Faith Hill: Songs That Should’ve Been Singles
The process of choosing a single for radio is often as arduous a task as writing the song. Each month, Sounds Like Nashville will feature a different artist and explore songs from his or her catalogue that we wish made it to radio. Make no mistake, this is no critique of the artist or label, it’s simply a list of songs we love so much that we think deserve to be in the spotlight. This month, we take a closer listen to Faith Hill’s back catalogue and find eight gems that warrant airplay.
“You Give Me Love” – from Faith
Faith Hill’s warm voice soothes the listener on this beautiful piano-based ballad from her 1998 release, Faith. A song that has her thanking a loved one for always having her back, she reassures this person just how much he means to her. “When my world is cold and I need a friend to hold me, you give me love,” she croons alongside soaring pedal steel accompaniment.
“The Hard Way” – from Faith
A song that oozes with soul, “The Hard Way” has Hill singing of trying her best to move on from a man who treats her wrong. The empowering anthem highlights the singer’s powerhouse vocals as she belts of “livin,’ and lovin’ and learnin’ the hard way” and hoping that one of these days she’ll get it right. A song that anyone who’s been through a breakup can relate to, Hill strikes a chord.
“Somebody Stand By Me” – from Faith
This nearly six-minute track is Hill at her finest. Written by Sheryl Crow and Todd Wolfe, “Somebody Stand By Me” has a gospel feel that suits Hill remarkably well. A song that has a woman lamenting about having love constantly slip through her hands, she questions what keeps her alone. With simple production, Hill’s voice is at the forefront while added backing singers give the song a distinct gospel choir experience that keeps the listener hanging on every line.
“It Will Be Me” – from Breathe
A poignant ballad, “It Will Be Me” has Hill promising to always be there for the object of her affection even if he doesn’t realize it quite yet. “You may not see it now / Love is strange that way,” she reasons. “What will it take to bring you to your senses and finally convince you it will be me?” If anyone can persuade this man, it no doubt is Faith Hill.
“One” – from Cry
This jazz-fused song showcases Hill’s sultry side. Accompanied by a slick beat, on “One” Hill sings of heartbreak in a new way. Instead of mourning the loss, she fondly reminisces of their nights together with the lights turned down. Not wanting to say goodbye to their love just yet, she reasons “before the damage is done let’s start back over at one.”
“Fireflies” – from Fireflies
The title track of her 2005 release, “Fireflies” was written by Lori McKenna (“Girl Crush,” “Humble and Kind”). A sweet ballad that has Hill singing of a happy youth where she believed in fairytales, miracles and fireflies, the track survives the test of time and would sound just as good on the radio today as it could have back in 2005. “Before you met me I was a fairy princess / I caught frogs and called them prince and made myself a queen / Before you knew me I traveled ’round the world / I slept in castles and fell in love because I was taught to dream,” she sings.
“I Want You” – from Fireflies
“I Want You” is a triumphant song that has Hill vividly detailing what certain species on earth desire while sharing how all she is wishing for is her man. “The drifter wants a freight train that will carry him another 100 miles / Lion’s only looking for something he can sink his teeth into / Oh, and I want you.” A unique take on a love song, Hill brings the track to life with her whispered vocals.
“Wish For You” – from Fireflies
On “Wish For You,” Hill sings of all the beautiful things in life she hopes her love encounters. A sweet sentiment, the striking ballad sounds as if it could be the soundtrack of a romance film. The song has a slight throwback feel with light percussion, soaring strings and piano accompaniment, making it easy to envision someone like Frank Sinatra singing it. But it is Hill’s airy yet soulful vocals that make the song entirely hers and a lasting one that has the listener humming along long after the song is over.