This Woman, by LeAnn Rimes
I have to admit that I am rather nostalgic about this period of LeAnn Rimes’ career. While she was promoting this album on tour I had the chance to hear the artist play many of the songs from this album at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida, one Sunday afternoon when she realized that she had two concerts to play that day instead of the one she had thought, and she was apologetic about how she was saving her voice for the second concert in the evening. Still, the concert was lovely, LeAnn Rimes was engaging, and the songs from this album contain a few ones I still remember fondly as part of her larger body of work. At least from retrospect, this album has three songs I remember very well and I am curious to see if the album holds up after the fact or if it’s just my nostalgia talking about this being a really great album. Let’s find out.
The album begins with “I Want To With You,” which features some strong instrumentation and a lovely message about wanting to build a life with someone, a strong beginning. “You Take Me Home” is a lovely return to country that acknowledges the lure of big city life and her ability to overcome the lure by remembering what she loved the most about home. “Something’s Gotta Give” is a rousing fiddle stomper about the struggle to find true love, a true highlight. “Won’t Be Lonely Long” is a defiant song about recovering from heartbreak and moving on from a bad relationship to find something better. “Nothing ‘Bout Love Makes Sense” is a lovely and reflective song about the nonsensical nature of love, a true standout from what has been a very strong album so far. “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” is a beautiful and melancholy song about dealing with the loss of a loved one and the mixed feelings that result from it. “The Weight Of Love” gives a reflective and realistic view of love and its ups and downs. “With You” gives a charming and lovely talk about the narrator’s desire to live happily ever after with her beloved. “I Got It Bad” talks about how it is that her infatuation helps her cope with the boredom and routine nature of life, and how her addiction to the high life drives her on. “I Dare You” is a challenge to a would-be partner to love her the way that she wants. “When This Woman Loves A Man” gives a soulful look at the narrator’s efforts to form a lasting love with someone who has been treated roughly in love. “Some People” is a gentle ode to the persistence of love through the hard times and how fortunate it is to have such a thing in one’s life. Finally, “Afraid To Fall,” a Target exclusive for this album, is a lovely song about having the bravery to fall in love.
Overall, this is an extremely strong album. The real difference between this album and Twisted Angel to me is the instrumentation and production. While the production for Twisted Angel is often a bit awkward and misses the real strengths of LeAnn Rimes’ passion and vulnerability, this album gives a somewhat similar set of songs about love and loss and the struggles of dealing with the vulnerability to dangerous excitement a real grounding in beautiful instrumentals with lap steel and fiddles and guitars that really showcases these songs in a beautiful way. LeAnn Rimes’ honesty about herself and her desire to be accepted by country music fans after a turn towards pop music ends up creating an album that is extremely pleasing and may be her best album ever. Not a song here is anything less than very good, and some of these songs are wonderful. If you’re interested in giving LeAnn Rimes’ later albums a chance, having known her as a child star, this is a great place to begin.