I'll start by admitting that FFH (Far From Home) isn't one of the groups I've kept up with over the years. I've heard their songs on the radio and a couple compilation albums, but never really gave the group a good listen. I should have. Ready To Fly is an excellent album. The album is similar to their previous releases as far as sound goes, but that's not a bad thing. Ready To Fly offers a mix of upbeat pop-rock tunes and slower worship songs that really works.
The album opens with "You Found Me," one of the upbeat songs on the album, and features great guitar and vocals. It's a catchy pop-rock song about how God seeks us out and calls us to Him. However, it's also the kind of song that can get a little old after a while. "Good to be Free" portrays a similar feel and sound with the inclusion of a brass instrument. "It's a Good Day" is a feel-good, radio-friendly, catchy song that teaches us to treat each day as a blessing, "Jesus is Lord and I am saved, so say hey! It's a good day!" It also primarily features the beautiful voice of the sole female member, Jennifer Deibler. "Ready to Fly" and "I'll Join the Rocks" are two great tracks that kind of act as a bridge between the first three faster-paced songs, and the following more worshipful, meditative ones. "I'll Join the Rocks" features some excellent vocals (especially on the "alleluiah" parts), while being a great song about joining creation in worshipping our Creator.
The majority (but not all) of the tracks following the first five are slower, more melodic worship songs. FFH are really at their best when they're doing worship songs. Not that the more pop sensible ones aren't good, but they're incredible at this type of song in particular. "Follow Love," to an even greater extent than "It's a Good Day," showcases Jennifer's incredible vocal talent. It's the most mellow song yet on the album, but is a beautiful one about love and features a healthy helping of acoustic guitar and piano/keyboard. "Never Gonna Be Alone" is one of the fast songs in the last half of the album, and is actually the most upbeat one on the album. A stark contrast to the preceeding song, it implements distorted guitar and a much faster tempo. While it certainly doesn't sound bad, the chorus is not as memorable as FFH's other pop songs, and the song in general is probably one of the less impressive ones on the project. Thankfully they realize where their skills primarily lie and haven't strayed too far into this direction.
"Ready For a World" is another radio-friendly, contemporary song that is upbeat and uplifting. "Waltz for Jennifer" is a really nice love song sung by Jeormy Deibler for his wife, Jennifer. In it, he gives thanks to God for bringing them together and shows his commitment to their relationship. It'd be a great wedding song. The next song, "His Love Goes On Forever," is a really catchy praise/worship song that deserves to be in rotation at a church youth group near you. "I'm gonna sing, I'm gonna shout, I'm gonna let the reason out that His love goes on forever..." Finally, the album concludes with two slow and meditative songs, both of which are excellent. "If Not for Christ" features wonderful lyrics and vocals, and is simply an incredible song focused totally on what Christ has done for us. The last track on the album, "Here I Am" is another beautiful song like its predecessor that really showcases FFH's ability to turn out terrific God-centered devotional songs.
Ready to Fly is a solid album. For the record, contemporary/pop is hardly my favorite genre of music, but this latest from FFH is very impressive. While not every song is perfect, and a few of the more upbeat ones might get old after a while, the fullness and quality of their music and vocals is amazing. This is especially true on the slower ones and when all four members are harmonizing together. Not for everyone, but certainly for fans of FFH and contemporary music, Ready To Fly is an excellent God-centered and worshipful album that features both upbeat pop tunes and slower meditative songs that definitely make this one to check out.- Review date: 4/9/03, written by Brian Frantz
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