On his third album, Samer Fanek takes us on a musical rollercoaster ride. “Polarized” shows life as it really is; a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. It is a mature and easy-to-like release, filled with wonderful déjà vu moments. While his previous albums have a more searching and inquisitive vibe, “Polarized” establishes Samer Fanek as an essential artist in any decent New Age music collection.
Samer Fanek is a Polish-Jordanian pianist, keyboardist, composer, and producer of contemporary instrumental music. “Polarized” is recorded in Fanek’s home studio in Daly City, California. He debuted in 2016 with “Wishful Thinking”, which earned him several awards, including Best New Age Music Debut Album here on Newagemusic.guide. In December 2018, Fanek released his second album “Guide Me”. “Just Like The Wind” is the first single from “Polarized”, released in February 2020. In our review, we wrote: “Fanek has delivered a piece that is both heartwarming and thought-provoking – which is a rare combination. Its romantic and poetic sound instantly connects with the listener.”
“Polarized” is a concept album, although every piece can be enjoyed separately. “Most of these songs were created when I was going through moments of sheer joy and at other times moments of extreme frustration in life, resulting in a contrasting album, with joyful and romantic songs being complemented by some melancholic songs,” explains Fanek.
The album-opening “Tides” lays the foundation for the narration. It has the pathos and quality of a Yanni piece (think “One Man’s Dream”). “Tides” starts slowly, with a reflective piano and strings, before it picks up speed, and we are introduced to many colorful orchestral elements. An electric guitar is the icing on the cake. Notice the movement in the music and how it comes and goes – like tides. It is also a comment on life itself and its constant changes.
Do You Remember?
One of the finest pieces on the album is “Do You Remember?” I love the hint of melancholy and how it balances right on the edge of sorrow but never crosses that invisible line. When we get older, we learn that a good memory often stings more than a sad one. This marvelous piece captures that emotion perfectly.
As you have understood by now, “Polarized” is an album about ups and downs. “Broken Dreams” is, as indicated by the title, very low. From the very first notes, we sense a feeling of impending doom. The muffled rhythm has the expression of dragging footsteps, walking towards yet another disappointment. The violin seems to sing a song of sorrow, while the piano is raging underneath.
Life Can Be Beautiful
Suddenly the storm clouds from “Broken Dreams” are gone, and the sun shines through. “Life Can Be Beautiful” is a jewel, perfect in every way. Its vibe makes it ideal for a romantic movie. You will be moved, guaranteed. We already knew that Fanek could arrange strings like a true master, and “Life Can Be Beautiful” is no exception. Bravo!
The good feelings keep on flowing as “Starting Over” comes on. It is, first and foremost, a magnificent composition. It glides along effortlessly, yet there is an emotional richness here too – much like a George Winston melody. Both the build-up and orchestral finale are breathtakingly beautiful, underlining the power of starting afresh. It is a hopeful statement.
Some Days Are Cloudy
“Some Days Are Cloudy” is a wise and reflective piece, with some delightful hints of classical masters such as Ravel or Debussy. It is not possible (or healthy) to be happy all the time, and “Some Days Are Cloudy” does a fine job in showing the value of feeling a little under the weather. “Raindrop” continues where “Some Days Are Cloudy” left off, painting the audio canvas in gray watercolors. It is pretty and sad at the same time.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for the replay button when “Dearest of All” comes on. Its build-up is nothing short of masterful, and its conclusion will leave you breathless. “Dearest of All” showcases Fanek’s melodic talent. The orchestral arrangement is also top-notch. Time is the topic of “Life Goes On”. Everything changes, and there is nothing we can do with it. But we can make the best out of it and enjoy some fine music in the process.
Fanek has saved some of the best pieces for the end. “Just Like the Wind”, which we know from the single, is a contemplative and refined melody. The solo piano version of “Wishful Thinking” (from the album with the same name) is a worthy and poetic goodbye. It makes you ponder; what is the difference between ambitions and real-life? Is it all wishful thinking, or do we manage to put our dreams into reality?
In conclusion: A hallmark of great art is that it is recognizable and has emotional depth. Samer Fanek’s “Polarized” has such qualities. Just like a well-written novel, it shows life in all its multi-faceted complexity. Fanek has delivered a genuine, heartfelt, and inspiring album. Pieces like “Do You Remember?”, “Starting Over” and “Just Like The Wind” are destined to become New Age music hits.
Life is polarized and full of opposites – but that is what makes it interesting. The same goes for Fanek’s latest release. Highly recommended!
Score: 96/100 – See our scoring policy
For more information and music samples, visit samerfanek.com
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