Out of a time of uncertainty and waiting on God was born FFH's first ever worship album, Worship In The Waiting. Since the 2005 release of Voice From Home, the foursome have parted from their longtime label, Essential Records, and have had their worship project delayed at least once this year, while undergoing a title change (being previously titled "Unto Your Name: Songs Of Worship"). The end result is a mixed fare of traditional and original worship tunes with a contemporary styling and a hint of Black Gospel here and there.
One of the charms of FFH's music over the years has been their mix of acoustic and pop music with their harmonies and passionate songwriting talents. More a contemporary radio act these days, Worship In The Waiting is likely to appease their fans and fans of modern worship, but there may be too little about the album that sets it apart from other worship projects. Surprisingly, however, among the album's highlights are primarily a few strong renditions of worship covers. "You Are God Alone" is a soaring anthem while the FFH team brings a beautiful piano-driven touch to the worship favorite, "In Christ Alone." Tim Hughes' modern worship staple "Beautiful One" gets yet another treatment here while the inspirational tone of "Be Unto Your Name" gives husband/wife duo Jeremy and Jennifer a chance to duet.
The FFH originals are about as hit-and-miss as well. The plus side to a few of the new songs is that most of them carry a distinct FFH sound rather than feeling so much like your typical format for a worship song. Title track "Worship In The Waiting" is among the best of these, inspired by the band's decision to seek Christ through worship while waiting for His direction for where they're to go next in life - and as FFH. On the other hand, "I'm Free" is an attempt at a soulful Gospel anthem for our freedom in Jesus in the same vein as the famous "Free At Last," but the song instead sounds a bit dated and unnatural for the pop quartet. By the time the five-minute song finishes with an overlong outro featuring a sterile Black Gospel choir, it fails to capture the excitement of our freedom in Christ that similar songs before it have been able to. In fact, one of the biggest problems Worship In The Waiting suffers from is that most of the songs just drag on much too long. "You Are God Alone" is nearly twice as long as it needs to be, clocking in at six minutes, while many of the other songs are at least five minutes or close to it. Some of the songs could have definitely benefited from a truncated length to keep it from running its course.
With an overabundance of worship music to choose from, FFH's Worship In The Waiting bears enough resemblance to an FFH record to not be completely lost among all of the other worship projects out there, but it doesn't skirt by without a few issues along the way. Still, FFH and pop music fans alike will take delight in the group's latest release. No one can argue that FFH's heart is indeed in the right place as they invite listeners to join them in worshipping God during the difficulty and uncertainty that comes with periods of patiently waiting on Him.- Review date: 10/28/07, written by John DiBiase
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