With her 1999 album Breathe—which sold more than 7 million copies and won her three Grammys—country star Faith Hill
moved into that rarefied air usually reserved for pop divas like Whitney, Celine and Mariah. Her follow-up, Cry, will have Nashville shedding a few tears, as it undeniably reveals that Hill's crossover is now complete. Featuring romantic adult-contemporary ballads that favor lush string arrangements over folky fiddle parts and lite pop-rockers that call for electric guitar instead of dobro, this disc is much more VH1 than CMT.
Lacking the down-home charm and earthiness of her earlier work, though, Cry could have been delivered by any of a number of singers. It doesn't help that, while Hill coproduced the entire CD, she enlists 25 different writers. Still, her song selection is adequate, and she is in fine voice throughout. Hill's best vocal comes when she veers more toward traditional country territory on the breakup ballad "Stronger," the album's most powerful track.
Bottom Line: Fair Faith