Hope This Finds You Well
is something of a career retrospective, pulling tracks from all three of Further Seems Forever
's studio albums and throwing in covers, rare songs, and B-sides for good measure. However, seeing as the Florida five-piece have seen as many lead singers as records, the album resonates as a compilation of similar sounding bands instead of just the one. But that's kinda how their career played out anyways, so really it's fitting all the same. The differing voices ultimately make the retrospective a fun listen, because overly opinionated fans can easily dissect the band's sound through the years ("Chris' songs are better." "No, Jason kicked ass." "Whatever, Jon rules."), thus lending itself to a rousing game of name-that-singer. Though the main vocals may be inconsistent from song to song, the music rarely falters, justly proving that Further Seems Forever
was much more than just Chris Carrabba
's ex-band -- even if their Christian-tinged brand of emocore somewhat struggled to sidestep the shadow lingering in his wake among members of the punk community. It's too bad because Further Seems Forever
was definitely one of the more interesting bands of the late-'90s emo wave. Even with sporadic religious themes, the band never confined themselves to just lessons of faith and their fan base reached far into the secular community. Their sense of melody soared and crunched alongside introspective lyrics, perfect for those times after school spent hanging out and falling in and out of love. Hope This Finds You Well
is thus a fitting collection of songs to represent Further Seems Forever
's assorted -- though consistent -- career, a must-have for fans and aspiring emo groupies alike.