Ever since they first recorded duets on each other’s albums over twenty years ago, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have seemingly been leading up to this point in their careers, where the stars have finally aligned to allow them to record and release a true duets album instead of a one-off single here or there. Now both signed to McGraw Music/Arista Nashville, the iconic couple has delivered The Rest Of Our Life and, boy, was it worth the wait.
Working with longtime McGraw collaborator Byron Gallimore on nine of the record’s tracks (with Dann Huff co-producing the other two with the duo), the record blends epic power ballads (“Speak To A Girl”), rootsy soul numbers (“Telluride”) and blends both of what the duo have always done well together with some new sonic tastes and textures. Opener “The Rest Of Our Life” is exactly the kind of song Tim & Faith should’ve released as the first single. But “Speak To A Girl” felt like a song they needed to test the waters with when they announced this album would be coming. Written by Ed Sheehan with some of his frequent collaborators, “The Rest Of Our Life” is an epic, passionate love ballad.
The writers behind Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey provide Tim & Faith with the steamy “The Bed We Made” and like “Telluride” it has a rootsy soul vibe to the melody which really blends their iconic voices together nicely. “Love Me To Lie” feels like a classic Faith Hill crossover-ready ballad where she can show off those powerful vocals while “Cowboy Lullaby” is classic Tim McGraw. These are both songs which aren’t true duets but more like songs featuring the other.
“Sleeping In The Stars” is powerful, potent and definitely something which is befitting of a soundtrack albeit a little sad in it’s story of eternal love after death. “Damn Good At Holding On” could be pictured as a song which suits Tim & Faith to a T. It’s a song which feels like a response to those constant tabloid rumors that have been there since the couple became an item two decades ago. I’ve always loved that Tim McGraw has taken forward-thinking risks in his music and “Devil Calling Me Back” is one such song, a song which blends bluegrass-like lyrics with arena ready contemporary country/rock production (not unlike Tyminski’s Southern Gothic album also released in 2017).
It would’ve been easy for the couple to rest and just make a single here or there but in the grand tradition of country duet albums, The Rest Of Our Life feels like a true partnership and in the case of Faith Hill, it’s great to have her back making music after so many years away focused on the couple’s family (Tim never went away, even when he had a public battle with Curb Records before a handful of successful albums with McGraw Music/Big Machine Records). They’re likely to win a bunch of awards from releasing this album and if that should come to pass, it’s well earned as The Rest Of Our Life is a mighty fine album featuring a handful of great songs and performances from two of country music’s best.
Maybe a record like this will inspire young country couples like Maren Morris & Ryan Hurd and Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans to record some duets projects or maybe, just maybe, inspire Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood to finally release a true duets album (and not a Christmas album). Until those things happen, we have The Rest Of Our Life to hold us over and, boy, what a placeholder it is!