If FFH sound more brazen, resilient, and triumphant on Wide Open Spaces, there's good reason. In the three years since their last studio release, the group's core of Jeromy and Jennifer Deibler moved back and forth to Africa, Jennifer had her second child, and Jeromy was later given the shocking diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Dealing with these major life events leads the duo to new sounds -- slower, acoustic, and jazzier -- as well as new sentiments, such as Jennifer's lament, "I wish someone could take it all from me," on "Who I'm Gonna Be," and Jeromy's tearfully personal epithet, "How much farther must I go/till you say that I'm broken" on "Stop the Bleeding." Don't be fooled, though; this is the same group that remained in the Christian spotlight for the better part of a decade with saccharine worship pop hits like "On My Cross" and "Watching Over Me." The turns in their lives have simply given them reason to reconnect with fans on a more intimate and mature level. Their broader outlook on life sums up the album's theme on "What It Feels Like (To Be Led)," with the admission that, "This may not be the road I would choose for me/but it still feels right somehow." It's a stunning yet authentic message that resonates with their fans in a major way and adds to their legacy.
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AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson