September 11, 1995 12:00 PM

Faith Hill

Riding the million-seller success of her 1993 debut album, Take Me as I Am, country singer Faith Hill played 150 concert dates last year, opening for folks like Reba McEntire and Alan Jackson and road-testing songs slated for a follow-up CD. That preparatory work pays off on It Matters to Me, a solid second effort that banishes any thought that Hill might be leveled by a sophomore jinx. “Let’s Go to Vegas,” the album’s first single, comes complete with Hill’s exuberant cries of “Viva Las Vegas!” and sounds as if it could happily skip all the way to Nevada. But more typical on this album is the sort of song that earned Hill a reputation for plainspoken independence, such as “Someone Else’s Dream,” with her vocals smartly snapping out a woman’s declaration of self-reliance, and the regretful, too-proud-to-beg “I Can’t Do That Anymore,” written for Hill by Alan Jackson. This album confirms that when it comes to country music, this Mississippi native daughter is right at home. (Warner Bros.)

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