LeAnn Rimes

Unchained Melody/The Early Years

  • Curb

Way back in 1994, when she was 11 years old, teenage singing sensation Rimes recorded these songs and it's easy to hear what all the fuss was about. Her clear, sweet voice simply drips with raw talent. “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the title track are standouts but another song does the impossible. In the post-Whitney era, Rimes produced a version of “I Will Always Love You” that is purely and sweetly touching. Aside from the fact that all of her 14 years are, technically, early years, this collection is a highly listenable and interesting document in the career of one of country's biggest stars. How big? Rimes is the only country artist ever to win the Grammy for Best New Artist. And this record debuted at No.1 on Billboard's pop charts. Garth Brooks is the only other country artist who can make that claim.

— John Hassan