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Album Review: Road Home
Brad Jacobsen
Cover image of the album Road Home by Brad Jacobsen
Road Home
Brad Jacobsen
2011 / Brad Jacobsen Music
41 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Brad Jacobsen’s Road Home is a gorgeous collection of ten original piano solos and a few solo piano arrangements of favorite hymns, recorded to perfection at Piano Haven Studios near Seattle. Jacobsen began piano lessons at the age of eight, but really discovered music as a teenager when he was exposed to the emotionally-powerful music of David Lanz, Kurt Bestor, and Yanni, which inspired him to start composing his own music. Although his music is played with more than enough skill and technique, it’s the expressive and emotional content that really communicates. Jacobsen’s philosophy says it all: “The most complicated piece performed flawlessly does little for the soul, while the most simple song, if played with sincere feeling, is a true ‘masterpiece’.” Although the emotions expressed in the music vary somewhat, most of the pieces are flowing, melodic, and very beautiful, making this an excellent choice for relaxation, meditation, and soothing background music. Do your ears and mind a favor, though, and listen to the music with full attention at least a few times to fully appreciate the depth of the music as well as Jacobsen’s graceful playing.

Road Home begins with “Morning Prayer,” a combination of two hymns, “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and “Did You Think to Pray?” Warm and inviting, the pieces act as something of a prelude to Jacobsen’s original compositions. The title track is a gentle piece that expresses the emotional response to heading back to where you really belong. Bittersweet and deeply-felt, it’s bound to touch even a jaded heart. “Wanderlust” seems to be about freedom and the need to explore without deadlines or cares holding you down. “Solitary Road” tells of morning walks to visit Jacobsen’s father’s grave and the silent conversations that took place during those walks. The music is tender and honest, expressing a bit of sadness, but also hope. “Prodigal” tells a wordless story with a beautiful melody and gentle rhythm. “Longing” slows the tempo to a dreamy pace and tells of those aching feelings deep within when something or someone is missed and desired in a very profound way. My favorite track is “Road Home (Homecoming),” an upbeat and joyful arrangement of the second track. Rhythmic and buoyant, it overflows with the excitement and anticipation of coming home after being away for a long time. “Benediction” is a quiet, prayerful closing to an exceptional musical experience.

Road Home promises to be one of my favorite albums of 2011, and I really look forward to hearing more from this Washington-based artist. The album is available from www.bradjacobsenmusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
August 16, 2011
This review has been tagged as:
Debut AlbumsKathy's Favorites: 2011
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