Over the past six years, country superstar Faith Hill has sold over 11 million records, scored eight #1 country hits, garnered numerous industry awards, and still managed to find time for marriage and motherhood.
The 32-year-old Mississippi-born singer has been particularly visible of late, having been featured alongside Cher, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston on VH1's Divas Live and serving as TV spokeswoman for CoverGirl cosmetics.
The 13-track Breathe the smash follow-up to Hill's quadruple-platinum 1998 disc Faith, covers an impressive array of emotional and stylistic bases, from the upbeat exuberance of "I Got My Baby" and "Bringing Out the Elvis" to the heartfelt sincerity of "If My Heart Had Wings," "There Will Come A Day" and the romantic "Let's Make Love," which finds Hill duetting with her husband and fellow country superstar Tim McGraw.
Hill says that it was her intention to challenge herself and cover some new ground on Breathe. "I reached a certain place last year, a certain level of success, and now it's time to go to another place," she says. "In order to succeed, you can't be afraid to fail. I consider Breathe a mixture of musical styles that reflects my love for country, pop, gospel and rhythm & blues. I decided to take some chances here musically."
The album also includes Hill's impassioned reading of Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind," which she recalls as "the first time I ever cried while in the studio. After seeing and meeting Bruce at one of his shows, that song took on a special meaning for me. The lyrical content is devastating and the message just hits you in your soul."
Despite her growing popularity outside the traditional country audience, the singer insists, "I just need to stay true to who I am. I could never just go out and make a pop record or, for that matter, a traditional country album. I can only do what seems natural for me, what is real to me. I just hope that in the end it works. I hope that I can create something, along with my producers and musicians, that will work across the board. As many people as I can reach with my music. I think that's every musician's goal."
by Martin Huxley