Faith Hill

Warner Brothers Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez


Last century, I reviewed Faith Hill's new album Breathe. I found it to be a well-done album, mixing elements of both traditional country and 90s pop in perfect fashion. That also raised my expectations for this album, the previous one released and the one that took Hill to country superstardom. Unfortunately, for some reason, I did not find it to be as engaging or as original. Shocked? So was I. In any way, let's discuss the album a bit further.

The opening track - and the single that is easiest to recognize - is "This Kiss." This song became a monster hit for Faith and forced non-country fans to take notice of the up-and-coming diva. Still, I find it to be not as inspired as some of the tracks on Breathe. In fact, that becomes the biggest drag on this album. The majority of the songs are all right and decent enough. However, none of them truly jump out to grab you like the better tracks on the follow-up album did. The majority of songs, like "Love Ain't Like That," "Better Days" or "You Give Me Love" are only somewhat good. They, for the most part, just sit there and do nothing.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

However, as I listened to this album, a darker thought hit me. Were the producers, or the writers or the managers trying to turn Faith into a country-version of Celine Dion? Material like "Let Me Let Go" and "The Secret Of Life" sound like something out of Dion's repertoire. This dark feeling reached its peak when I heard Hill's version of "I Love You" which, if you remember, was done in Dion's monster Falling Into You.

Then you read that her duet with hubby Tim McGraw, "Just To Hear You Say You Love Me," was penned by Dion's favorite writer, Diane Warren. This is just too much coincidence. Luckily, Breathe does feature stronger writing and sound. I would have hated if whoever's idea had succeeded, but, as it is, Breathe does restore my faith in this country diva.

Now this doesn't mean that I didn't like the album. Some tracks are quite decent. "My Wild Frontier" is a true country track that is very good. "Love Ain't Like That" mixes some background gospel sounds with a country song. At the same time, three of the last four tracks - the exception being the aforementioned "I Love You" - are quite good. "Me" is very good, actually delving more into pop than country. Along the same lines is "The Hard Way," which I found to be a very good mix of pop and country. And the album closer, "Somebody Stand By Me" is very good. I'm not too into quiet and soft tracks as album closers, but this one fits great and sounds just as good. Here we hear Hill doing a very good rendition of Sheryl Crow's song.

Overall, I found Faith to be a much weaker album than its successor. Had Hill continued on this trend, I would have been quick to lump her into the Shania Twain-wannabes lump. Like I said, this album is decent and, if you're a fan, you will probably pick it up. However, I am glad that she did not go that route and opted for some musical growth. Still, if you want some good pop and country, here is as good a place as any.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2000 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.