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4.1 out of 5 stars
Fireflies
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2005
Wow, there are so many opinions being thrown into this review forum, mostly in the 2 camps of "best ever" and "sell out" camps. Many reviewers have made excellent points on both sides. I'd like to add a few thoughts, and an anecdote.

There are some good songs here: "Sunshine..." and "Mississippi Girl", for example, are catchy and pleasant. Many of the others are merely adequate, elevated by Faith's superb voice and presence. Generally, the album isn't all it could be, which is why so many reviewers are disappointed with this release. Faith usually picks better songs than these, though it's worth admitting that none of her albums has had the consistency in songwriting quality that, say, Jo Dee Messina had on her breakthrough "I'm Alright". Faith's albums are usually half good, half skippable. Her voice is what makes her such a solid artist. Okay, and she's pretty, but when I'm listening to a CD I don't care what the performer looks like. If the song and/or performance are solid, the CD works. As usual with Faith, the performances are great but the songs...well...

But then, after enduring yet another tepid duet with her husband - who also consistently sings and performs well, but releases so-so albums - and more forgettable songs, we get "Wish For You". This is a standout track, a beautiful lullaby for her children and for everyone who can still be moved by the power of innocence and hope. This track alone adds one star to my review.

And then we get "Paris". Amazon's reviewer may find this song puzzling, but I sure didn't. I also can't stop playing it, and it's one of the few tracks I immediately ripped to my computer. This is a 40s-style torch song, and Faith shows off the strength of her voice and the emotional delivery she can bring to a good song. The first time I heard this, I got chills. I think most people would, especially if they could let go of the prejudice that Faith Hill must automatically equal "Country". It's an incredible, powerful song. No, it's not country, but it's not pop, either. It's just good music - and worth another 2 full stars alone.

As for "Mississippi Girl," I have a true story to pass along: A former coworker and his wife and 2 kids stopped at a remote truck stop in the heart of the Midwest several years ago. As they were sitting down with their meals, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw walked into the restaurant with their children. Their entourage followed later, but Faith and Tim sat with my friend and his family so their kids could play together. Obviously everyone knew who they were, but nobody asked for autographs and they never acted like they deserved special treatment. They just sat and talked to another set of parents as their children played and everyone ate. They stayed a couple of hours, just sitting and drinking coffee and talking, and then both families went their separate ways - my friends to their car, Faith and Tim to their tour bus. As my friend told the story, he stressed that both celebrities never acted like they were different or wanted to be treated differently. They acted just like everyone else in that restaurant - good people, good parents, good neighbors.

So when Faith sings "Mississippi Girl," I believe that behind all the glamor and fame, she's still a decent person and a good mother and wife. Being a celebrity changes people, but I don't think it's changed her core values or identity, not yet. Please, give the woman a break - let's not tear her down with all-too-easy cynicism and judgmental scorn. It's just a song, and she's just doing what she does best - singing.

3 stars for her voice, 0 stars for song selection. Next time, Faith, please take some chances and pick stronger songs...
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2005
I have enjoyed Faith Hill's music immensely since her first cd TAKE ME AS I AM came out in 1993. I must admit, however, that I was pretty disappointed with her last cd, 2002's CRY which I felt contained too many ballads that sounded alike. I am overjoyed that her latest cd FIREFLIES is a well-balanced return to the more country-oriented sounds that first made me a Hill admirer.

One of the keys to FIREFLIES' success is the great song selection. John Rich of Big & Rich fame wrote three of the cd's 14 tracks, including the first single "Mississippi Girl." He wrote that one about Faith after spending a few weeks with her on a Tim McGraw tour that Big & Rich opened. Rich also contributed the power ballad "Like We Never Loved At All" which is already my all-time favorite Faith & Tim collaboration and the catchy "Sunshine and Summertime." Three other key tracks are contributed by singer-songwriter Lori McKenna ("If You Ask," "Stealing Kisses," and the title track). They add a sparse, rootsy sound that was lacking in previous Hill recordings (particularly the overpolished CRY). The underappreciated Warren Brothers also provide a nice change of pace with their footstomping composition "The Lucky One."

In addition to the great song selection, another strong selling point for FIREFLIES is Hill's voice, which sounds stronger than ever and seems to relish the chance to tackler a wider range of musical styles. Now that she's back on track musically, hopefully we won't have to wait three more years until her next cd is released.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 2, 2005
Fireflies is Faith Hill's first album in over 3 years. Although she did not write any of the songs on this album, I think that these tracks reflect her feelings and toward each subject in the song. The musicians on this album really shine too. Dan Dugmore plays the steel guitar and banjo on these tracks, and Stuart Duncan is so great on the fiddle. They accompany Faith by providing an interesting, energetic country sound to her vocals. My favorite track is Sunshine Summertime. It is great upbeat song about having fun in the summer by doing things like celebrating with friends, enjoying the sunshine, listening to music, and driving around in cars. Mississippi Girl is a song about how Faith has remained a modest, sweet, humble Southern girl despite her fame as a country music star. Faith shows that she still has incredible vocal range on this song. I also like the title Fireflies. It is a song that reminds us that we should always have something to dream and hope for.

There are excellent songs about different aspects of a relationship on this album. If You Ask is a heartwrenching tune about being in love with someone who has a drinking problem. This is a touching song about love and forgiveness. It is one of my favorites, and I think Faith sings it so well. Dearly Beloved is a funny song about how temporary love and committment can be in a marriage sometimes. Stealing Kisses is a song about a lonely wife who wants her husband to show her some affection and tenderness. I think a lot of women can relate to the lyrics in this song. Paris is a very pretty song about how all the little things you would do for someone you love. We Got Nothing But Love To Prove is a very meaningful song about a call for people to work together to put an end to all the violence in our society.

