Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits

“Blue” made LeAnn Rimes a star at age 14, setting a high bar for her to clear as she grew older. How well she met the challenge can be heard on her 2003 Greatest Hits album. Rimes’ astounding seven-octave voice and mature stage presence transformed “Blue” from a countrypolitan period piece into a cry of youthful desire. Initial follow-up singles like “The Light in Your Eyes” and “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)” downplayed her vocal fireworks while emphasizing positive lyric themes. As the ‘90s progressed, Rimes crossed over into pop with such well-crafted ballads as “I Need You” and “How Do I Live,” then reasserted her Nashville credentials with the surging “Commitment” and the sassy “Big Deal.” Along the way, she credibly tackled standards like “Unchained Melody” and slipped into bathos with Elton John on “Written in the Stars.” This zigzagging path hasn’t always led Rimes to the best material, though hope can be found in the richly melodic “This Love” and her gorgeous rendition of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.” With the latter tune, LeAnn circles back to the strengths she displayed at the start. Uneven or not, the tunes on Greatest Hits track the unfolding of a remarkable career.

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