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LeAnn Rimes

You Light Up My Life – 1997 (Curb)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes ought to be renamed The Voice because that's what she has plenty of, amply demonstrating that through these dozen songs. The teen star has one powerful voice, which she puts to good use here on these "Inspirational Songs," her third release in about 18 months. The highlight well, may be her a cappella reading of "Amazing Grace." And she turns in a credible job on "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." Rimes possesses good vocal range.

But this isn't really a country album. The only true country song is Bill Mack's "Clinging To a Saving Hand." Aside from a bit of pedal steel on "The Rose," that's about it. Instead, Rimes concentrates on songs generally not needing another version - "National Anthem" and "You Light Up My Life," never a good song when Debbie Boone scored a megahit with it two decades ago. Rimes also appeals to the patriotic crowd with "God Bless America." The rest are gospel songs.

While Rimes's voice is an unmistakable asset (good thing since the musicians aren't), one wishes she would have more of a career direction instead of putting out as much "product" as she can. Maybe next time, The Voice will even get to sing some country.