10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

FFH’s pop/rock sound gets an appealing makeover on Wide Open Spaces, the veteran Christian group’s first new release in three years. Now reduced to the creative nucleus of Jeromy and Jennifer Diebler, the band adopts a sparser, more nuanced musical approach while retaining its feel for song hooks. Throughout the album, the Dieblers touch upon their own personal upheavals, including their 2006 move to South Africa and Jeromy’s ongoing battle with MS. Tracks like “What It Feels Like,” “Undone” and “Who I’m Gonna Be” grapple with moments of confusion and self-doubt, framed by supple arrangements blending acoustic guitar and mandolin with gospel-tinged keyboards. Jennifer’s unguarded vocals on the title tune capture the risk-taking spirit of the album especially well. Jeromy lightens things up a bit as he takes the lead on “The Time Of My Life” (a summery beach vignette) and “I Don’t Care Anymore” (a breezy farewell to familiar faces and habits). Though the album is on the serious side, warm-hearted radio fare like “Hold On To Me” provides a link to the band’s hit-making earlier days.

EDITORS’ NOTES

FFH’s pop/rock sound gets an appealing makeover on Wide Open Spaces, the veteran Christian group’s first new release in three years. Now reduced to the creative nucleus of Jeromy and Jennifer Diebler, the band adopts a sparser, more nuanced musical approach while retaining its feel for song hooks. Throughout the album, the Dieblers touch upon their own personal upheavals, including their 2006 move to South Africa and Jeromy’s ongoing battle with MS. Tracks like “What It Feels Like,” “Undone” and “Who I’m Gonna Be” grapple with moments of confusion and self-doubt, framed by supple arrangements blending acoustic guitar and mandolin with gospel-tinged keyboards. Jennifer’s unguarded vocals on the title tune capture the risk-taking spirit of the album especially well. Jeromy lightens things up a bit as he takes the lead on “The Time Of My Life” (a summery beach vignette) and “I Don’t Care Anymore” (a breezy farewell to familiar faces and habits). Though the album is on the serious side, warm-hearted radio fare like “Hold On To Me” provides a link to the band’s hit-making earlier days.

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