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Far From Home - The FFH Collection

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
Far From Home - The FFH Collection
Sounds like … adult contemporary pop/rock reminiscent of Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Big Daddy Weave, Avalon, and Caedmon's Call.At a glance … you'd think an album commemorating ten years and seventeen radio hits would be a no-brainer, but sadly Far From Home – The FFH Collection fails to offer a comprehensive retrospective that honors the band's success.Track Listing Big Fish
One of These Days
Found a Place
I Want to Be Like You
Fly Away
Open Up the Sky
You Found Me
Ready to Fly
Still the Cross
Worth It All

Is there such a thing as a "bad" best-of compilation, if by definition it presents only the best? Rarely, but it's possible. Albums like these are less dependent on whether or not you enjoy the music than on whether the artist's work is properly represented in a historical retrospective.

Consider the career of FFH. In close to 10 years with Essential, they've released 6 albums, selling a total of nearly 2 million copies. The band has also enjoyed extensive radio play, even before they were signed—"Big Fish" was the highest charting single by an indie artist in the history of Christian radio. They've since had 17 Top 5 hits, 7 of them topping the charts.

Now glance at the meager track listing for Far From Home – The FFH Collection. They're all hits, sure. But 3 of the 10 tracks come from the band's first album, while Found a Place, Still the Cross, and Worth It All are only represented by their title tracks. Granted, most best-of albums leave out at least a couple key tracks or fan favorites. This one, however, excludes 8 radio singles, including the No. 1 hits "Before It Was Said," "On My Cross," and "Watching Over Me."

Which all begs some questions, like why stop with the bare minimum of 10 tracks when plenty more are justified for inclusion? Is success on Christian radio ultimately irrelevant to an artist's career? Were there no rarities or unreleased tracks to include? And why should casual fans bother with this skimpy overview when they can purchase any of the individual songs through sites like iTunes?

Say what you will about FFH and their AC friendly pop/rock, but they were an indisputable success over the last decade. The band deserves a compilation that honors their success while showing appreciation to the fans for their support—one that is at least fairly comprehensive, if nothing else. Far From Home is not that album, and there's no excuse for such a stingy anthology.

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