LeAnn Rimes

Unchained Melody: The Early Years

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Following the success of Blue, the album Unchained Melody: The Early Years, a collection of recordings made prior to her breakthrough, was issued. Considering LeAnn Rimes was only 13 when "Blue" became a hit makes the whole notion of "early years" a tad bizarre, but, in fact, they were recorded when the gal was in her preteen post-moppet stage. The recordings on this collection, which range from a note-for-note remake of the Whitney Houston version of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" to Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" to the Beatles' "Yesterday" and a countrified version of the title track, cover a wide of array of styles, and are all covers, save for the 1980s-sounding "Share My Love." This album is essentially a LeAnn Rimes vocal showcase, as though the young lass had been set loose in a karaoke booth, which results in a record without any sort of real emotion or depth. Still, it works as something of an oddity, and the vocal chops, considering the source, are nothing less than astounding.

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