Spitfire by LeAnn Rimes

Try, if you can, to let go of your personal convictions about LeAnn Rimes’ affair with and marriage to Eddie Cibrian.

She’s probably turned to Twitter once too often through the saga, but whatever. She’s human and prone to making mistakes, just like me and you.

Unlike most of us, she’s also a damn good country singer. On her new album, Spitfire, LeAnn attempts to wade through some of what’s happened in her life over the last three years—the highs and lows and the stuff in between. With that in mind, Spitfire is not all pretty or comfortable.

The cathartic title track opens the album with a swampy groove and lets LeAnn exorcise some of her demons against the Internet’s trash talkers. But she immediately follows that with “What Have I Done,” a sorrowful song she co-wrote not long after meeting Eddie, which should tell you where her head was at the time.

She earns cool points for including a raucous cover of Buddy and Julie Miller’s “Gasoline & Matches” featuring Rob Thomas and guitarist Jeff Beck.

And Darrell Brown’s production throughout strips off the sheen and gives the whole thing a nice earthy quality.

Then there’s ultra-personal songs like “Borrowed” and “You’ve Ruined Me” that speak very directly to her relationship with Eddie. They’ll make plenty of folks squirm and give ammo to her detractors, but you have to give her credit for being honest.

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