Saturday, June 18, 2011

LeAnn Rimes, "Give"

The fact that LeAnn Rimes' single "What I Cannot Change" did not become a chart-busting, career-defining smash hit was easily one of the greatest radio crimes of 2008.  With that understated masterpiece, LeAnn displayed the rare ability to show a philosophical side without coming across as trite.  Her new single "Give" doesn't quite match the pure flawlessness of "What I Cannot Change," but it's another fine demonstration of that same ability.

These days LeAnn's personal exploits have been receiving more attention than her music, but recent years have seen her consistently releasing excellent singles, while rarely being rewarded with radio airplay.  With "Give," LeAnn continues to maintain that standard, echoing a simple yet poignant message.  "If you wanna get love then give it," she sings.  "If you want a friend, then be one/ A little bit of kindness, show some."  Through these lyrics, she encourages a proactive outlook on life, and calls for each of us to take initiative to bring about the change we wish to see in the world.  The production takes the form of a pop-country power ballad, but not one that's over-the-top.  Instead, the piano-driven arrangement with flourishes of steel and mandolin provides a fine complement to LeAnn's powerful, conviction-filled vocal.

All too often we see seasoned artists failing to live up to their previous quality standards.  Thus, it's particularly refreshing to see that LeAnn Rimes is one artist who just keeps getting better and better.  "What I Cannot Change" remains the pinnacle of LeAnn's artistic triumphs, but "Give" is a fine single in its own right, further extending her impressive string of winners.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)