Le Ann Rimes has been around for a number of years now. When she first appeared she was touted as the best new thing since sliced bread and her voice was to be the saviour of country music. Since that time she has done lots of stuff – some of dubious artistic value, no doubt – and become a celeb as much as a musician.
I admit to having not taken all that much notice of her beyond hearing the odd song on a film soundtrack – and there’s no way I’d be casually listening to the radio and be able to say – ah that must be LeAnn Rimes if I’d not heard an announcement to that effect.
So when I recently put my mitts on a promo for this CD from 2001 or thereabouts I thought I’ll treat it as a review copy of a new record. So – with no real pre-conceptions or expectations – here goes….
Well, I must own up to knowing the track ‘Can’t Fight the Moonlight’ – it’s quite catchy but I can’t say it’s of any importance in the history of music – obviously a soundtrack to a dramatic moving-on sequence in a romantic thriller movie. The duet ‘Written in the Stars’ with Elton John is typical of his output and puts LeAnn’s music firmly into the ‘Girlie’ section of my mental music library. Soppy beyond words.
Listening any further without prejudice now becomes impossible!
‘You Are’ is a sub–Shania Twain track, without the drama – give me Shania any day. ‘But I do Love You’ is rather more like what I wanted to hear I think – an updated Dolly Parton sort of song but it does rely a little too heavily on the orchestration to carry it through. Hopefully this is not the only good track on the album…..
…no it isn’t. ‘Love Must be telling me Something’ is very good indeed – it’s got a real country twang and LeAnn suddenly finds some guts to boost her voice [sing from the diaphragm, girl!]. This must be what all that early adulation was about.
‘Together, Forever, Always’ is another good offering which comes from the country end of LeAnn’s songbook. Sadly, though, the album as a whole is a bit too showbizzy for me. Too much which places her in the glitzy world of TV specials and award ceremonies. Now, regular readers will now that I’m a fan of cross-overs and fusions but it seems to me that LeAnn’s motives might be more to do with commerce than genuine musical exploration. Call me an old cynic if you like, but I feel a real adventurer wouldn’t have played it quite as straight down the line in the use of techno backings and modern R’n’B stylings.
My verdict: a couple of excellent country tunes, some promising attempts at mainstream pop but mainly a badly missed opportunity to create aground-breaking album.