Everyone has a story to tell. Good, bad, funny, sad or humiliating, these stories make up our lives. This is one connection we cannot deny.
LeAnn Rimes is a country singer with a story to tell. Coming to prominence as a young teen singing some of country music’s most beloved songs with a maturity far beyond her years, she grew up in front of our eyes. Unfortunately, deserved or not (I prefer to think not) she has spent much of her adult years under the tabloids’ sleazy glare.
Through it all, Rimes valiantly pressed on releasing two albums this decade packed with country goodness — Lady & Gentlemen in 2011 and Spitfire in 2013. While the singles made little impact on radio, both albums received rave reviews. The songs and her otherworldly singing brought true fans back to her early days when she was America’s country sweetheart.
Rimes is now back with a new single, her first for RCA Label Group (UK), a cover of one of my favorite songs ever, “The Story” by Brandi Carlile (written by Phil Hanseroth).
“The Story” is a heavy and emotional song about life and coming to terms with the decisions we all make and the cards that are dealt. While Carlile’s vocals on the original had an urgent desperation and vulnerability that made the song so exciting, Rimes’ version has a more steady control, almost bringing a sense of acknowledgment and acceptance.
As always, Rimes’ vocals are powerful and inspiring. The music takes a more piano driven/symphonic approach, as opposed to the original which was full-on rock and roll bombast.
The one telling moment in the song is Rimes’ reworking of the original lyric, “All of my friends who think I’m blessed, they don’t know my head is a mess,” which she changed to “…they don’t know my life’s a mess.” The word change thankfully doesn’t undermine the emotional impact of the track, but I find it interesting that the “problem” in the original has moved from perceived to literal in Rimes’ take.
At 33 years old, LeAnn Rimes has many more stories to tell, well beyond the needless gossip of the parasites in the tabloid media or busy-bodied judgmental “former fans” who are “free from sin” in their own lives. I happen to like the honesty in Rimes’ story and can’t wait to read further chapters.
Be sure to pick up “The Story” by LeAnn Rimes on iTunes.
What is your favorite version of “The Story?” Is it Brandi Carlile’s original or LeAnn Rimes’ version? Let me know at @sneezeguard.