Rimes Needs Time to Grow : LEANN RIMES "Blue" Curb, ** 1/2

This country prodigy from Dallas may be only 13 but, as her knockout single "Blue" proves, she's anything but green.

The way she resurrects the sound and spirit of Patsy Cline on that tune would be remarkable by any standard--at so tender an age it borders on the miraculous. Nothing else here equals "Blue," though her duet with Eddy Arnold on his 1955 hit "Cattle Call" brings her back near the same ballpark.

Along with the Cline-like purity, Rimes displays the unbridled power and freshness you'd expect from a teenager. In an ideal world, she'd bring all that to bear on songs that tap her youthful zeal. Instead, too many on this major-label debut require a level of experience that's clearly beyond her years.

There's no question Rimes has been blessed with a magnificent voice. Let's hope she'll be given a few years--say, at least until she's out of high school--to let her natural talent mature.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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