Since the early nineties, FFH (aka Far From Home) has been making memorable pop music that has easily paved the way for similar acoustic and folk-based artists, like MercyMe, to follow. For a band with six studio albums (not counting several indie projects), seven No. 1 radio singles (17 overall top 5 radio hits), and a total of nearly two million albums sold, the question as to why a collection project would be needed is really a no-brainer. However, one look at the slim tracklist and packaging for their release Far From Home: The FFH Collection, and the questions won't be hard to come by.
Oh, sure I'm aware I may be a little idealistic in feeling like listeners should get their money's worth when paying for a record, but it's hit compilations like Far From Home: The FFH Collection that I find more insulting for an artist with a noteworthy catalog of music than honoring. Taking a quick look at the songs included, there are merely ten tracks from the band's six nationally-released albums. Of those ten songs, included are three selections from their successful debut I Want To Be Like You (1999), two each from their third release Have I Ever Told You (2001) and fourth release Ready To Fly (2003), and a stingy one each from Found A Place (2000), Still The Cross (2003), and their latest studio project Voice From Home (2005). What incentives do fans who own all of the band's previous recordings have to purchase this release? Not a one. Not a single B-Side, remix, or rarity can be found here. There are no new tracks recorded just for this collection. Even skimming one of their contributions off of the City On A Hill projects and including it here wasn't even considered. To top it off, the CD jacket included with the disc is a single, folded sheet that includes nothing more than a list of which songs are from which record. I can't think of a single reason for fans to waste their money on this project. It would be just as easy to make a playlist of these tracks on their iPod or a mix CD if they wish to have this selection of tracks in this particular, apparently random, order (even including the group's 17 overall top 5 radio hits would have made some logical sense). And with the group set to release a worship project in just under two months from the release of this particular record, it's positively baffling that not a single new song was included here to whet the appetite of current or new listeners.
Far From Home: The FFH Collection should be a major disappointment for any fan of the group who might have been hoping for some goodies to accompany their favorite songs. At just ten tracks long from six albums (and then some), there isn't a single reason for those who own all of the band's albums to pick up this collection (there really isn't even a reason for those just missing an album or two either). While the songs may be great acoustic pop tunes in and of themselves, it's the poor presentation of such a hits record as this one that ruins what could have been a really special highlight release to honor a group with plenty of accolades. Skip this one and save your earnings for the group's new project of all new recordings to release in just a couple of months. Far From Home: The FFH Collection is far from worth it.- Review date: 2/5/07, written by John DiBiase
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