Departing from the powerhouse declarations of love and sugary sweet sentiments that make up LeAnn Rimes’ latest album, Remnants, and her career in general, “Mother” showcases a never-before-seen (or at least, sung about) familial anguish.
Rimes’ relationship with her family has been anything but peaches and gravy. The lawsuit against her father was a well-known newspiece of 2000, but her relationship with her mother has been less in the limelight. This stripped down, no-frills track is the usually-tenacious Rimes at her most vulnerable. While the simple piano ballad is a cathartic airing of grievances, there is never an ounce of blame towards her mother for their rocky relationship. Instead, Rimes forgives her, stating that she knows her mother “did the best she could” and that she “understands” her now. (In a tearful interview with People magazine, Rimes revealed that a moment with her stepson made her understand “one tenth” of the protectiveness her mother felt for her. Out of that, the healing process began and “Mother” was born.)
According to Rimes herself, the song is about acceptance and “healing generational pain.” This is hinted at in the lyric: “We might be made of broken pieces/But that’s not who we have to be.” She goes on to sing about the dysfunctional ways the women in her life were taught to love, but encourages her mother to no longer “shoulder the blame.” She admits her involvement in their rift, singing that she added to the pain by “shutting [her mother] out,” and in tinkling falsetto, implores her mother to forgive her in return. However, the familiar resilience of the country songstress’ more bellicose tracks quietly emerges when she sings that despite her and her mother’s eyes looking alike, “they don’t see the same thing.” Ultimately, Rimes swoops into uncharted emotional territory without ever becoming melodramatic or blame-y, a considerable feat in modern country music.