Is anyone else tired of re-releases? We may be, but if there's one album that we would be happy to see expand, it would be
Family Force 5's incredible debut, Business Up Front, Party In The Back. The catchy "crunk" rock record
hit streets a year ago, but the album is being given a new life this year as it sees expansion to more markets known this time as the
Business Up Front, Party In The Back: Diamond Edtion.
The original twelve track record has been extended to a fifteen track disc, featuring three brand new songs recorded strictly for this release.
When the re-release was originally announced, four new songs were supposed to be included. However, somewhere along the way, it has been
whittled down to three. While this isn't a big deal, it's slightly perplexing in the sense that one song in particular could have easily
been added to the mix. The pre-release for the first release of last year's Business Up Front... included the fan favorite
"Colour Of Water," a song they often played live, even opening their shows with at times. Surprisingly, this song still doesn't find its
way onto this re-release, and the only possible explanation might be that it just doesn't fit in with the other new tracks (despite fitting
in just fine with the rest of the original record).
The three brand new songs are more serious lyrically and aggressive musically. "Replace Me," from the original album release,
was the last song to be added to Business Up Front...'s 2006 version, and the trio of fresh FF5 goodness is much more along
its writing style. The new tracks are distinctly more spiritual and in a lot of ways more serious, with self-explanatory
titles like "I Love You To Death" (which is more so a love song), "Face Down," and the grand finale "Never Let Me Go." In fact, "Face Down" delves into some of the
deepest lyrics the band has written yet, proclaiming "Fall down with my face down / Giving of me, myself, and I, it's a bittersweet
taste to swallow my pride now / ...If you see me standing back up again, just knock me back down so I can live face down."
"Never Let Me Go," a dramatic yet all-around signature FF5 anthem, boasts lyrics longing for meeting the Savior in person in Heaven
and the assurance of His care, I want some face to face / Just gimme that full embrace / What did I hear you say? /
That you will never ever let me go / I'll never know when it’s my time to go / One thing I know fo’ sho’ /
That you will never ever let me go." Each track bears more of an industrial rock flavor with edgier guitars and more screaming vocals
sprinkled through from vocalist Solomon Olds.
For those worried dipping into their pockets for the same record for just three more songs may want to consider giving the 2006 release
to a friend and getting this version as well. While the re-release could have been souped up with even more reasons to double-dip by
including a DVD with perhaps their "Really Real Show" webisodes and their collection of music videos or a second disc with remixes
and b-sides, the way the Diamond Edition is presented retains the integrity of the original record. Instead of just throwing
random fan-focused goodies on the album, it can stand alone as if it were originally released in this form. In the end, Business Up Front, Party In The Back: Diamond Edtion
improves upon what was already one of the most memorable discs of 2006, making a great album even better, and at the same time this edition
is proof that Family Force 5 has much more to offer ahead than just a fantastic debut.
- PReview date: 2/26/07, Review date: 3/18/07, written by John DiBiase