No subject is taboo for country singer LeAnn Rimes as she digs deep into her soul on her new album "Spitfire."
The 30-year-old Grammy Award winner and former child star who had a hit song at age 13, said she wrote the deepest lyrics she has ever written on the album.
Some of the songs are about her relationship with husband, actor Eddie Cibrian. Their affair, which began more than four years ago while they were both married to other people, caused a scandal that was played out in tabloid magazines.
Other songs are about dealing with difficult times.
"There is every emotion a human being could experience on this record. I'm most proud that I can evoke these emotions in everyone," Rimes told Reuters.
"After 20 years of making music, it's a completely different place to be singing and writing from," she said. "These songs are my emotional truth."
In the title track, Rimes suggests if she could "untie" her tongue she would "use it like a whip, and watch you run," and refuses to get stuck in the "muck and mire" of "a dirty little liar." she writes: "You make me want to spit fire."
In "What Have I Done," with harmonies provided by bluegrass great Alison Krauss, a woman wonders what she has done and asks for understanding from her "first love, but not her last."
"I wrote 'What Have I Done' about five years ago, before everything happened," Rimes said, in a reference to Cibrian, who starred in TV series "CSI: Miami."
"I wrote it about a friend and her relationship, but I think I was really writing it about myself. Another song, 'Borrowed,' was really the anchor for how the rest of the album unfolded."
"Borrowed" is written from the perspective of a woman who begs her lover to hold her tight because she knows he is only borrowed for the brief moments they have together.
WEATHERING HARD TIMES
Rimes said because Cibrian is also in the entertainment business he understands where she is coming from and is very supportive of her endeavors.
"It's amazing to have that support and understanding of what it is to tell a story and be an artist, and he's never said, 'You can't say that," she said.
The singer, who is stepmother to Cibrian's sons, Mason, 10, and Jake, 6, admits it takes effort to make it all work. The boys spend half their time with their mother, Brandi Glanville, who stars in the TV show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
"It's not easy to go back and forth between two homes," she explained. "The way our relationship has unfolded has been really beautiful. We go through definite moments of ups and downs, as any blended family would, but they are very loving kids."
While performing the songs in concert, Rimes, who sought treatment for anxiety and stress last year, said she has found kindred spirits and fans who have thanked her for having the courage to write about things they have gone through themselves.
"I realized that just because I'm in the public eye and people are writing about it all the time as though I'm the only one, I'm not," Rimes said. "I'm human, like everybody else."
She has no regrets about writing such personal songs, she said.
"For the last four-and-a-half years people have written whatever they wanted to in order to sell magazines. It was completely the opposite of what I was really living. My life in the tabloids was far worse than anything I've ever lived," she explained.
Listening to the new album is "almost like being a fly on the wall for this conversation I'm having with myself," Rimes said. She expressed hope that fans will understand she is human and a woman who had a moment of confusion on so many different levels, and went on to write about it.
"On the other side of it I'm happy, still confused at times, but I am real. I hope now people can see the reality in my music and the humanity that's there, very much in the forefront on this record. I hope to always write from this place," she said.