Rimes, who so brilliantly kick-started her career as a 13-year-old in 1996 with the exquisite single “Blue,” has forged a rocky career path through the years, wallowing largely in pop schlock and making headlines for suing her father-manager and cheating on her husband. Those missteps tended to obscure her immense talents and also moved the Garland native even further from her country roots. Happily, Rimes’ realizes much of her early promise on Lady & Gentlemen, a collection of classic country tunes (”Rose Colored Glasses,” “Swingin’”) made famous by men and now interpreted from a female perspective. Produced by Vince Gill (who loved Rimes’ idea but rejected her song list and provided her with a new one), the album often takes great liberties with fresh, sometimes dramatic arrangements, filigreed with Gill’s tasteful guitar work. His own “When I Call Your Name,” for example, is now less of a high-lonesome lament than a bluesy declaration with gospel overtones. Rimes can’t touch George Jones’s pathos on her cover of “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” but she proves spellbinding on a jazzy remake of “Sixteen Tons,” which drips with female sexuality and thinly veiled seduction. When I turned off the CD player, it smoked.