"What's in It for Me," the first track on Breathe, Faith Hill's follow-up to her starmaking third album Faith, is livelier than anything on its predecessor, but that doesn't mean it's country, even if it kicks off with sawing fiddles. This builds upon the pop overtures of Faith and turns Hill into a full-fledged diva -- something that should be clear from the cover of Breathe, where she's moussed and styled like a supermodel. And Breathe is as bold and brassy as any big pop album, which only makes sense since this is a country album in marketing only: it's an adult contemporary album, as Faith was before it, but where that was a bit of a humble affair, Hill is perfectly comfortable with acting like a star here, belting out songs whether they're rockin' anthems like "I Got My Baby" (which could have been a big hit for Whitney Houston in 1985), effervescent pop like "The Way You Love Me" or a power ballad like "Breathe." She's still celebrating love instead of singing about heartbreak, and while this doesn't have the warm, cozy feel of Faith, it has a punchy, rousing feel that makes this an inspirational aspirational record -- something to push you forward instead of being happy of where you are. If Hill still doesn't have the gaudiness or hooks of Shania Twain, or the sense of fun, that's fine -- this isn't music for the weekend, it's for getting through the week, and it's as good in an office as it is at home, the defining moment of Faith Hill's superstardom.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Tim McGraw