"Borrowed" is a true gift.
The measure of a great song, at least to me, is how deeply it grabs onto your soul and emotionally connects you with the artist. Authenticity is the highest compliment I can pay a singer, and when they can succeed at deeply moving me through their song, make me feel what they're feeling, then they've accomplished elevating music to the transcendental.
So, by that standard, let me just say that Borrowed by LeAnn Rimes is one great fucking song.
I watched LeAnn perform Borrowed live on Jay Leno Tuesday night, and was completely blindsided by both its tender beauty and raw honesty. She leaves every ounce of her soul fearlessly exposed and vulnerable, for everyone to see and hear, for better and for worse, and quite frankly I couldn't respect her more for it. Other than Crystal Bowersox, I can't think of another female artist who has both the courage to sing such mature, complex and deeply personal subject matter, and also have the incredible vocal gifts to deliver it with such tender beauty.
Stylistically, it's a folk-country ballad, and would fit nicely in both adult contemporary and country formats. Of course, whether or not country music radio is mature enough to embrace Borrowed remains to be seen, but shame on them if they don't.
There are those who will hate LeAnn for being the "home-wrecker" who broke up two marriages with an illicit affair.. In fact, you get the sense through Borrowed that LeAnn is herself still dealing with a lot of self hate from what happened and how it happened.
Look, I think what she did was dead wrong myself. A tremendous trail of hurt was created from her and Eddie Cibrian acting on their impulses. However, doesn't the fact that she has a tortured conscience only make her more human? How else should she be dealing with it? After the divorces, they married. LeAnn's ex-husband remarried, too. Despite this, I don't think she has any easy answers on how to cleanse her soul, but she needs to move on, heal her wounds and try to live a happy and meaningful life.
My parents had infidelity issues and divorced when I was 14, and I bet nearly everyone who reads this post has either experienced infidelity personally or has had loved ones who have gone through it. While we rightly condemn the behavior, let's not be hypocrites with LeAnn and act like this doesn't happen. She deserved the subsequent feelings of guilt and conflict, but she didn't beak into an elementary school and shoot up a classroom of children, so let's keep perspective.
Anyway, in our plastic music world of formula dance pop and cartoonishly stereotypical country, it's so refreshing to get a strong dose of unfiltered truth from a truly adult perspective. LeAnn wrote and performs Borrowed without any thought of catering to commercialism, and because of that it just might become a big commercial success.
So, LeAnn, thank you for giving us the gift of your heart and soul with this song.. I hope you find peace moving forward, but maybe keep a tiny little pang of hurt in your gut that reminds you of how important it is to make the right decisions.