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Guide Me by Samer Fanek
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 2/6/2019
Something we can all relate to
Samer Fanek is back with a new album entitled Guide Me, hot on the heels of his amazing success of 2016 with the release of his debut album Wishful Thinking. Fanek is a consummate performer; his style on the keys has a certain dramatic flair that is really enjoyable, so let’s once more take a musical voyage with this new album.
So, how do you start an album of masterful piano with instrumentation? You start with a track that has passion, power and a sense of grandeur like the starting offering entitled Grand Opening, a composition that will have you wanting to stand and applaud at its conclusion.
Fanek also has a sensitive style to his performance structure as well; you can hear this on the composition called Long Time Ago. There is a soft but redolent charm about this one which is very appealing; it manifests a deep and reflective mood. Fanek has created a feeling of memory, a segway between a sad reflection of past happiness, which for some reason has now passed, but still creates a loving tone to his new creation.
There is a certain continuance of energy on this next piece called Newborn, but this is one to really pay attention to, while the start may sound tentative, the energy, build and construction continues to grow. Apart from his genius on piano, there is a soft and flowing backdrop of synths here to admire as well. This composition is very well named; one truly feels like they are sampling the essence of something new, fresh and very exhilarating.
Now You See Me is up next; here you will find a flowing narrative of piano that wends its way around the hall ways of our musical minds. There is a beautiful fluency about this piece that creates such a charming narrative of tone. The mixture of keyboards and piano work so well here and manifest an offering that flows so wonderfully, creating a tranquil yet driving energy, one that literally bursts into a crescendo of excitement three quarters into the arrangement.
This is the part of an album that I adore, it is the title track, and of course we are at the doorway marked Guide Me. Some have said that Fanek is one of the best young piano performers of his day, and here on this piece you will see why. Listen to his stunning performance on piano, the intensity of style here is truly dramatic and extremely powerful to witness, the continual onward energy just seems to increase, and the passion within the performance is so empowering.
We now drift over the half way line of the album and as we do so we come across a gentle offering entitled Guardian. Fanek has really taken his time with this one and manifested a piece that truly has a sense of confidence and security about its build and construction, but there is also a layer of sensitivity about this one that is deeply moving to listen to as well, this is a true feel good piece for us all to enjoy.
This is the time of day I used to rise and go to work in, as I had to start at 5am in the morning and Before Dawn, while those days are long gone, I still have fond memories from this truly beautiful moment of first light. Samer Fanek has set his goal here perhaps of creating a piece that is redolent of the subject matter and I’m glad to say he completely succeeds, that gentle and peaceful vibe is there that only early morning can give, but also a sense of reassurance that life is about to be lived all over again, and all is as it should be.
One of my personal favourites of this amazing new release would be this offering called Chasing Time, something that is impossible perhaps, but the artist has manifested a flair for the multi instrumental nature of performance and brings us a driven, powerful opus with percussion, piano and keyboards; contemporary instrumental music genre can only be a better place with compositions like this within it.
As we move into the deeper waters of the album we come across a real merge of styles, one that has a sense of the classical blended with the new age and the contemporary instrumental genre, all that and more can be found in the piece For Lila. One could think that Fanek is even treading into the world of movie sound track music with this fine offering.
It seems amazing that I now stand before the threshold of the penultimate track off the album; it is called Sense of Purpose. No matter how long you live, or how old you are, this is something we all need to have; this has to be one of the most driven pieces off the release, it has a beautifully exciting energy about its construction, one that will have you playing it over and again many, many times.
We now finish with the arrangement called Back to Hometown. I noticed that Fanek sites one of his inspirations as my neighbour David Lanz, here you can see why; there is an element of David’s energy on this piece, the fluency and soft approach, one that is stylishly confident and extremely professional. I loved this end offering and salute the artist for leaving a dramatic album with such style and class.
Guide Me is Samer Fanek’s second album, and in my view his best work so far, on this release the artist has clearly taken life’s best shots, and from these moments of growth, created something in music we can all relate to. Guide Me is an album rich in a dramatic style and ever abundant in the flair and passion department, however it also has some of the most charming and reflective compositions I have heard so far from the artist, and thus doing so, created a perfectly balance album for us all to revel in. This is an album I find easy to recommend.
Rating: Excellent
Eternal by Kevin Wood
- posted by Roberto Vales, Ultima Fronteira Radio on 2/6/2019
Eternal Gives us Back the Light
Each of the compositions has its own history, and in the words of the composer himself, represents his spiritual transformation after a crisis, and sincerely, if it has served to create an album like this, a blessed crisis.

The piano, the strings, the keyboards and especially the voices, have been conjugated to perfection to create a beautiful album.

We are before a brilliant work that takes us to the great moments of iconic names within these musical styles, such as Enigma or ERA, years in which the music was brilliant and that seemed to have darkened, but works like this "Eternal" give us back the light.

(Published in Spain's newspaper "Comarcas na Rede". Written by Roberto Vales)
Running Away by Timothy Wenzel
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 2/4/2019
A magical musical ride
The smoothness of texture that can be found in a Timothy Wenzel release grows with each passing album, its blossoms with the sun of a new spring morning and it is that very journey through calmness and serenity we travel now, with this brand new and beautiful release entitled Running Away.
Timothy Wenzel is a master of creating layer upon layer of sublime and calming music, with the upbeat start of Dream of Summer, to the dreamy melody of Dancing in the Darkness and more, each track, each composition of a Wenzel release is something to truly look forward to, like the title header Running Away, which is a fine example of the artists skill of manifesting a narrative within music that is riveting and packed with style and class.
Wenzel is also eager to open musical pathways and corridors that contain something different inside, like the entertaining and dream inspired Magical Pageant, one of my personal favourites, and then the one that really is my life story called, Breaking Free, a composition based on starting again and breaking the chains of all that bind you from making that change.
The album contains twelve sparkling tracks all with a distinct mood of their own; each and every piece has a story to tell, it is produced and performed with both a delightful sense of colour and a level of professionalism that is so nice to listen too. The album also contains added instrumentation from violist Josie Quick, percussive genius of Jeff Haynes and the charming tones of Jill Haley on English horn and oboe.
Running Away is another top class release from the scientist musician who originated from Michigan; and may well be his most successful offering to date; it is filled with enticing and exciting compositions that does the contemporary instrumental field well, and the sublime fluency and charm of this album will no doubt capture your imagination, and take you willingly along for another magical musical ride.
Rating: Excellent
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