Spitfire is LeAnn Rimes' 11th studio album that was released on April 15, 2013 by Curb Records.
- Spitfire 2:56
- What Have I Done 4:21
- Gasoline And Matches 3:45
- Borrowed 3:31
- You Ain't Right 3:05
- I Do Now 3:53
- Where I Stood 4:23
- You've Ruined Me 3:43
- Bottle 3:34
- A Waste Is A Terrible Thing To Mind 2:57
- Just A Girl Like You 3:52
- God Takes Care Of Your Kind 3:14
- Who We Really Are 3:56
LeAnn Rimes began working on the album back in 2011 shortly after the release of her cover album, "Lady & Gentlemen." It originally had fifteen tracks, but it was condensed down to thirteen tracks (not including the exclusive live bonus tracks).
According to Rimes, "[the album] is a peek into my world; who I am, what I've gone through, what my emotions are, it's an intimate conversation between me and whoever's listening. I hope I'm saying things that are hard for others to express."
Rimes also stated that the album "covers a range of emotions that I've experienced in my lifetime, from anger to love, from frustrations to letting go" as well as how her and co-producer, Darrell Brown, had "talked about telling that story in chronological order, but that didn't work sonically, so he said, ‘It's the truth…in no particular order.' And isn't that what life is about?"
She also noted that "It certainly took me a lot of work to get to this point. And it’s still easier to sing these thoughts than it is to say them out loud. The intimacy in my music is just beginning."
Mike Curb also commented on the album stating: "We've always known she is a great singer, this album simply proves outright that LeAnn is a great, multi-faceted artist."
The album includes a cover of Australian singer, Missy Higgins' song "Where I Stood" from her album, "On a Clear Night" as well as a cover of Buddy and Julie Miller's "Gasoline and Matches" from their album "Written in Chalk" and features Alison Krauss, guitarist Jeff Beck, Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty and Dan Tyminski.
It is Rimes' last contract-obligated release with the label, Curb Records, of which she had been with for almost eighteen years.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Rimes went into the background of two songs on the album. According to Rimes, when speaking about "What Have I Done," stating: "[I] actually wrote it about a friend, but it was almost foreseeing things that were going to happen in a way. I was still with Dean at the time, and he heard the song and knew it was about [Eddie and me] before I did."
With the song "Borrowed", Rimes stated, "Obviously, it was a very controversial topic to write about...As hard as it was for me to write the song, I think it painted a true picture of that situation. I wanted to describe a very stark moment in my life. You just feel in complete limbo, and I felt guilty too; it wasn’t pretty at all."
"Spitfire" debuted on the UK Country Albums Chart at number seven on the week of April 27, 2013.
On the following week of May 4, 2013, the album peaked at number three and in the following week of May 11, 2013, the album dropped to number nine.
In Australia, the album charted at number forty on the Australian Country Albums Chart on the week of May 6, 2013.
The following week, May 13, 2013, the album peaked at number nineteen. On the week of May 20, 2013, the album dropped to number twenty-four.
In the United States (the following week after the album's release), "Spitfire" entered and peaked the Billboard 200 at number thirty-six and entered and peaked at number nine on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
On the week of June 29, 2013, the album had dropped to number twenty-one on the Top Country Albums chart whilst on the Billboard 200, it fell to number seventy-eight.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that the album is one of Rimes' "better records". He continued by stating: "When she's not collaborating, Rimes demonstrates excellent taste in cover material -- she records Missy Higgins' "Where I Stood," kicks up dust on Liz Rose/Chris Stapleton/Morgane Hayes' rockabilly raver "You Ain't Right," and gets down and dirty on Buddy & Julie Miller's "Gasoline and Matches," trading verses with Rob Thomas then letting Jeff Beck run wild—which gives the record dimension if not a singular momentum."
Erlewine concluded by stating that Rimes' label, Curb Records, "[isn't] banking on its success—but that's one of the reasons it's satisfying: all the loose ends, the deliberate detours into sounds both old and new, illustrate Rimes' range and her skill, as she never sounds uneasy in any of these settings. It's not perfect—it's too long, its sequencing is haphazard—and yet all the music on Spitfire resonates, every song suggesting an avenue Rimes could pursue the next time out." Erlewine gave the album four out of five stars.
At Country Weekly, Jon Freeman wrote that "unlike most of us, she's also a damn good country singer. On her new album, Spitfire, LeAnn attempts to wade through some of what's happened in her life over the last three years—the highs and lows and the stuff in between. With that in mind, Spitfire is not all pretty or comfortable."
Daryl Addison of Great American Country praised the album by stating Rimes "delivers a fascinating look at her own hard lessons with one of the year's most honest and revealing releases."
Billy Dukes of Taste of Country noted how "Spitfire is a fascinating album, and at times one feels like a voyeur listening to it. It's like breaking into your sister's dresser drawer and finding her diary, but high-quality songwriting keeps it from resembling a childish tabloid."
At USA Today, Brian Mansfield affirmed that "Rimes has been making records since she was 12 but finds her genuine voice here, at 30, with songs so honest and vulnerable they'll provide her haters fresh ammunition. As fine and true as any country album released this year."
Michael McCall from the Associated Press gave the album three out of three stars and wrote a positive review stating that out of all the albums released throughout Rimes' career that Spitfire "tops them all." and continued by stating "[Rimes] displays a newfound subtlety in her strong voice on several songs, effectively using phrasing and shifts in tone to express complex feelings that sound as if they come from real experience. It’s too soon to say Rimes has finally found a direction that can carry her back to the top of the charts, but Spitfire does show she’s found her adult voice — as a songwriter as well as a singer."
Stephin Unwin of Daily Express rated the album three out of five and commented on "Borrowed" by saying the song is "the best riposte to the question on everybody's lips which is… well, if you don't know about the affair she had with another woman's famous man this will fill you in."
Unwin continued on about the song stating that "[It's] a perfect country song, gets you right there, even brings up a tear or two if you're in the mood." Unwin concluded by commenting on Rimes growing up and maturing by stating "we love, a mature, talented and affecting songwriter, who is also a human being. Sounds naff, right? Maybe, until you hear the songs."
Alan Light of The New York Times stated "It’s unclear [though] how Spitfire will be received by country music fans. Having left Nashville for Los Angeles, become fodder for the scandal sheets and recorded an album that doesn’t sound like the glossy hits on country radio, Ms. Rimes is far from a sure thing commercially." Light also added that “Spitfire... represents the boldest steps — in both music and lyrics — of her career.”