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Faith Hill - Fireflies
Album review by Cheryl Harvey Hill

Despite the fact that Faith Hill certainly doesn't need any vocal support, she has an impressive list of singers joining her on this album; Lisa Cochran, Kelly Willis, Rhonda Vincent and Bekka Bramlett are among them and the liner notes reveal an equally impressive list of musicians. Byron Gallimore and Dan Huff, co-producers with Hill, also recruited from the A-list of songwriters. One of them is John Rich, half of the infamous duo Big & Rich, who put his indelible mark on this album with his writing contributions on "Like We Never Loved at All", "Mississippi Girl", and "Sunshine and Summertime." Rich has made it clear that he sets no boundaries on where his music can go and, fortunately, on "Like We Never Loved at All" he takes it in the direction of more traditional country and gives Hill the opportunity to show, once again, that she is capable of standing shoulder to shoulder with any of the greatest voices who have ever graced an Opry stage. 

There are several up-tempo tunes among the fourteen tracks and one of the best is "Dearly Beloved," a certifiable barn burner and Hill delivers the comical lyrics to the accompaniment of some impressive fiddle playing. Throughout the album you will hear some super finger poppin,' quick pickin' on the guitar, banjo and mandolin; in fact, all of the instrumentals are first-rate. Rhonda Vincent and Wes Hightower are succinctly perfect singing the background vocals on the beautiful fourth track, "I Ain't Gonna Take it Anymore," and although the song selection on this album is varied, some of the songs, "Lucky One" is a prime example; sound a little too much like songs from previous albums but I guess that is not necessarily a bad thing. 

The liner notes list "Paris," cut number fourteen, as a "hidden track" but this is the first time I have ever seen a hidden track that is clearly not hidden. I'm not sure of the significance of labeling it as such, regardless, it is a beautiful song and Hill's voice truly shines on this track. "Paris" is a superb ending to an all around enjoyable album.

When asked about the albums title, Hill responded "The picture of a child chasing a firefly is something to which we all can relate. Itís something magical, it reminds us of a time of innocence and it reminds us of a time when we dream. I always fantasized of being a performer and now here I am doing just that. So in a way, the albumís title serves as a tribute to all the dreamers and I canít wait for them to hear it." Apparently, Hill's fans were just as eager as she was. The first single released from the album was the autobiographical "Mississippi Girl" which gave Hill the highest debut chart position of her career and also her fourteenth top five hit. 

To date, Hill has four Grammy's, three Country Music Awards and twelve Academy of Country Music Awards. There are several songs on Fireflies that are certain to add to the total and from where I'm listening, "Like We Never Loved at All," which has hubby Tim McGraw harmonizing with his beautiful wife, is certain to be one of them. I think the critics will have to reserve judgment before they consign this album to one genre or another. The over-all feel of this album is definitely more "country" than her previous two productions but then, lately it seems the only thing that relegates a song to one genre or another is the station that plays it. I think this album is going to be right at home on radio, regardless of the call letters, and I think that is a good thing for music lovers everywhere. 

www.faithhill.com 

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Faith Hill - Fireflies  track listing.

1. Sunshine And Summertime
2. Mississippi Girl
3. Dearly Beloved
4. I Ainít Gonna Take It Anymore
5. Stealing Kisses
6. Fireflies
7. Like We Never Loved At All
8. I Want You
9. Lucky One
10. If You Ask
11. Weíve Got Nothing But Love To Prove
12. You Stay With Me
13. Wish For You
14. Paris

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Real People Reviews

I have to say that this latest Faith Hill CD, except for a couple songs is a bust. First of all, she came out with new brown curly hair style that is not what most people expect of Faith hill. Doing songs about crickets and firefly's is not what I expected either. She is not touring to promote this new CD which means it is dead in the water before it even gets moving. Been a fan of Faith Hill for a long time but I think her priority is really her family and not the music, and it shows.
~ Dave

 

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