Samer Fanek | Wishful Thinking

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Wishful Thinking

by Samer Fanek

Melodic, powerful and dramatic instrumental compositions that blend the piano and orchestra with synthesizers and occasional progressive rock elements.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Wishful Thinking
4:13 $0.99
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2. Universe
3:06 $0.99
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3. Freefall
4:58 $0.99
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4. Fairytale
3:16 $0.99
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5. Lost Waltz
4:03 $0.99
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6. Ready to Go
2:52 $0.99
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7. Left Behind
4:14 $0.99
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8. Fantasy
3:40 $0.99
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9. Desperation
2:08 $0.99
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10. Escape
4:03 $0.99
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11. Remember Me
2:00 $0.99
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12. Exhibition
3:59 $0.99
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13. Finding Closure
4:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Samer Fanek is an award-winning Polish-Jordanian pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer of contemporary instrumental music.
His debut album, “Wishful Thinking”, charted nationally at #12 on the US New Age Billboard charts and #1 on three Amazon.com charts. It is also receiving significant worldwide radio airplay, charting internationally at #2 on the Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) Top 100 Radio Airplay chart.
The album won a silver medal in the Global Music Awards, received a nomination in the 2016 Hollywood in Music and Media Awards (HMMA), and recently made the 59th Grammy® Awards first-round ballot in the Best New Age Album category.

Wishful Thinking features melodic, powerful and dramatic instrumental compositions that blend the piano and orchestra with synthesizers and occasional progressive rock elements.

Press Quotes:
“You have to be a true visionary to create instrumental music so full of life and emotion” – New Age Music Reviews

“Wishful Thinking by Samer Fanek is an outstanding release for a debut artist” – One World Music Radio

“Wishful Thinking leaves no doubt that Samer is immensely talented at crafting highly engaging compositional arrangements” – Journeyscapes Radio

“Samer certainly has a flair for the dramatic and there is a cinematic quality to his music that could easily lend itself to film soundtracks” – Music and Media Focus

“Wishful Thinking is an extraordinary debut album” – New Age Music Guide

“Fanek has done a remarkable job of creating a rich, authentic sound similar to that of Yanni’s early recordings“ – Mainly Piano

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Reviews


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Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com
Each human voice is really important
Whole Universe depends on it

This music cannot leave you indifferent from the first chords. Light and powerful piano melodies captivate the soul and you can just enjoy these diverse compositions, easily relax and have a rest with them.

Samer Fanek isn’t afraid to experiment with various music styles mixing new age and contemporary instrumental music with progressive rock and metal influences, and adding a bit of neo-classical and ethnic motifs. As a result these compositions are heard as a single whole and give birth to the bright debut.

The music of the album “Wishful Thinking” is filled by various emotions. Its compositions contain high dramatic effect and they have a strong impact on the listener. It is an important feature of this project that all compositions of “Wishful Thinking” reflect very deep and sincere emotional experiences of the young composer. You can easily feel his rich inner world which is also friendly for listeners. Besides, the compositions of Samer Fanek are full of inspiration and therefore this project is listened to in one breath.

The album “Wishful Thinking” undoubtedly will be not just a stunning debut, but it has revealed to us the new brilliant artist who undoubtedly will become a unique voice in the genres of new age and contemporary instrumental music. The wealth of this world is variety and young artists bring a fresh approach to well-established genres.

My favorite track on the album is the touching and heartfelt “Finding Closure” which not only perfectly ends this amazing project but says that even more interesting things may wait for you soon. And I'll be happy to listen to future projects of Samer Fanek.

Listen to the “Wishful Thinking” and let your imagination awaken. Plunge into its music deeply and release your own emotions. The rich and joyful music of Samer Fanek invites you to receive your own personal experience and it might be exciting...
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
The act of “wishful thinking” is something we’ve all done at one time or another. For some, it remains purely in the realm of thought, while others may act on those desires to bring them into manifestation. Keyboardist/ composer Samer Fanek is one of the later. “Wishful Thinking” is Samer’s debut album and features 13 original compositions on which he played all the sounds including piano and sampled instruments such as violins, guitars, horns, flutes, ethnic sounds, and percussion, from over 50 different virtual instrument libraries and synthesizers. I must say that my initial response after pressing “play” on the opening track was, wow! I was taken by surprise at the musical maturity of the piece coming from someone so young and completely self-taught as Samer is. I was greatly impressed by his melodic sophistication, exquisitely layered orchestration, and sense of dynamics in knowing when to dramatically build the composition and when to bring it back down to let it breathe. The title track, with its obvious Yanni influence certainly makes for an auspicious introduction to the album.