Fireflies is the album Faith's fans have been waiting for, and they won't be disappointed. I loved listening to this CD.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2005
The Amazon review says this CD is "schizophrenic"... that is balderdash. Ms. Hill appears to me to be showing an expansive range; from the funny and so true "Dearly Beloved", to the outstanding Lori McKenna songs, to the beautiful and complex "Paris".... this CD is one of the few I have bought that had me playing it three times in a row as soon as I got it.

Congratulations, Ms. Hill... you have a new fan.

- A classical music lover
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit that I am pretty disappointed in this CD. I waited for three years and multiple delays. When I saw Faith in Vegas in August 2004 she said the CD would be out Fall of 2004. Anyway, I could not believe the first track Sunshine &Summertime it was just fluff along with Fireflies, We've got nothing to prove and the Lucky One. These should have never made it on the CD, Faith is so much better then this lame material. I also felt there was not even one song that really struck me like in her previous Cd's, like Breathe, This Kiss and most of Cry. This CD is a very poor attempt at getting on country radio and this hurts me to say as I really like Faith Hill but save your money, Fireflies is not worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2006
Being a die hard fan of Faith, I could never be disappointed in any of her cds but Fireflies jumps around so much it lacks a true focus. She tries too hard to please her country fans on the silly "Dearly Beloved" and her sincerity sounds forced on "Mississippi Girl." She shines when she stops trying to please others on tracks like the beautiful "Stealing Kisses" or "I Want You." Other tracks like "Paris" and "Wish for You" are fantastic but they are painfully out of place on this disc. My approach to this disc would be to try to appreciate each song individually because they sound awkward together. Overall, I recommend the cd and most of her previous fans will enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2005
Faith Hill is finally back with a new album. Her 2002 album CRY did not win her any fans in the country music industry, even though it was one of her best albums. In fact that album became one of my all time favorites. After many delays, FIREFLIES is finally out in stores. It was a long wait but she delivers the goods. At the same time, it is not her strongest body of work.

Vocally she sounds wonderful on this album. You can really hear the warmth and personality of her voice on this album. I will talk quickly about the two songs I could have done without and those are "Dearly Beloved" and "We've Got Nothing To Prove But Love". "Dearly Beloved", while a funny song, does not fit with the cohesiveness of the CD. I don't care for it too much. "We've Got Nothing To Prove But Love" doesn't do it for me either. It's a song where she questions about what's going on in the USA, but I just don't like the chorus, or the song altogether.

The rest of the songs are good. She recorded three songs by Lori McKenna. The title track is one of them, a whimsical song about believing and still having a youthful heart and dreaming. "Stealing Kisses" is a favorite too, it's a song about falling in love with someone and getting married, but then growing old with them and all of a sudden there's no love. "If You Ask" is a powerful song about living with an alcoholic.

"Wish For You" is a nice lullaby. "You Stay With Me" is a great power ballad. The song with Tim McGraw, second single "Like We Never Loved At All" is a great song with good lyrics and strong vocals. There's a few uptempos like the opening summer jam "Sunshine & Summertime", one of three songs written by John Rich. He also wrote the hit single "Mississippi Girl" and as well the second single "Like We Never Loved At All".

One of my favorites though is the ballad "I Ain't Gonna Take It Anymore", a great country style ballad that works well for Faith. The album closes with "Paris", a beautiful ballad that is bound to become a classic.

Overall a fairly strong album from Faith. I think it'll do well for her. It's unfortunate she had to go back to making music others wanted from her, instead of what she wanted (like on CRY) but she still sounds happy in this vein of work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2006
I think that Fireflies is the best Faith Hill has ever done in her career. Mississippi Girl is a catchy tune that I loved from the beginning. Like We Never Loved At All is a wonderful duet with her husband Tim McGraw.Her vocal power on this song makes the hair on my neck stand up. When I got this CD and heard that song I was hoping it would be a single. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw always make good music together. The Lucky One is a very good song that people can dance to and it is very easy to sing. Her new single Sunshine And Summertime is a nice song also. I like every song on this CD and every one could be a single as far as I'm concerned. If there was another song on this CD that I would pick as a single it would be Dearly Beloved. Good Job FAITH!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2005
and in my opinion better then ever.

I was disappointed that Faith's version of the 70's hit "I'm not Lisa" was cut from the album, but as a whole the album is very strong and suits her voice well. I can't realy even decide which songs I like best as they all have their own great qualities.

Like we never loved at all, the song in which her sexy husband, Tim McGraw sings, is terrific. Sunshine and Summertime is catchyand upbeat. Stealing Kisses and Fireflies round out my favorites.

I highly recommend this to anyone, even non country fans. Faith has an amazing voice and she can make you feel a song like no one else can.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
"Fireflies" is really Faith Hill's return to country music. The first four tracks are more country than the rest of the album, but each one is catchy and makes you tap your foot.

The title track "Fireflies" and "Wish For You" are the two stand outs on ths CD. Both are very well sung by Ms. Hill and have me pressing repeat everytime I hear them.

We also get to hear her husband in "Like We Never Loved At All." Still waiting on that duet CD.....

Overall, FIREFLIES is a much better effort than CRY. Still not as good as "Take Me As I Am" or "It Matters to Me," but worth the money.
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