Breathe

Faith Hill

Reprise Records, 1999

http://www.faithhill.com

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/15/1999

Of all the country divas that rule their genre, I think that Faith Hill is perhaps the one that can appease both her diehard country brethren while achieving crossover success in the lands of pop. She has a set of pipes that can manage both the standard country-fare while being capable of tackling lighter stuff - and I do mean her voice pipes. After the success of her last album and its hit single, "This Kiss," it's no wonder that Ms. Hill would follow that up with more of the same in this one.

The album kicks off with "What's In It For Me," a rather strong mix of country and pop. The vocals almost reach into the gospel category. It's very good. Another great song in the album is its title track. If it is not a single already, it must be soon. This song is destined for the prom night halls and the wedding receptions of tomorrow. (Yeah, it's that good and strong.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Other strong tracks are Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind" -- where the band allows Hill to carry the work with her voice and provide just enough adequate backing -- "That's How Love Moves" -- where, even with a slow tempo, the band mostly works... though I would have cut out the violins at the end. Also, "There Will Come A Day," which sits between country and gospel, but, unlike Shania Twain's "God Bless The Child," works beautifully. My only complaint with it is that it was stuck as the album closer. I feel it would have worked better somewhere in the middle of the album.

And, include on that pile, her duet with country star/hubby Tim McGraw. Besides stealing one of my fantasies (did I just reveal too much??), "Let's Make Love" works great because it centers on the vocal talents of both McGraw and Hill. (If you get the feeling that I think she's got a great voice, give yourself a treat and move three spaces ahead).

This is also the cause of my biggest gripes here. "It Will Be Me" is a good song that is played at a faster tempo than I would have liked - oh, and cut out that instrumental bit at the end! "If I'm Not In Love" is also good, but I see where it's going a mile before it gets there. Why instead could they not just have had Hill singing this with a piano, a violin and nothing else? That would have made it much better!! "Love Is A Sweet Thing" is a weak song that is saved by Hill's vocals. And along with that, there's "The Way You Love Me," which also features the first sign of electronica I've ever heard in a country album. (Hint: the drums!)

Finally, there's a few songs that I just can't believe where added here. "I Got My Baby" is standard and by-the-numbers pop. I wouldn't have added it here. "If My Heart Had Wings" is somewhat good, but not by much. Then, there's "Bringing Out the Elvis." Why, oh why, did they add this song here? Did they feel Hill wasn't "rocking out" enough??? It's a shame and a shamble. Ugh!

However, this doesn't detract me from the quality of the album. If you're a country fan, you will like it. If you're a pop fan, you will like it. If you want to get down to the urban beats of the ghetto school, sorry, wrong album. Overall, Breathe is great and should do fine both on the charts and with the critics. It did great with this one.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 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 Reprise Records, and is used for informational purposes only.