Faith Hill – Breathe

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Album Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Already one of America’s biggest stars, Faith Hill is about to conquer the world too. She’s a multi-million selling chart-topper, critically acclaimed award-winner, face of the recent Covergirl campaign and Pepsi US TV ads, and she’s also graced the front cover of Vogue magazine. To cap all this her latest US triple platinum album BREATHE debuted at No.1 in the US. She’s already had a UK hit with the airplay anthem THIS KISS (No.13 at the end of ’98) and with the engaging blend of infectious country pop on BREATHE she looks set to repeat her US success everywhere.

In the US, Faith Hill has evolved from a country diva into a musical phenomenon. The album BREATHE topped both the Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart and Country Album Chart selling a staggering a quarter of a million copies in the first week of release. The album entered the record books as the biggest selling debut week album from a country artist surpassing both LeAnn Rimes (You Light Up My Life: The Inspirational Album) and Shania Twain’s latest album Come On Over. The single BREATHE reached No.2 in the Billboard Top 100 becoming Faith’s biggest hit to date – beating her previous best THE KISS which reached No.7.

A musically diverse and soulful recording, BREATHE blends Hill’s love for country, pop, gospel, and rhythm and blues. From the alluring title track – I GOT MY BABY and powerful IF MY HEART HAD WINGS, Hill sings with attitude, vision and purpose on BREATHE Other standout tracks include the passionate ballad LET’S MAKE LOVE, a duet with country superstar and husband Tim McGraw, the uplifting THERE WILL COME A DAY and her stirring rendition of the Bruce Springsteen song IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND. Once again Faith co-produced the album alongside Byron Gallimore (Tim McGraw) and Dann Huff (Shania Twain).

Faith has had an incredible run of 4 consecutive US multi-platinum albums -1994’s TAKE ME AS I AM (double), 1995’s IT MATTERS TO ME (triple), 1998’s FAITH (quadruple), and BREATHE (triple). Faith has been a regular Grammy nominee – nominations in ’96, `97, `99 – and has been honoured at the Country Music Association Awards , the Academy of Country Music Awards, Blockbuster Awards and TNN Music City News Awards.

Faith is also currently one of the most in demand live performers having already appeared at prestigious events such as the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1999 VH1 Divas Live (with Tina Turner, Cher and Whitney Houston), and she also performed the US national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl.

If all this sounds like a press release that’s because a lot of the above is! Faith Hill is an absolutely gorgeous superstar in the US and soon the world. Don’t be fooled by the “country” label. Faith crossed over the mainstream a couple of albums ago and although you can still here the occasional twang, this is an excellent album that even the most die hard “country” would like.

6 stars