Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, The Rest of Our Life | Album Review
Country vets Tim McGraw and Faith Hill join forces musically for collaborative album ‘The Rest of Our Life.’ Ultimately, it’s enjoyable and well-rounded.
Finally, the long-awaited collaborative album, The Rest of Our Life has arrived! The Rest of Our Life comes courtesy of country royalty: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. McGraw and Hill happen to be a married couple of 21 years, which makes this particular project even more special. Perhaps The Rest of Our Life doesn’t break new ground for either veteran artist, but it does find both contributing to an enjoyable, well-rounded country album.
“The Rest of Our Life”
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill shine on “The Rest of Our Life,” co-written by Ed Sheeran. There’s a soulfulness and old-school sensibility. Perhaps it’s the piano, organ, or the six-feel, but it’s clear that the classic vibes are intentional. McGraw kicks things off vocally, commanding as always, but also gentle and sentimental. Hill joins him on the chorus, before magnificently singing the second verse. The vocal chemistry is excellent. Furthermore, the vocal production amplifies the magic, highlighting the harmonies. The crowning achievement occurs on the thoughtful, high-flying chorus.
“Telluride” has a tough act to follow, but ultimately “passes with flying colors.” “Telluride” is filled with superb musicianship from start to finish. McGraw and Hill sound awesome during their respective solo turns. Hill gets things off to a fast, alluring start. As great as both have been separately, they sound like soulmates when singing together. Additionally, they get a lift from soulful background vocals. There’s ample soulfulness to be had here, as this song combines the best of southern soul and traditional country.
“The Bed We Made”
The Rest of Our Life continues on without a hitch on “The Bed We Made,” another song that plays to the couple’s strengths. Like “Telluride,” the best moments are the collaborative ones, incorporating vocal harmonies. The chorus is irresistible, connecting with the listener from the first listener. “Cowboy Lullaby” is the lengthiest song, just falling short of the six-minute mark. While it pushes the attention span, it continues a trend of strong vocal performances and the inviting, warm nature of the album itself.
For fans following the promotional campaign leading up to The Rest of Our Life, third single “Break First” adds to the familiarity of the album. Following an enigmatic instrumental intro, Faith Hill takes the reins initially, singing the first verse. Beginning in poised fashion, the energy level ascends beginning on the pre-chorus, hitting full-throttle on the catchy chorus. McGraw joins her on the powerful chorus, continuing a stellar vocal harmony game.
“You or me, baby, who’s gonna break first? / You or me, baby, who’s gonna break first? / Who’s gonna walk up and say ‘hi’ / Then lean in a little close to whose lips / Say, “What the hell are we doin’?’ / You or me, baby, who’s gonna break first?”
Later, both show off their powerful instruments on the bridge.
“Love Me to Lie”
“Love Me to Lie” slows things down, giving the duo a beautiful ballad. Actually, this is mostly all Faith Hill. McGraw does provide support on the chorus, bring back those – wait for it – awesome vocal harmonies. “Sleeping in the Stars” finds McGraw taking the reins, though his ‘ride or die’ harmonizes with him throughout. Still, he’s the dominant voice. No new ground broken here, but another lovely, pleasant song and vocal performance. Once more, Hill is front and center on the radiant “Damn Good at Holding On.”
Arguably, The Rest of Our Life loses a bit of its oomph with the trio of “Love Me to Lie,” “Sleeping in the Stars,” and “Damn Good at Holding On.” All three are sound, but feel more geared to being solo songs rather than equally distributed, collaborative cuts. The electrifying, feisty “Devil Callin’ Me Back” gives the album the jolt of energy it needs. It’s brief, but it finds both artists showcasing some attitude and giving their all.
“Speak to a Girl”
Early promo single “Speak to a Girl” doesn’t arrive until nearly the end of the album. Hill gets first blood, continuing to serve up a compelling vocal performance. Here she takes more of a developing role, setting up grander things for the record. McGraw follows, with a more potent, energetic performance, as it should be on the second verse. Both artists shine on their first collaborative chorus, with Hill hitting her stride on the bridge.
“Roll the Dice” concludes The Rest of Our Life energetically. “Roll the Dice” blends country and tropical vibes – an unlikely, interesting mix. It opens a bit on the corny, off-putting side. Once it settles in, it’s an enjoyable enough risk. Does it trump the crème de la crème? No, but one can see where McGraw and Hill were going here.
All in all, The Rest of Our Life is a successful for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. There were big expectations and high anticipation for this project. All in all, the veteran country musicians don’t disappoint. It’s not perfect, but the pros easily outweigh the cons, which are nitpicks at best. Hopefully, this isn’t the last collaborative album from these two treasures.
Gems: “The Rest of Our Life,” “Telluride,” “The Bed We Made,” “Break First,” “Devil Callin’ Me Back” & “Speak to a Girl”