11 Songs, 39 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

muzikman97 ,

Spirt Lifting, Dynamic and Contemplative-A Real Gem!

Guide Me is an extraordinary musical achievement that will give listeners the occasion to feel what the artist is feeling and what part they may be playing in the story. Sometimes, for me, it feels like I take on my own part in the story and get this flood of feelings and emotions listening to this music, and then any isolation I may be feeling just slips away. On the positive side of the coin, there is a necessary solitude that I enjoy. It recharges my inner batteries and gives my soul a shot of light and hopefulness. It may sound complicated to some folks but it certainly works for my listening experience.

As the music guided Samer it will guide you to another space and time with a mindset that can give you a healing internally that you will come to expect from this music. I had set the bar very high for Samer on his sophomore release and he came through with another instrumental masterpiece.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

It’s been more than two years since Samer Fanek released his very successful and award winning debut, "Wishful Thinking" (2016). I’ve been anxiously looking forward to his follow-up, and "Guide Me" was definitely worth the wait! Once again, Samer created all of the music in his home studio, utilizing his keyboard and 50 different virtual instrument libraries and synthesizer patches to perform each of the instrument parts himself. All eleven tracks are piano-driven and are an exciting mix of big, bold pieces and music that is softer and more romantic or pensive. Some pieces are fully-orchestrated and some are solo piano. Yanni’s influence is very evident, but Samer’s style is his own. He performed a solo piano house concert in my series in May 2016, and I was very impressed with Samer’s musical performance as well as his engaging interaction with the audience. I sincerely hope that Guide Me will catch the attention of an international audience and give Samer and his music the recognition it deserves!

Samer Fanek was born and raised in Amman, Jordan to a Polish mother and Jordanian father. He moved to the US in 2008 to complete a Master’s degree in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While he was there, he often played the piano after classes and discovered how much he enjoys making a positive impact on people with his music. It became Samer’s dream to create music that affects people’s lives emotionally and to do that on a world-wide scale. Samer took piano lessons for a short time in Jordan, but he had already discovered that he could teach himself by listening to music that he likes and that he was able to figure out what each instrument is doing by ear.

"Guide Me" begins with “Grand Opening,” a powerful opener that boldly announces “I’m back with more music!” Samer says that he thinks this will be a great piece to open concerts with (I agree), so his fans have that to look forward to! The impassioned piano is front and center throughout this exciting piece along with soaring strings, driving percussion and bass. Whoo-hoo! We’re off to a great start! “Long Time Ago” is a much quieter and more reflective piano solo. “Newborn” opens as a lively piano solo with a bit of reverb that gives it a slightly mysterious sound. As the piece becomes fully orchestrated, it becomes more wistful and poignant and is always very beautiful. Samer says that “Now You See” is his personal favorite on the album. Piano and orchestration give the piece a graceful sweep as well as a powerful emotional impact. It’s a beauty! The title track is a lively and lovely minor-key waltz that is also fully-orchestrated with the piano in the lead. “Chasing Time,” one of the more intense and rhythmic pieces, features driving drums, soaring strings and lightning-fast fingers on the piano. Great stuff! The sweetly lyrical “For Lila” is a piece Samer wrote for and dedicated to his mother. Piano and strings make this piece an elegant expression of love. “Back to Hometown” was created with thoughts about the long journey back to Jordan, evoking feelings of nostalgia and homesickness. This touching piano solo clearly expresses those emotions and brings this excellent album to a close. I give "Guide Me" both thumbs up!

BT Fasmer ,

“Guide Me” is a fabulous second album by Samer Fanek

Samer Fanek is one of the most promising and interesting New Age music artists out there. “Guide Me” starts with the grandiose “Grand Opening”, followed by the thoughtful “Long Time Ago”. There’s a wonderful hint of classical composers in Samer’ music, such as Debussy and Ravel – but the main influence is Yanni. That said, Samer is not just a Yanni copy, but a unique and extremely talented artist. It takes a master to compose and play on the same level as a master.

“Long Time Ago” fades beautifully into the next piece, “Newborn”. It starts slowly, then there’s an intricate build-up to a very impressive orchestral conclusion. It is beautiful beyond words.

The song “Now You See” is like the soundtrack to an A-list Hollywood movie. Anyone with contacts there should immediately submit this as a demo. The title track is an intricate neo classical piece that just continues to evolve. Here Samer is not just on par with Yanni; George Winston would have been happy with this piano melody. Bravo!

“Guardian” and “Before Dawn” are lovely, romantic piano melodies. At this stage we notice what a well-balanced album this is. The mix of piano ballads and orchestral arrangement is, as always, amazing. “Chasing Time” is a dramatic piece with wonderful backing. Fans of Samer’s previous album will feel right at home.

“For Lila” is a jewel of a song. There’s a very well made build-up here; the first minute or so is thoughtful and contemplative, then powerful strings and other orchestral arrangements take us on an unforgettable journey. Lila should be very thankful indeed. “Sense of Purpose” is an upbeat and happy tune that make you think that anything is possible. “Back to Hometown” is a feel-good piano melody, and a perfect album closer. It leaves you wanting more. Since “Guide Me” is only 39 minutes long, hitting the replay button seems like a great idea.

Samer’s second album is in many ways an interesting release. We already knew that he mastered the orchestral format. “Guide Me” shows that Samer also is a great piano composer and performer. Perhaps we will get a solo piano album next time?

In conclusion: “Guide Me” is a fabulous second album! It is a proof that Samer Fanek is in the elite division of new artists in our genre, and that his first album “Wishful Thinking” was more than wishful thinking. In this context it is tempting to say that Samer in “Guide Me” shows that he is in no need of guidance either.