On her third album, simply titled Faith, Faith Hill put all her chips on a big pop crossover move, picking songs by Diane Warren and Sheryl Crow to sing and giving the entire album a sleek, glossy finish that makes it as comfortable on adult comptemporary radio as it would be on country radio. This may not be country in its sound but it is in its sentiment, as it celebrates love -- there are no heartbreak songs here, just love songs -- hope and optimism, where "The Secret of Life" is a good cup of coffee, mom's apple pie and a beautiful woman: all things that make it comfortable, mature pop. Unlike Shania Twain, Hill never goes for big, outsized gestures -- there's no glamour or glitz here, nor is there much humor, as there is on The Woman in Me and Come on Over -- she goes for cozy and comforting, and while that can make Faith a little bit too warm and fuzzy (and despite its sheen, it does feel warm) for some tastes, it nevertheless is an expert middle of the road pop album, one that goes down easy, one that blends into the background yet is melodic and endearing enough to be listened to closely, and that's due to Hill's strong voice and open personality. This is before she became a diva -- it's what gave her that status and while that is a subtle difference, it is nonetheless an important one.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Tim McGraw