Women, Hear Them Roar

It took personal experience for LeAnn Rimes to get to the point where she could write, record and release "Family," the sum of a so-far extraordinary, but still young life. But just because it's a per

It took personal experience for LeAnn Rimes to get to the point where she could write, record and release "Family," the sum of a so-far extraordinary, but still young life. But just because it's a personal album doesn't mean it doesn't speak to the masses.

The title cut of the set, due this week via Curb, is a rocking and defiant warning that no matter what happens, her family stands together. First single "Nothin' Better to Do" is a down and dirty tale of a young woman who knows how to toy with the boys. "We Ain't Doin' Nothing Wrong" with Marc Broussard is playful and sexy, while "Pretty Things" is a tender description of a mother-daughter relationship.

Vanessa Carlton, who, like Rimes, has grown up in the spotlight, also returns this week with a new album, "Heroes & Thieves." The set is her debut for a surprising label: hip-hop music entrepreneur Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo's the Inc.

"It's a pretty uplifting album with a lot of layers going on in," Carlton says. "[There are] very complex arrangements but everything just makes me feel good and not in a simplistic way. It's the most honest album I ever made, and it's the only record I've made that I really look at as a body of work as opposed to a bunch of songs put together. I think that shows. It really does feel like a real album."