LeAnn Rimes, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
LeAnn Rimes has trouble understanding what her Glasgow fans are saying. It wouldn't do to disillusion the Mississippi-born country-pop star but much of what she said herself here was fairly indistinct. This may have been due to the throat problems that saw her hospitalised last week - she's recovering with the help of drugs ("legal ones": we got that bit) - but her singing was clear enough, even if her impressively compact band seemed to be underplaying at times rather than make her work too hard.
Having achieved success on the strength of overwrought hits such as How Do I Live, which got the full treatment here, Rimes appears to be moving towards a more direct, dare one say, more honest songwriting and singing style. The songs from her new album, Spitfire, were among the most impressive here, with the genuinely passionate-sounding tale of adultery, Borrowed, creating a real ballad highlight and the rawkin' Gasoline and Matches, sung in partnership with her guitarist, hinting at hotter sparks to come when Rimes recovers fully from her recent health issues.
Her early hit, the Patsy Cline-styled Blue, was another highlight, introducing an authentic country cry into her singing, and if she didn't quite capture the lived-in bluesy resignation that Bonnie Raitt brings to I Can't Make You Love Me, there did seem to be something more behind her singing of it than just the fact that it's a favourite song. This was also a quiet ending to a rather brief set and if Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah proved a popular encore choice it had serious competition - audience response-wise - from the removal of her high-heeled ankle boots.