The next song, “Universe,” taps into Samer’s love of progressive rock music and can best be described with the word “epic,” featuring a full rock drum track, lush orchestration, and a soaring guitar solo played on keyboard. Another facet of Samer’s musical spectrum is heard on “Lost Waltz,” which evokes images of finely dressed people in flowing gowns and formal wear moving elegantly on the ballroom floor in 3/4 time. While most of Samer’s compositions are big and bold, a couple such as “Remember Me,” and the appropriately titled final track, “Finding Closure,” express a softer, more nostalgic ambiance.


I must say that Samer’s playing and compositional skills totally exceeded my expectations. He also has a great ear for arranging the highly detailed orchestration that he uses to embellish his piano work and animate the stories within his songs. Samer certainly has a flair for the dramatic and there is a cinematic quality to his music that could easily lend itself to film soundtracks. I was greatly impressed with how Samer, with his relative lack of experience and humble home studio production was able to assimilate the complex and emotionally evocative musical influences of an artist like Yanni and create his own highly original and imaginative compositions that compare surprisingly favorably. I can only imagine what he will be able to create given time and more advanced studio facilities. When Samer left his lucrative professional career in software development to focus on his music, most people around him accused him of “wishful thinking.” But after a stellar debut album like this, it shows that wishes certainly can come true.


To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.MichaelDiamondMusic.com
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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapesradio.com
“Wishful Thinking” is the debut album from pianist, composer and arranger Samer Fanek. Drawing upon musical styles ranging from classical to rock, Samer’s influences include composers such as Yanni and Nobuo Uematsu (who scored the “Final Fantasy” series), as well as hard rock bands like Dream Theater and Muse. Comprised of thirteen tracks spanning forty-seven minutes, “Wishful Thinking” conveys a central theme of having romantic hopes and dreams, which ultimately give way to mournful remembrances until eventually moving on.

The title piece opens with gentle piano and light synthesizer that are soon followed by a fuller orchestral arrangement. Romantic and emotionally tender, additional musical elements soon gather up into the fold. The next piece, “Universe”, bears subtle rock nuances with a hint of exoticism, as piano and strings are set to a steady drumbeat, lending powerfully bold expressions to the composition. Soft piano and chimes open up “Freefall”, a distinctively neoclassical piece that soon morphs into a dramatic and sweeping composition full of colorful strings and symphonic drums. “Lost Waltz” is an especially notable composition which conveys an element of intrigue, as fluttering piano and synthesized voices are set to a waltzing pace. One can easily imagine a lone couple dancing to this reminiscently romantic tune, along with the rising and falling nuances of its neoclassical orchestration. The melancholic “Left Behind” is another particular highlight full of multi-layered strings, as a lead piano melody seems to convey a pining for love that has been lost. The two-minute “Remember Me” is a wistfully lovely interlude-like piece, with its elegant strings and slower-paced stanza lending a moment of pause. Closing out the album is the aptly-named “Finding Closure”, another personal favorite that hints of finally letting go. Beautifully bittersweet, twirling piano and airy synths soon give way to cinematically swelling strings, before winding down with tip-toeing piano notes that signal the curtain has closed.

