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LeAnn Rimes

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Album Review

Her last album for Curb, and possibly buried because of it, Spitfire sputtered out of the gate in 2013, appearing first on various digital services — first in Europe and Australia, then in the U.S. — before popping up in America as a physical Walmart exclusive halfway through the year. It's unfortunate that the release of Spitfire is so confused, as it's one of her better records, seizing the same adventurous spirit of 2011's Vince Gill-produced Lady & Gentlemen but going further, as she's now co-writing originals with some seriously skilled songwriters, including Dan Wilson, Sarah Buxton, and David Baerwald. When she's not collaborating, Rimes demonstrates excellent taste in cover material — she records Missy Higgins' "Where I Stood," kicks up dust on Liz Rose/Chris Stapleton/Morgane Hayes' rockabilly raver "You Ain't Right," and gets down and dirty on Buddy & Julie Miller's "Gasoline and Matches," trading verses with Rob Thomas then letting Jeff Beck run wild — which gives the record dimension if not a singular momentum. Then again, narrative drive tends to be overrated: the sum of Spitfire may not be greater than the parts, but the parts themselves are mighty fine, showcasing every one of Rimes' strengths from classic country belter to stylish contemporary pop singer. As a full album, Spitfire meanders a bit, never establishing a momentum that carries it through, but as individual tracks, it shines, capturing Rimes at her best as a pure country singer, a neo-rockabilly filly, a savvy crossover pop artist, and an understated troubadour who knows how to camouflage her emotions underneath it all. Spitfire isn't perfectly polished — that's how you know Curb isn't banking on its success — but that's one of the reasons it's satisfying: all the loose ends, the deliberate detours into sounds both old and new, illustrate Rimes' range and her skill, as she never sounds uneasy in any of these settings. It's not perfect — it's too long, its sequencing is haphazard — and yet all the music on Spitfire resonates, every song suggesting an avenue Rimes could pursue the next time out.

Customer Reviews

Can't wait

I have been waiting for this album for so long! I love the songs I've heard so far. What a beautiful voice. Hopefully the haters will stay away. Everyone needs to move on. She deserves her success.

Don't miss out..

LeAnn Rimes is one in a million. No one sounds like her. Her voice is a gift and she chooses to share that gift with us. Who cares what she does when she goes home? She doesn't owe us any explanation. She makes incredible music. She has written/sang songs that have seen me through the highs and lows of the last ten years of my life and for that I am grateful. Tabloids will not sway me from purchasing another brilliant album. I will always be a fan.

Honest Album

I've heard all of the songs on this album and I must say, they all come from an honest, personal place. Whether or not you agree with LeAnn's personal life, you cannot ignore her talent as a singer and her growing ability as a writer. "Spitfire" covers a lot of ground: there are fiesty uptempo numbers like "Gasoline and Matches" and the title track, there are mellow reflections like "Bottle," and then there are introspective ballads like "Borrowed" and "What Have I Done." It is in these harsh, honest ballads that "Spitfire" finds it's heart. The songs are well crafted and the material, while it may turn off some listeners, is from a very real place. I applaud LeAnn for taking risks and talking about touchy issues. She sings about what she has went through rather than what is more commerically acceptable. Her connection to the meaterial is obvious. For all it's highlights, the album does have a few weak moments. Some of the recordings sound a bit low quality, although that might be an artistic choice. Some songs, like "Just A Girl," are far too generic sounding for someone so far into their career. That being said, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses and the album is certainly worth the purchase price.


Born: August 28, 1982 in Jackson, MS

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In 1996, LeAnn Rimes burst out of nowhere with her debut single "Blue," which immediately captured the attention of country fans across America. It wasn't just the fact that her rich, powerful vocals were remarkably similar to Patsy Cline's — it was the fact that Rimes was only 13 years old. Like Tanya Tucker and Brenda Lee before her, she had a hit with her debut single and was barely a teenager at the time. It was quite an auspicious way to begin a career. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, but...
Full Bio

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