LeAnn Rimes’ eighteenth studio album in a storied quarter-century career finds the gifted singer-songwriter on the rise with a creative and emotional thrust that finds her lyrical mastery of the English language in a fascinating space.
“This is the second album in a row where I’ve said the f*** word,” she laughs of “the wild,” one of many collaborative works on “God’s Work,” which will be released on September 16.
Rimes notes that the “intentional” choice to sing the words “the persecution of women, the fire has gone on too long” is a statement regarding her continued desire to be a passionate advocate for women’s rights, inclusivity, and social progress.
Plus, it’s a statement about reaching a point where – after 25 years – she’s finally exhausted her ability to “play small, be polite, and try to make sure people buy my music.” These notions are traits associated with his career roots in Nashville’s traditional country music industry. However, like artists like Tanya Tucker, Rimes entered the country music business before she could legally drink, drive a car, or vote in an election.
Rimes is now 40 years old and has sold over 20 million albums. She is also married, divorced, remarried and dealing with anxiety, depression, psoriasis and stress. She’s also starred in movies, donated millions of dollars to charity as a philanthropist, been around the world multiple times, and understood exactly how her family and friends help her and impact her. his existence.
Expect Rimes, as a fully grown adult residing in Los Angeles, to sound like the yodeling Jackson, Mississippi, native whose album “Blue” and single “How Do I Live” helped end the 90s to build a solid bridge between pop and radio-ready country. a sonic monolith is nonsense.
For most of the past decade, Rimes has attempted to grow, age gracefully, and remain personally and artistically vibrant in equal measure. Via “the work of God” it finally happened.
The most telling feature of the new material is how up-tempo his music has become. Her 2020 album “Chant: The Human & the Holy” focused on her fusion of Eastern-style meditation and traditional Christianity to help her overcome mental health challenges. Intrinsic to this process is the acceptance of percussive rhythm – be it the beating of a heart or a drum – to create a measured calm.
“Rhythm has always been important to my life and career. And now I’m at a place where, thinking about how important it is for all of us to live and work more with God at play in our hearts and minds, I really wanted to reflect that where my music was going,” Rimes told The Tennessean.
“Also, I’ve been a fan of Sheila E since she played drums for Prince. And she’s so good at what she does,” Rimes says of her work with the 64-year-old drumming icon. on “the wild”. Additionally, it adds a deeper note regarding the track. “If you think about it, there’s something gratifying about the idea that Sheila and I are separated by 20 years, and the success of Mickey Guyton and I is separated by the same amount of time.”
Famously, the Grammy-nominated “Black Like Me” singer recalled seeing Rimes sing the national anthem at a Texas Rangers Major League Baseball game as the moment that most inspired her to. pursue a career in country music. Now, whether on the red carpet or at an event like the March 2022 CMT Crossroads “LeAnn Rimes and Friends” event, they’re regularly in the same star-studded orbit. Rimes, “grateful” for Guyton’s continued praise, counts the trio’s work on the song as one of the album’s personal highlights.
A diverse group of stellar creators assist Rimes on the album, including Aloe Blacc, Ben Harper, Ledisi, Ziggy Marley, Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard and vocalist Tata Vega. Rimes had a glorious vision of what she wanted to accomplish with the album and remembers cautiously asking Lessard to participate. Once he agreed, she met with little resistance from the other participants. Efficiently proud of the recording process behind “God’s handiwork”, her eighteenth release seems to have brilliantly lit a new avenue to blaze.
Mantra-like statements like “something better is coming” and “there will be a better day” on Aloe Blacc’s duet “I do” and “the only way to make it happen is to hold hands” on his pairing with Ziggy Marley for the reggae-roots track “the only”. Additionally, the tribal marching pace of “throw my arms around the world” and his statements, via interview, of feeling encouraged by the ability to explore and confront feelings of “rage” and creative evolution denote that idea.
Two other factors are also motivating Rimes’ renewed interest.
“Streaming has revived my entire catalog,” she jokes, marveling at the moments at concerts where fans sing deep cuts verbatim, alongside songs like the soundtrack to 2001’s “Coyote Ugly” “Can’t Fight The Moonlight”. The idea that the totality of his personal and psychological evolution – while being more revealing of his whole emotional state – is received positively is encouraging.
Her decade-long creative and spiritual journey has also seen her diversify her interests in her iHeartRadio podcast “Wholly Human,” as well as appearances on the Netflix show “Country Comfort.” Living a life inspired by a blend of who she was for so long as a country pop icon, and now as a spiritually thoughtful and intensely thoughtful multi-trait creative force, has created a new space for what is essentially his third era of artistic growth.
In a recent conversation with the American songwriter, Rimes said: “As a creator, I strongly believe in not questioning what passes and creating what I feel and what I like. attracts. I am also constantly observing life to inspire my art.”
What does this art look like now?
Even though it looks like magic, it’s as simple as an idea that she also has, in perpetuity, tattooed on her arm.
“I open people’s lives and emotions to the work of God.”