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LeAnn Rimes - Spitfire

by Kevin Wierzbicki

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Despite the fact that she's had numerous country hits over the past decade, many still think of LeAnn Rimes as a pop singer thanks to her massive and evergreen hit "How Do I Live." But the 15-year-old girl that sang that song is now a young woman about to turn 31, who's crammed a whole lot of livin' into that decade and a half, not all of it fun, and who's rollercoaster of a life both public and private has inspired her best work ever.

Spitfire opens with its title track, a rowdy indictment of a "dirty little liar" with a chorus of "you make me want to spit fire!;" Rimes has publicly stated that the song is a reaction to how the tabloid press has treated her but with its clicking two-step dance rhythm the tune is bound to get boots shuffling while every barroom angel that's been done wrong parrots the song's chorus as their latest catch-phrase.

Rimes co-wrote many of the songs here, some with David Baerwald of David + David fame, including the slow and tender "What Have I Done" where Alison Krauss adds harmony vocals.

Rimes' choice of covers here is excellent, she's at her sassy best on Liz Rose's (writer for Taylor Swift) "You Ain't Right" and rocking the Austin sound of Buddy and Julie Miller's "Gasoline and Matches" where she shares the mic with Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas and benefits from countrified slide guitar riffs layered on by Jeff Beck.

"Borrowed" is perhaps the album's saddest song; about a relationship that's about to fall apart because he's going back to his previous flame and with weepy pedal steel perfectly matching Rimes' sorrowful delivery, the tearjerker is bound to resonate with the presently broken hearted.

Hints of Tom Petty inhabit "God Takes Care of Your Kind" and the Rimes, Baerwald and Darrell Brown co-write "A Waste is a Terrible Thing to Mind" displays the witty wordplay that's on display throughout; a reprise of "Borrowed," performed live, ends Spitfire.

This album will definitely surprise a lot of people with its excellence and give longtime Rimes fans the album they've been waiting for.

Watch the "Spitfire" video here.

Purchase Spitfire at iTunes here.

Preview the Spitfire album here.

Visit her official site here.

LeAnn Rimes - Spitfire
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