“Wishful Thinking” leaves no doubt that Samer is immensely talented at crafting highly engaging compositional arrangements. He frequently alternates dramatic exertions with intermediate pauses of gentleness, employing this formula throughout the album which quickly becomes its signature motif. His Yanni influences are perhaps most apparent, with much of this album bearing similarities to the aforementioned artist’s “Reflections of Passion” and “Tribute” albums. Likewise, Samer’s music could make for a grand live performance, being best-suited for active listening with its multi-melodic stanzas constantly moving and filling up every space with sound. While listening, it was easy to envision a ballroom dance at some sophisticated venue complete with crystal chandelier, bubbling champagne, tuxedos and sparkling gowns. A rising star with lots of potential, “Wishful Thinking” will greatly appeal to many fans of Yanni and Nobuo Uematsu, as well as to those who enjoy highly expressive neoclassical and piano instrumental music.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Wishful Thinking" is the debut album by Samer Fanek. Born in Jordan and now living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the self-taught pianist, keyboardist, composer, and producer has been creating some amazing music from his home recording studio. Of Polish-Jordanian descent, Fanek’s music crosses many cultural borders and expresses a wide variety of emotions. He cites Yanni as his biggest influence, an influence that is readily apparent, but Fanek is no copy-cat. The album contains thirteen original compositions that are performed on piano/keyboards with traditional orchestral sounds, as well as rock and ethnic instrumentation. Fanek used samples from more than fifty virtual instrument libraries and synth patches to create the album, playing all of the parts himself. These kinds of orchestrations can often sound thin and tinny, but Fanek has done a remarkable job of creating a rich, authentic sound similar to that of Yanni’s early recordings (before he actually went symphonic). Fanek hopes to soon assemble a large ensemble of talented musicians to tour the US and his home countries performing his music. His dream is to create powerful and dramatic instrumental music that tells a story and has an enduring emotional impact on those who hear it. I’d have to say that this debut album is so impressive that Samer Fanek is well on his way to making his dream come true. He will no doubt make the world a happier place as he fulfills his own dreams.

"Wishful Thinking" begins the album in a dreamy mood with piano/keyboard backed with lush strings and, later in the piece, full orchestration. The graceful nature of this composition would lend itself beautifully to a dance or figure skating performance. “Universe” contrasts a very commanding sound with passages that are a quieter piano. The addition of electric guitar heightens the drama even more, expressing how powerful the universe is and at the same time how fragile it is - a great piece! The stirring “Freefall” explodes with a big orchestral sound and an infectious enthusiasm. “Fairytale” has a similar feel to Yanni’s “Felitsa,” the wonderful piece he wrote for his mother. Light, flowing and almost buoyant, it’s a delight. “Lost Waltz” is a piano-based minor-key waltz with a charming yet haunting quality. There is an outpouring of emotion in “Left Behind” that is both haunting and very beautiful. “Fantasy” is sometimes big and dramatic and sometimes delicate with some impressive piano work and an abundance of heart-tugging strings. “Escape” is also big and bold, but has a very intense air of tragedy and heartbreak. “Remember Me” scales back the drama a bit, but is every bit as poignant, seemingly from a much more personal perspective - gorgeous! “Finding Closure” begins and ends with a delicate piano solo, but builds to a passionate climax that pulls out all the stops - a compelling closing that will leave listeners wanting more.

I predict that "Wishful Thinking" is the beginning of a remarkable musical career for Samer Fanek. The album is already climbing the charts, so check it out! Very highly recommended!
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Steve Sheppard www.oneworldmusic.co.uk

