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LeAnn Rimes’ ‘Family’ Turns 5

Curb Records

LeAnn Rimes had tried her hand at songwriting prior to recording ‘Family,’ but her influence was never as strong as it is on this album, which was released five years ago today (Oct. 9, 2012). Rimes is listed as the first writer of all 12 of the songs released on the standard edition of her ninth record. The result is a project that scored two Grammy nominations and a round of applause from critics.

Sadly, this is the last album of originals Rimes has released. When ‘Spitfire’ is released in 2013, it will be nearly six years between projects. Fans are no doubt anxious to see how the once ‘Blue’ songstress has grown between ages 25 and 30. Her divorce from Dean Sheremet is no small footnote, as he helped her write six songs on ‘Family.’ But if she moves forward with the power harnessed in singles like ‘Nothin’ Better to Do’ and ‘Good Friend and a Glass of Wine,’ she’ll surely find new success.

Critics like Jonathan Keefe of Slant praised Rimes for her presence on this album. “Rimes takes the first word of the album’s rambunctious lead single, ‘Nothin’ Better to Do,’ and drawls it into something with at least five novel vowel sounds,” he wrote in an article published after its 2007 release. “That isn’t something that happens by accident; it shows that Rimes has actually thought about how she’s singing.”

A theatrical video accompanied the lead single from ‘Family,’ and it became a Top 20 hit. After that, though, Rimes couldn’t find a foothold on the radio. ‘Good Friend and a Glass of Wine’ only cracked the Top 40, and ‘What I Cannot Change’ didn’t chart. The first and third singles were nominated for Grammy Awards, however, proving that success on country radio isn’t the only way to get recognized. Sometimes, good music just finds a way.

A deluxe version of the ‘Family’ album included Rimes’ duets with Bon Jovi (”Til We Ain’t Strangers Anymore’) and Reba McEntire (‘When You Love Someone Like That’). Rimes also played many of her songs with Joss Stone during a ‘CMT Crossroads’ episode.

Next: See Which LeAnn Rimes Song Made the Top 100 Country Songs List

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