My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: LeAnn Rimes – ‘How To Kiss A Boy’

leann-rimes-how-to-kiss-a-boy-2016Whenever I listen to a new single from LeAnn Rimes I’m left pondering how she’s figured out what no other mainstream female seems to understand. The art of song selection isn’t about finding singles for today as much as it is selecting material built to last. With “How To Kiss A Boy,” Rimes has chosen one such song.

Written by Lori McKenna and Barry Dean, “How To Kiss A Boy” is a gut wrenching meditation in heartbreak centered on rejection:

Then one night he calls you

Says it didn’t mean a thing

And you feel a break inside you

And you’re filled with disbelief

But you still let him come over

And he’s trembling when he says

Oh, baby, I’m sorry

Rimes’ devastation is brilliantly conveyed in her tender reading of McKenna’s pitch-perfect story. Her voice has never sounded more nuanced nor has been given quite this masterful a showcase to put it on display. The production, while stunningly simplistic, is heavy-handed and could’ve used a bit more texture to add flavor. But even without minor adjustments towards the country genre, “How To Kiss A Boy” is a classic record, through and through.

Grade: A

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8 responses to “Single Review: LeAnn Rimes – ‘How To Kiss A Boy’

  1. Stan Zorin November 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

    “Heavy handed” is the right description of the hammering on the keyboard in this musical piece.

  2. Ken November 2, 2016 at 8:39 am

    BORING. Her voice is as good as ever but this song is a yawner. If this is the version being released to radio it’s DOA.

    • Jonathan Pappalardo November 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

      LeAnn Rimes is DOA no matter what she does at this point. But this is a UK single (her new record label is RCA UK) so it might perform better over there (although I honestly have no idea). They are far more forgiving than we are, to the Dixie Chicks at least.

      • Stan Zorin November 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        The vocal needs harmony, an accompanying softer sound, preferably by a musical instrument. At the moment the song sounds as if it was a demo made by a singer. I agree with the reviewer, it sounds half made. Also, this song is not something which would grab an attention in a busy truck stop diner. It is for listening at home or at an intimate venue. Then it can shine..

        • Stan Zorin November 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm

          LeAnn should not have diverted her singing talent to the swamp of the Pop music. Sadly, her career represents a waste of a very good singing voice. Even worse that a waste of Faith Hill’s talent.

  3. Paul W Dennis November 3, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    I agree – this does sound like an unfinished product. It also sounds like sludgy MOR pop

  4. albert November 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I am SO happy that Lee Ann Rimes never got swept up in the country radio commercial game . She is so much more talented than what that forum allows. This is one of the absolutely finest voices in all of music , not just country/pop..(whatever its called these days ) and this performance accompanied by only a pianist ( and a fine one ) demonstrates that .

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