LeAnn Rimes, "What I Cannot Change"

Simply put, this is the finest single of LeAnn Rimes' career, which already stretches longer than a decade and has included such gems as “Blue” and “Probably Wouldn't Be This Way.”

Rimes co-wrote this spin on the Serenity Prayer, and while it's confessional in nature, the sentiment of the song is still universally applicable.   While she sows seeds of self-doubt in the verses, she swears during each chorus that she will learn to let go, forgive and love what she cannot change, and change whatever she can.

The nuance

that was nowhere to be found in her younger days now gives the song its emotional wallop, as she uses all of the shades of her voice to communicate the complicated mess of emotions that she is feeling.   In a just world, this would be a career record.  Maybe it will be.  But regardless of how it eventually ranks among her hits at radio and retail, this is her artistic peak to date.

Written by Darrell Brown & LeAnn Rimes

Grade: A+

Listen: What I Cannot Change

Buy: What I Cannot Change



  1. I’ve been listening to this song for over a month straight now when I found this gem. It is truly amazing. I hope radio picks up on this song and gives it a good solid chance. Cuz this could be the sleeper song of the year, the same way LeAnn did a few years ago with Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way.

    Excellent song choice, I can’t wait to hear it all over my local radio stations.

  2. I’m lovin’ it. There’s few songs that I can relate to as well as this one. I’ve been going through a rough summer and I’ve come to the conclusion to accept the things that I cannot change, but to change what I can. I didn’t come to this realization because of this song, but I still feel it’s helping me through.

  3. Desired result: Leann receives a CMA female vocalist nod and performs this on the awards show.

    I hope the artistic depth she has displayed in the last 3-4 years will spur her on to even greater heights going forward. This is strength and vulnerability all in one fine 5-minute package—transcendent and just plain terrific.

  4. This reviewer is right on the money. I agree this is LeAnn’s finest single to date.
    She has continued to grw as an artist and especially has grown as a songwriter.
    I love the statement(in a just world this would be a career song).
    Sad but true. The world is not often just so lets see how this song does.
    It could and should win a grammy as well(I’ll be shocked if it is not at least nominated for a grammy).

  5. A couple of weeks ago, Gerry House played it as the daily “call in and what do you think about it” song. EVERYONE that called in LOVED it!
    That has been my only listen but I recall thinking it started off slow…. but it really builds into a “WOW!” performance./song.
    I agree with the earlier post that THIS is the kind of work that will finally get her to the next level.

    I really liked “Nothing Better To Do” and would love to see her finally get a nod for her work… as an adult.

  6. I love this song, just as I love the entire “Family” album.
    But I would much rather have “Pretty Things” as the next single. I think it would have had a better chance.

    Pretty Things:

  7. LeAnn definitely shows her stuff on this song. Shes always had great vocal range but here she sounds both controlled and vulnerable at the same time. This song deserves to do well and I hope it does.

  8. Probably wouldnt be that way was the song that drew me back to LeAnn as an artist — but this song is on that gives me what I believe in in life — you have to accept the things you cannot change and accept them and grow from them — and she does it amazingly well — I actually love most of her recent album — hope the she does well and think that she deserves a chance for this song —

  9. I am in love with the album version.

    This radio edit sounds quite a bit different though.

    Not sure about the twangy guitar.

  10. I heard the radio version the other day, and I was slightly jarred by the added instrumentation, but if that’s what it takes for this song to make it to the masses, so be it. Leann is not a gimmicky singer anymore, and I agree…this is a career moment.

  11. This is probably my favorite Rimes song to date–it is already in the top 20 of my own chart less than three weeks after first hearing it. With the ominous economic developments of recent weeks, this song should be a comfort to many people. Unfortunately, mainstream country radio has passed over many excellent songs in favor of bland pabulum.

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