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Far From Home: The Essential FFH Collection
Artist: FFH 
Label: Essential Records
Length: 10/41:15

Here is a greatest hits album that feels almost perfunctory. Ten songs (the absolute minimum required to avoid EP status), all radio hits (no fan favorites or concert choices), and no new songs. Question: if the band's publicity material is valid, and FFH has had 17 top 5 radio hits, where are the other songs? 

FFH has always been built around vocal harmonies, pop hooks, and infectious choruses. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since they burst on to the scene with "Big Fish." The problem with their albums is that the music comes across so much better in concert that it makes you wonder why the albums sound so middle of the road. They are the stereotypical CCM radio band in approach, in style, in lyrics, and in their pattern of record releases. (It should come as no surprise to anyone that their next announced project is a worship album). 

Everything expected is here: "One of These Days," "Found a Place," "Fly Away," "Open Up the Sky," and "You Found Me," along with four others. I defy anyone to tell me which album any of these songs came from (other than title tracks), because there is little that shows any musical progression from one album to the next. Still, they do have some vocal ability, and it must be noted that Jeremy Deibler can certainly write a good hook. One just wishes they'd take a chance once in a while, as the material here is certainly familiar - it just isn't that memorable. 

Brian A. Smith
6 May 2007



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