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  Ready to Fly
Artist: FFH
Label: Essential Records
Length: 12 tracks / 45:50

Awhile back, I had the privilege of seeing FFH perform live, and while I enjoyed the concert experience, I had never been super-impressed by the FFH songs on the radio. Oh yeah, I'd sing along with "Big Fish" or "Open Up the Sky" when they came on the radio, but there was nothing that really sent me rushing to get an FFH album. But a few weeks ago, local radio began playing "You Found Me," the lead single from FFH's newest project Ready to Fly, and I fell in love with it on first listen. Songs that grab my attention like that on CCM radio are few and far between, so I was interested to know if the rest of the album would live up to that standard.

I'm happy to report that this is a strong album. "It's a Good Day" has a catchy hook and a great chorus:

     Say hey, it's a good day, even if things aren't going my way
     Jesus is Lord and I am saved, so say hey, it's a good day

Well, subtle it's not, but maybe subtlety is overrated, and of course, CCM radio will LOVE it. 

The title track is a bit mellower than the fast, catchy tunes that have been FFH's radio forte. But the lush instrumentation, the beautiful lyrics, and the plaintive delivery combine to make a potent track that reminds us just what we are capable of when we put ourselves in God's hands.

     I'm ready to fly, ready to soar
     I'm ready to leave this world behind, I'm ready to open up the door
     I'm ready to fly, I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
     I think it's time, I'm ready to go, I'm ready to fly

There are tender and touching moments, such as the ballad "Follow Love" and the love song "Waltz for Jennifer"; there are jubilant shouts of praise, in "I'll Join the Rocks" and "You Found Me"; and as always, there are PLENTY of strong radio tracks, such as "Good to Be Free" in addition to the others mentioned previously. The album closes with "Here I Am," a intricately orchestrated song of worship and praise.

This album is beautiful and uplifting, without being mushy or overly sentimental. The album tracks are arranged so that the overall feel of the album never lags, something that has affected previous FFH outings adversely. Definitely worth a listen for any fan of pop/rock with an occasional edge.

Josh Marihugh 4/13/2003


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