An irresistible force of emotion and clarity
(Joe Ross, 29 Palms, CA)

Faith, hope, commitment, optimism .... the third studio album from Maryland-based singer-songwriter Lisa Fenstermacher is upbeat pop rock with a buoyant groove and inspirational compass. Lisa's strong, warm, controlled voice emerges as an irresistible force of emotion and clarity above an instrumental foundation of well-arranged drums, bass, guitars and keyboards courtesy of Nate Brown, Marc Nelson and Michael Sauri. At tracks 4 and 10, the gospel-infused "With His Love" and "Peace" are pure delights with their added incorporation of the horns of Todd Butler and Jeff Chiaverini, in arrangements designed by keyboardist Brian Simms. Upright bassist Max Murray adds his low end to the melodic mettle on three tracks, including the group's nod to the life-affirming reflections and spirit of the traditional hymn, "Near the Cross." Rather than the effect-laden lead guitar solo rendered there, I would've preferred more acoustic-driven strings for that arrangement. While some of Lisa's songs have the requisite catchy hooks that reel listeners in, she more often conveys genuine pleas that simply resonate with compassion and conviction...messages welcome to those in search of meaning in their music. "Hope Waits" lacks some of the vocal edginess found on the rest of the CD, but it reinforces the central theme of her touching music. From the album's opening line ("I'm waiting for my life to change") to its last ("Everything's gonna be fine.."), Lisa Fenstermacher's originals (often written in collaboration with Michael Sauri) are sublimely crafted to keep one's focus and perspective in life.