Do you ever have times when you need to take a break and reflect on the more important things in life, when you are longing for transformation? Then begin your journey with The Renewing, Isaac Shepard's third solo-piano album. May these emotional, relaxing melodies point you in the right direction where your own renewing awaits.
Much like his first two solo-piano albums, Swept Away and Deep Joy, Isaac Shepard's latest offering combines imaginative ballads with classical progressions to create a powerful experience that you will long remember.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Isaac Shepard Offers Musical Renewing - Review by Raj Manoharan
The Renewing is a nice collection of pleasant solo piano instrumentals, the third such CD offering by Isaac Shepard.
The set gets off to a strong start with Tears Can Fall. Tears can fall, but they won’t, because the track is a formidable musical statement full of confidence and optimism. After that, Shepard settles into a comfortable zone with pretty compositions that blend seamlessly into one another, all the while displaying this sensitive artist’s competence and chops.
The album then undergoes a renewing of its own in its second half as the compositions become really complex and introspective, weaving a musical tapestry that creates unique stories and journeys in the minds of each listener. The most dynamic of these tracks is Countdown, which, as a result, is the most dynamic track on the entire album. The tune is defined by a pointed, driven, and urgent melody that gives the composition a cinematic feel. In fact, this track would make a great main and end title theme for a motion picture.
Even as the album is winding down, it is still ramping up, culminating with Slow Down. The track provides a satisfying conclusion to the album while leaving the listener with anticipation for what Shepard has in store next. Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see what direction Shepard takes his music in. He definitely has the compositional and instrumental chops to score television and film soundtracks and lead a jazz trio or a bigger fusion band.
The Renewing will most likely appeal to aficionados of solo piano music. For those not so inclined but that like fine musical compositions regardless of genre or instrumentation, perhaps they will like individual songs like the highly recommended Tears Can Fall,Countdown, and Slow Down.
"...The Renewing tells of dancing rhythms resting beside moments of introspection, becoming a nice getaway from the pounding beats and winding guitars competing for your attention. Whatever your favorite form of music is, here is an opportunity to explore Isaac’s latest solo piano release and become pleasantly refreshed in the process."
"...To sum, the pieces played on “The Renewing” are a perfect representation of the concept that contains them. The twists and turns in the music remind us of the evolution of things, of music and of ourselves."
"...Isaac Shepard rises above the pack with The Renewing, creating both sights and sounds in music that are more than just "easy listening". Shepard plays with passion and flair, and seems to know how to use pianissimo as effectively as forte."
"...Sometimes you need a breather, a walk in the woods, a visit to an art gallery, something gentle on the eyes and ears and emotions - something revitalizing, transformative. Such moments are perfect for sitting down in your favorite chair and treating yourself to The Renewing, Isaac Shepard's third solo piano album.
...The Renewing is balm for battered emotions, rest for the soul, gentle and uplifting, powerfully transforming."
"This lovely solo-piano album is a delight for folks who love piano instrumentation. It’s the perfect album to put on after the end of a long day. You can practically feel the tensions of the day melt away..."
"I have a confession to make. When I received Isaac Shepard’s CD of solo piano entitled The Renewing, I opened it up and saw a bible verse on the inlay cover and let out a deflated, “Oh God…(no pun intended).”
...I tell you this in hopes of keeping you from making the same mistake that I did in judging a CD by its cover or in this case, inlay cover.
...The Renewing is a beautiful album that will be in my rotation for some time to come. All ten songs are wonderfully original and amazingly clean sounding and beg you to feel something. Isaac has an elephant sized ear for building a melody that leaves its imprint on you long after the song has ended. His compositions are wonderfully relaxing and are perfect for, as the album title suggests, renewing ones self.
...There is something about the way his fingers touch the keys and cascade up and down that makes it seem like this is what he was born to do and I am thankful for him doing it. Thank you Isaac; lesson learned."