As the official sequel to Blue (Unchained Melody was a collection of early recordings), You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs carried a lot of expectations. It was a record that should have consolidated LeAnn Rimes' status as contemporary country's brightest new star, but instead it does a curious thing -- it positions her as an adult contemporary crossover artist. You Light Up My Life has as much pop as country, relying on such easy listening standards as the title track, "The Rose," and "God Bless America." As a result, the album has a bit of a bland, homogenous quality -- it certainly could have used a bit of country grit. Rimes sings well throughout You Light Up My Life, but she often doesn't seem to connect completely with the material -- it's telling that a remix of her previous hit "How Do I Live" stands out as one of the finest cuts here. You Light Up My Life is far from disastrous -- Rimes has too much natural talent to be sunk by poorly chosen material -- but it isn't the great leap forward it could have been.
AllMusic Review by Thom Owens