Single Review: LeeAnn Rimes “Suddenly”

Suddenly
Album: Twisted Angel
Year: 2003

LeAnn Rimes is abruptly on her own in the pealing “Suddenly.”

A punchy guitar with some subtle vocaliztion opens the single. Elated drums accompany Rimes in the verses. She’s disconcerted at the thought of no longer following anyone else’s rules. However, she’s eager to discover more about herself which she wasn’t able to do before. (“It’s Independence Day I’m free/And it’s a strange place to be/I’m gonna break these chains/Unleash the changes in me.”)

The strings cheer her on as she comments that she has her whole life in front of her. Every decision she makes now is her own. She’s hopeful about her future and embraces it. She wants to flourish as an adult not succumb under the pressure. (“I see an endless road/I feel the restless wind/I’ve lost the fear inside/Cause I’ve got no choice/But to live or die.”)

She’s by herself as she makes mistakes. While she lies awake in bed, she worries if she will make it. Whoever she is will become apparent. (“Suddenly you’re in this fight alone/Steppin’ out into the great unknown/And the night’s the hardest time/When the doubts run through your mind/Cause suddenly you find yourself alone/suddenly you find yourself.”)

She’s moved into her first home. There isn’t any furniture and she only has a suitcase full of the necessary things she needs. It’s early morning and she’s fights her apprehension. (“In an empty room/With a suitcase on the floor/It’ll be daylight soon/I’m gonna wage my private war.”)

She realizes the confidence she needs isn’t going to come at once, like she expected. She believes someone is looking out for beside herself. She knows she has to adjust to her adulthood and give herself time to grow into her new role. (“Who’s watchin’ over me/Must be a guardian angel/I just need time to breathe/And give my life/The best of me.”)

In the bridge, the music becomes softer as Rimes repeats “suddenly you’re in this fight.” Here, her vocals are a tinny. But it a gives the listener’s a chance to recover from Rimes’ ear-piercing shouts from the last two minutes. The guitars, strings and drums pick up with each word as she repeats “steppin’ out and then.”

It builds to the chorus (the last time it’s sung.) However, Rimes ruins it by overemphasizing every word. At the end, she screams a brittle, rough “alone” which only shows the wear and tear of her vocals over the years.

“Suddenly” begins promising but then becomes a melisma-fest. Unfortunately, Rimes feels like she has something to prove to herself which she unnecessarily brings into her music.

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