at the song's peak, roars more than soars. Other collaborators on the disc include ex-Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, Kristian Lundin, Anders Bagge, Peer Astrom, Linda Perry, Ne-Yo and Aldo Nova.

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