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Album Review: Above the Stars EP
Adam Andrews
Cover image of the album Above the Stars EP by Adam Andrews
Above the Stars EP
Adam Andrews
2023 / Adam Andrews
13 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Above the Stars is a four-piece solo piano EP by Adam Andrews, one of my favorite artists as well as one of my favorite human beings! This is Adam's sixth release, beginning with his 2014 debut, Road To Ambo. One of the things that really stands out about Adam and his music is his honesty about his struggles with depression, his deep love for his family and friends, and his joy at being able to communicate on a profound level with people through his music. I had seen Adam perform at some Whisperings concerts (winning Album of the Year in 2016 for Prayers In the Dark and being nominated for the same honor in 2018 for Soar), but I really had a chance to get to know him better when he did a house concert here in Florence, OR in 2017. We did a very candid interview in March 2022, so if you'd like to know more about Adam and his music, be sure to check it out! Adam recorded Above the Stars at Piano Haven in Sedona, AZ on Joe Bongiorno's incredible Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano.

Adam describes the theme of Above the Stars as "a reflection of a healing journey. Celebrating greater inner peace, contentment, and personal growth. It's grateful and joyful, for me. I use quite a bit of harmonics in the EP as a way to describe the inner soul, feeling at peace or in harmony." The four tracks are united by this common thread, yet the music is varied, ranging from peaceful and introspective to joyful and spirited. It's always great to have new music from Adam Andrews as well as inspiring to follow his healing journey.

Above the Stars begins with "Shine," "an anticipation and excitement to record at Piano Haven and share this music with the world!" That excitement is palpable as the music swirls and dances for joy - a spirited and invigorating start! The title track expresses "a feeling of arrival with healing. Feeling free and joyful." The piece begins slowly and quietly, very gradually picking up speed and intensity as well as becoming more exuberant and celebratory, closing with the quiet gentleness of the start. "Waiting For You" has a very sweet story. Adam composed the piece for a dear friend as she walked down the aisle for the first time. "She waited a long time for that moment and I just tried to envision the gratitude and joy she must've felt." Love and kindness seem to flow from each note, wrapping the listener with a cozy blanket of tenderness and deep happiness. Adam explains the inspiration for "Thrive": "So much of what has held me back in life has been my own thoughts and fears. Celebrating the progress I've made." A joyous feeling certainly runs throughout this piece - the kind of joy that comes after years of struggle and finally breaking free of the bonds that were keeping you from achieving your full potential and blocking out peace of mind.

Above the Stars is another stand-out album from Adam Andrews and is available from his website, Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites including Spotify. Very highly recommended!
December 15, 2023
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