|The Playlist Review | Posted September 09, 2011
Rita Springer has been playing the piano since she was 11 years old. She began lessons not with a desire to write songs or lead worship but because she was jealous of an older sister who was taking lessons and she wanted them as well. Music had always caused a stirring in Rita. Rita recorded her first album entitled Love Covers in the mid 1990’s. She has released several other albums and the compilation, Worth it All. In 2011, Rita releases her first album on Integrity Music, The Playlist. I have never heard anything by Rita prior to this album. I’m impressed by her sound which is an eclectic mix of Jennifer Knapp, Sarah Sadler, Kim Walker-Smith, Michelle Tumes and Darlene Zschech.
The Playlist includes a soft sounding pretty worship ballad, “Come In” which has Rita yearning for God, “in everything, in all I sing, in everywhere, in all I say, all that it costs, I count it loss, just to see You,” straight from Philippians 3:8-11. The song shifts to a guitar-based song and in many of the bigger vocal moments, her vocals take on the gritty sound that reminds me of Jennifer Knapp and Sarah Sadler, a cool transformation which I found myself listening for throughout the album. The album has a mesmerizing, contemplative vibe and every song invites the listener to join in with Rita as she praises our Savior and Lord Jesus with all of her heart and soul. “In This Forever” reminds me of Rita’s label-mate Vicky Beeching at the beginning with a Brit-rock style and when Rita’s voice breaks as she belts out “I am in this forever,” you can’t help but get swept up in the emotion of the song. “Make You Happy” has the “Undignified” upbeat worship chorus similar to the Matt Redman and David Crowder takes on the passage about David dancing before the Lord. “Over I Go” is fascinating epic-sounding worship anthem with a rhythmic guitar-riff and the song would fit perfectly on a Jesus Culture album, including Rita’s passionate vocal performance reminding me of Kim Walker-Smith’s vocals on “You Are My Passion.”
Some of the softer songs on the album that really stand out to me are “The One,” “You Are My Hallelujah” and “Falling” which are all passionate ethereal worship songs that remind me of “There Is A Redeemer” by Michelle Tumes and “I Give You My Heart” by Darlene Zschech both in their God-focused worshipful lyrics and musically. Rita believes that the joy of being a worship leader is to make those listening, jealous for what has been found in Christ. Making Christ famous through the art, act and physical sound of our worship is Rita’s anthem and her deepest desire is to see this arise in the body of Christ. Her motto is; “To make the Lord famous in whatever I do with my worship and relationship with Him.” Amen to that!
My best description of this album is if you like Jennifer Knapp’s original worship songs “Lay It Down,” “Undo Me” and “A Little More,” then you’ll really like this album. Vocally at times she could double for Jennifer Knapp or Sarah Sadler and musically some of the songs on the album have that same gritty, guitar based worship style especially the tracks “Come In,” “In This Forever” and “Over I Go.” Other times during the album Rita’s vocals and songs have an ethereal sound like Michelle Tumes and Darlene Zschech including “The One,” “You Are My Hallelujah” and “Falling.” If you like albums with God-focused worshipful lyrics, musical diversity and engaging female vocals with a lot of range then you’ll want to check out The Playlist by Rita Springer.
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