Free to Fly
2014 / Thad Fiscella / Fourth Hour
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Thad Fiscella’s albums, but Free to Fly is something very special. Dedicated to his father, Jim Fiscella, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, Fiscella says in the liner notes: “I pray that this CD will help bring comfort to you during the difficult times in your own life and that you will truly sense a spirit of peace and freedom through this music.” While some of the pieces are very poignant, others express joy, hope and an abundance of love. Sixteen of the seventeen tracks are solo piano and the last one is a reprise of “Hope Remains” with synth strings. Beautiful from the first note to the last, I expect Free to Fly to be one of my Favorite Albums of the year. Although much of Fiscella’s music is created for relaxation, meditation and background music, I think it’s much too well-written and well-performed to not listen more actively - so much nuance and detail is lost in the background. A classically-trained musician, youth pastor and father of three, Fiscella brings a wealth of life experience and heart to the contemporary piano genre.
Free to Fly begins with “When You Said I Do,” a buoyant love song that overflows with joy and would brighten anyone’s day. “Unbroken” is much more serious and oh so beautiful, expressed with passion and a delicate touch. Love it! “Hope Remains” is one of those pieces that stays with you - simple and yet it says so much with emotions expressed from deep within. The lighthearted title track conveys the freedom and contentment that come with inner peace. “Joyous Turmoil (William’s Song)” is one of the more intriguing titles, and what a gorgeous piece. At 6 1/2 minutes, it has plenty of time to evolve and tell its story - a favorite. “Sweet Surrender” is a tender lullaby - so spare and so touching. The fragile “Innocenza” catches me every time - so much emotion flows through this poignant piece. The graceful, lyrical “Always and Forever” would be lovely in a wedding or any occasion where a heartfelt love song-without-words would be enjoyed. “When We Meet Again” offers hope rather than tears at a difficult parting, knowing that it’s a temporary separation. The first part of “Hope Lights the Way” is more ambient and atmospheric, becoming melodic and flowing with warmth and confidence that better days are ahead. The reprise of “Hope Remains” includes strings and closes the album with an elegant grace and peaceful beauty.
Thad Fiscella’s albums seem to get better every time he releases a new one and Free to Fly is his best work to date. It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
November 15, 2014