Couched in a few years of public drama, speculation and tears, ‘What Have I Done’, is a promotional single from LeAnn Rimes from her 2013 album ‘Spitfire’, that has been pitched as a song covering LeAnn’s feelings towards her ex-husband, Dean Sheremet, over her extra-marital affair and the messy divorce. For those who have somehow managed to miss the drama, LeAnn began a relationship with her now-husband Eddie Cibrian, who was also married at the time. Both divorced their respective partners soon after the information leaked, but it was a messy situation that played out very publicly, and friction continues to occur between the newly-married pair and Eddie’s ex-wife and mother of his two children, Brandi Glanville. In fact, new dramas between them reach the press to this day, so this song is hugely current.
Lyrically the song is an apology for taking advantage of a man’s love and hurting him, drawing particular parallels to LeAnn’s affair through the lines “For far too long I hid my face, I fed off your forgiving grace”. The narrative is simple and doesn’t draw on any specifics, meaning that LeAnn can also choose for the song to be fictional and the message can be transposed to any number of people’s lives and situations. While this is nice and there is plenty of room for songs such as these for people who need a song to describe their life, I feel that for a song advertised as her feelings over this very public mess that has occurred, and her regretful message to her ex-husband, I wish it were a little more open and honest about her own life. However, I don’t think she had a hand in writing it and has simply applied it to her situation, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of songs to narrate the past few years on her new album next year. I say this not so much as wanting to feast on celebrity drama, but rather to hear the musical results of all different kinds of emotions that she must have felt in this period. After all, her last fully original album, ‘Family’, was released before any of this occurred, in 2007.
It’s a good, solid, heartfelt song, but I fear it may be too stripped back and not overly distinctive enough to do well on country radio. It was released a few weeks ago, but I cannot find any information on how it’s doing, so if you know anything, comments would be appreciated. I like the deeper country flavor that this song keeps in comparison to LeAnn’s more recent original material, and hopefully this album will show both a musical and lyrical maturity that I feel we have not yet heard from LeAnn to any real extent.
However, this song is simply promotional (well, according to Wikipedia), and not an actual single, and the next song to be released from ‘Spitfire’ and her first real single from it, ‘Borrowed’ is released December 17th. By the sounds of it we’re in for a reflective couple of years from LeAnn and I very much welcome it. In my opinion, those kind of songs are the best.
You can buy ‘What Have I Done’ on iTunes here.