Entertainment Weekly (8/11/95, p.52) - "...packed with sensual, smoky R&B torch songs and titanium-hard hip-hop beats--Faith seems set to take her place at the top of the mountain of young soul divas..." - Rating: A-
Vibe (9/95, p.192) - "...possesses a perfect voice. Folks have likened that voice to rain, and it's an appropriate metaphor....can sound as lilting as a summer shower or as electric as a thunderstorm. Her instrument's potential seems boundless....more Whitney than Mary, more classic than nouveau."
The Source (9/95, p.104) - "...For those closet sentimentalists or those who like to get their slow drag on....when you're working with the man who perfected the remix, there's still a good chance that FAITH will not only be pumping on rainy nights in the crib but also on summer days in the Land Cruisers too..."
Personnel: Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige (vocals); Daron Jones (vocals, keyboards); Bruce Purse (trumpet); Darryl McClary, Timothy "Tyme" Riley, Herb Middleton (keyboards); Jean-Claude "Poke" Olivier (programming); Quinnes Parker (background vocals); Mark Ledford, Regina Carter, Akua Dixon, Judith Insell, Victor Bailey, Paul Pesco, Fred McFarlane, Kevin Johnson, Jeffrey Haynes, Lisa Terry.
Producers include: Chucky Thompson, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Jean-Claude "Poke" Olivier, Timothy "Tyme" Riley.
Engineers include: Rich Travali, Axel Niehaus, Rob Paustian.
Recorded at Hit Factory, Daddy's House Recording and Clinton Studios, New York, New York; Central Studios, Bladensburg, Maryland.
Faith Evans is no novice to the music industry. She has worked as a background vocalist for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Tony Thompson, Usher and Pebbles. She is also a member of Sean "Puffy" Combs' Bad Boy family, and FAITH is that record label's first attempt to venture into musical lands outside the hip-hop nation. The debut establishes Evans as a true soul singer, separating her from the pop-oriented R&B that has seemingly taken over the genre.
Faith's vocal style is based in the blues and gospel traditions, and the trumpet that enhances "Give It To Me" shows that Faith is just as comfortable communicating with jazzy instrumentation. "You Used To Love Me" is the closest she gets to a club or a jeep, but is still an example of the bluesy soul she conveys throughout the album. Although Faith shares the same producer as hip-hop-soul queen Mary J. Blige--who makes a guest appearence on the cover of the Rose Royce classic, "Love Doesn't Live Here Anymore"--her approach isn't likely to invite too many comparisons. "No Other Love" uses the same Isaac Hayes sample ("Walk On By") that made "Warning" a hit for her husband, The Notorious B.I.G., and is the kind of highlight that proves Faith's vocal talents surpass those of her peers.
Mostly comprised of ballads, the lyrics on FAITH focus on love and nothing else--whether it be the love for her daughter ("You Are My Joy"), or for her man ("Fallin' In Love"). Evans' writing reflects her life and her songs never address a something, but always a someone.
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- Smooth Jazz Tribute to Faith Evans (Various Artists)