Release Date: Sep 27, 2011
Record label: Curb
Throughout her 15-year career, the country prodigy-turned?tabloid fixture has never shied away from covering the classics — whether they be Patsy Cline or (gulp) ”Purple Rain.” Here she sticks to songs originally sung by men, including John Anderson’s ”Swingin’?” and ”When I Call Your Name” by Vince Gill, who co-produced. The result is predictably solid, though it rarely sheds new light on the top-shelf material. Did you know ”He Stopped Loving Her Today” is really very sad?!? B Download These:Coal miner’s lament 16 TonsMerle Haggard gem I Can’t Be Myself .
As concept albums go, LeAnn Rimes’ 2011 album Lady & Gentlemen is a good one: a collection of masculine country classics reinterpreted by a female singer. Sometimes, this reinterpretation amounts to little more than swapping a gender -- “The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” becomes “The Only Mama That’ll Walk the Line,” Charlotte in John Anderson’s “Swingin'” becomes Charlie -- and some of these songs are standards that have often been sung by either gender (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”), but there are a few songs that do feel slightly different when sung by Rimes, including “A Good Hearted Woman” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” neither given a gender switch yet changing slightly with the perspective shift. Generally, though, Lady & Gentlemen isn’t much more than a good straight-ahead covers album, given grit and tradition from co-producers Vince Gill and Darrell Brown, who give John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses” a dusty beer joint kick and Gill’s own “When I Call Your Name” a soulful sway, and transform Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” into a slow, spooky crawl, all moves that more than compensate for the too frenetic take on “Swingin'.
The majority of LeAnn Rimes’s Lady & Gentlemen consists of covers of well-known country hits, most of which were originally recorded by iconic male artists. If that concept wants for originality (Tanya Tucker’s excellent My Turn took a similar approach back in 2009), it’s nonetheless one that Rimes and her producers, Vince Gill and Darrell Brown, approach thoughtfully. Rimes extends a degree of empathy to the nameless “her” in George Jones’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” and giving the final refrain of Waylon Jennings’s “Good Hearted Woman” an unexpected first-person POV is an effective touch, proving that the gender-swapped concept is more than just a simple gimmick.
MINDLESS BEHAVIOR “#1 Girl”. (Streamline/Conjunction/.