Review from One World Music Radio
This is one of the most impressive debut artists I have heard for quite some time and when I tell you that this young man, of Polish and Jordanian persuasion was only born in 1986 and is self-taught, this will make the journey your about to take musically, even more amazing.
Let’s look at this incredibly remarkable album called Wishful Thinking and start with a smooth and symphonic opener that is indeed the title track. The opening refrain is gentle and the floating melody and crescendos just add an almost cinematic quality to the piece.
There are so many similarities I can draw here and when we listen to the following piece called Universe we can really feel that grand soundscape come that much closer and see those inspirations dance majestically before us. The bass here is superb and works brilliantly with the percussion. This is a really driven composition, which has a real vastness about it and illustrates perfectly the unlimited space of the universe, with an almost rock styled arrangement.
Freefall at just less than five minutes is our longest track off the album and almost suits following on from the previous track, there is a level of ambience here in the beginning that is indeed appealing, the performance then picks up as if the freefall to earth accelerates.
There was a certain delicacy about the piece Fairytale that reminded me of the good old days of new age piano, with artists like Stuart Jones and to a certain point, Mike Rowland, but the essence of this composition has all the elements of something grander and more striking and as the arrangement continues, this song becomes imperious in its posture.
Lost Waltz is just that, an ode to a lost dance perhaps? Fanek has a way of creating a sincere, but grandiose mood with his compositions and like this piece, can almost draw you back in times to the Baroque era perhaps, with this swaying dancing song that is not only filled with a charming narrative, but musical colour as well.
Well dear reader and listener, are you Ready to Go? This is one lively track and it has a wonderful fast paced symphonic structure to its composition. The melody is interesting here and if you can imagine Pachelbel’s cannon, mixed with a touch of Yanni, then you would be perhaps close.
The more moody side of Samer Fanek is now upon us with a really delightful piece called Left Behind. The narrative strongly pulls you to the tearful eyes of a loved one, now lost and lonely, but the style of performance is once again extremely cinematic, with perhaps a little flourish of David Lanz in there too?
Fantasy was on the button, creating from the off a narrative of wonderment and imagination right on our own doorstep. The climatic build and progression here is amazing, the piano performance almost classic in its finer touches and manifested with its empowering arrangement, one deeply moving piece of music.
The opening of Desperation had a really chilling empty street on a rainy night in November feel to it; one could imagine this being played as you walked in a sullen mood down an alley way, lit only by the yellow neon lights that cloak the rain soaked pavements. So lots of imagery there for you, but make up your own mind, when you take a listen.
The powerful Escape works well with the preceding track, perhaps our reluctant hero has found a rabbit hole to escape into? The energy here is enticing; the performance here is also like the glory days of Elton John and for the second time in a week, for two separate artists I can hear Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding in this piece. It has the pace, intention, power and stamina, and in a similar style too.
We find ourselves at the deeper end of this album dear reader and we come across a track called, Remember Me. These two words can be a life line or a heart breaker. Fanek creates a really gentle and respectful piece here that serves its intention really well.
We find ourselves at the last but one doorway to the end of the release and come across a smart and clever piece called Exhibition. This flows with such confidence and has a really vibrant energy about it, there was also a very slight hint of a Jazz motif hidden carefully in the package, listen to this one over and again dear reader, this is one very artistic composition that is superbly performed.
So we’re here, the last track off the album and before we depart this realm of Samer Fanek, the artist would like to gift us a tune for us to go on our way with and it’s called Finding Closure. This is a truly symphonic way to end our journey and a more fluent piano performance you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Wishful Thinking by Samer Fanek is an outstanding release for a debut artist, I still cannot believe I am saying that, but if this is the beginning of his career as a recording artist, I can’t wait to hear what the next decade may bring for him. He has an immense talent and a very profound level of performance skill, the compositions are all very emotive and powerful and the crescendos come thick and fast, this would certainly be an album I would recommend to anyone who loves piano with instrumentation, played with an abundance of flair and a great deal of style.
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BT Fasmer

Ambitious, complex and truly inspired
“Wishful Thinking” by Samer Fanek is an ambitious, complex and truly inspired album. It makes “Wishful Thinking” into one of this year’s finest debut recordings in New Age music.
The album starts with the title track. “Wishful Thinking” is a great introduction to Fanek’s style. The gentle piano has center stage, backed by carefully crafted orchestral arrangement. His inspirations are easy to pinpoint; Yanni and Hans Zimmer.
The production qualities on “Wishful Thinking” are very impressive. The lay-out of the album is well balanced, and there’s nothing here to indicate that this is not a major label recording. Indeed, the mixing and mastering has a high-end feel.
That Fanek is a master storyteller can be heard on the tracks “Fairytale” and “Fantasy”. They have all the magic and mystery we can expect from such titles. I like the speed and wonderful acoustic atmosphere of “Fairytale”. It is like stepping into another world. But my favorite song is “Finding Closure”, which concludes the album in an elegant way. It is a brilliant neoclassical piece.
Wishful Thinking is an extraordinary debut album. The only limitation is the lack of a live orchestra. Hopefully these songs will be played live one day. With so great material, that somehow doesn’t feel like wishful thinking. It is bound to happen. It is written in the stars.
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