I have never actually sat down and listened to an entire LeAnn Rimes CD before. Therefore, a compilation of her greatest hits seems like a reasonable purchase, given as to how I like some of her more popular songs like I Need You, a song of praise that has amusingly been so misunderstood and therefore wrongfully requested on radio stations by starry-eyed teenagers infatuated with the idea of being in love.
This CD is the Asian version, and what separates the Asian version from others is that it comes with a “bonus” karaoke VCD that will come handy when I need to clear my throat by singing How Do I Live like I’m on American Idol. The “bonus” is in parenthesis because I paid the price equivalent to the price of two CDs for this single CD that came along with a “free” VCD. To think, these greedy, misleading music houses have the cheek wonder why people don’t want to pay their high prices and resort to illegal downloading instead.
Where am I? Oh yes, LeAnn Rimes. What is she, a robot? She can sing really well but there seems to be no emotion discernable from her singing. This is especially obvious in those antiseptic ballads – including bullimic duets with Ronan Keating and Elton John – which are just there. I love I Need You but that’s because of the soaring chorus. This Love is a pleasant track and it’s the closest she comes to emoting during the chorus.
But what I find truly surprising is the number of very enjoyable uptempo tracks she has on this CD. Tracks like Suddenly and Can’t Fight the Moonlight are enjoyable the same way that all those good stuff by Exposé, Siedah Garrett, Maria Vidal, and other fabulous female singers with thin, anemic voices that managed to come out with big pop tunes are. LeAnn Rimes has a better full-bodied voice, that can’t be denied, which only makes tracks like Suddenly, a track that could be passed off as something Belinda Carlisle would record, and The Right Kind of Wrong is so much fun. The best of all these cheesy 1980’s-cheesypop revival tracks is You Are, an infectious track that is too fabulous to be described adequately here.
The country inflections are present in Ms Rimes’ cover versions of Crazy, You Light Up My Life, and the note-by-note imitation of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, as well as in tracks like Blue. But it’s worth noting that her most recent tracks have a distinctly pop feel to them, as if she’s moving farther from her country roots towards embracing whole-heartedly a sound that composes of forgettable white-bread ballads and fabulously awesome (if dated) uptempo tracks that could have come out from the 1980s. The greatness of the latter makes the whole LeAnn Rimes phenomenon so much easier for me to tolerate.