Nearly every song is a love song. Some praise a partner for fulfilling dreams and emotional needs (“I Believe in You,” “You Are,” “I Need You”). Others look past romantic disappointment with optimism (“One of These Days”), get dizzy with delight when love comes calling (“Love Must Be Telling Me Something”) and long for closeness across the miles (“Together, Forever, Always”). Rimes has her sights fixed on a special guy on “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.”
One line on “But I Do Love You” could be interpreted as young people sharing a bed (“I love . . . the way you lay your head upon my shoulder when you sleep”). “Written in the Stars” (a duet with Elton John) ponders fate, imagining God as rather uncaring and arbitrary in the game of love.
The 18-year-old Mississippi native has publicly disowned this album, which she perceives as inferior to her earlier efforts and claims Curb released without her cooperation or consent. Rimes really should take more pride in her work. Admittedly, I Need You may not win any awards for its artistry, but it delivers a decent sound. Better yet, it offers young fans generally upbeat themes with only minor drawbacks.