My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: LeAnn Rimes – ‘Borrowed’

borrowedWhereas many female artists in her situation would have chosen to ignore the elephant in the room, LeAnn Rimes has tackled the subject of her own infidelity head on with her latest single release. ‘Borrowed’, which was written by Rimes along with Darrell Brown and David Baerwald, is the advance single from her upcoming album Spitfire, which is slated to be released in the spring. It’s a bold move, and one potentially fraught with peril, as country radio and its audience may very well view the record as an attempt to capitalize on her recent tabloid notoriety.

‘Borrowed’ is sung from the point of the view of an unrepentant other woman, who knows her lover doesn’t belong to her, but she doesn’t want to give him back. Putting LeAnn’s personal conduct aside, and judging the song on its own merits, ‘Borrowed’ is the best single that she’s released in years. It’s a much more understated performance than we’re used to hearing from her, with an acoustic guitar and a gentle steel guitar providing the main instrumentation. There is the usual problem of LeAnn’s inability to clearly enunciate her words, but aside from that there’s little here that I can find fault with.

It remains to be seen if country radio will forgive Rimes for her transgressions, but even if they do, ‘Borrowed’ faces an uphill climb, as a quiet ballad sung by a female in atmosphere that prefers loud, redneck anthems sung by men. Another artist without LeAnn’s personal baggage might stand a better chance, but I suspect that there will be a backlash against this song, which is a shame because it’s the first thing that Rimes has done in quite some time that is even remotely interesting.

Listen to it here.

Grade: B+

6 responses to “Single Review: LeAnn Rimes – ‘Borrowed’

  1. Occasional Hope January 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I like this it’s one of her most mature vocal performances.

  2. Ben Foster January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    it’s the first thing that Rimes has done in quite some time that is even remotely interesting.

    Okay, I’ll ask. What about “What Have I Done”? “What I Cannot Change”? “Nothin’ Better to Do”? The Lady & Gentlemen album?

  3. J.R. Journey January 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I’m a little surprised at the near-universal praise this and “What Have I Done” are getting. To me, both are just boring songs – and nowhere near as good as the Lady & Gentlemen album.

    This track suffers from a terribly lumbering tempo and aside from chronicling Rimes’ own life, I don’t hear anything new or interesting in the lyrics.

    • Ben Foster January 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      I love “What Have I Done,” but I actually do agree with your assessment on this particular song. Nothing about the scenario feels particularly novel to me, though the the song is competently sung and produced.

      This is largely beside the point, but I don’t really see it as a reflection of her situation with Eddie Cibrian either. She didn’t exactly ‘borrow’ him – she took him and kept him.

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