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Album Review: Hope
Kendra Springer
Cover image of the album Hope by Kendra Springer
Hope
Kendra Springer
2009 / Kendra Springer
51 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Hope is the debut recording by pianist/composer Kendra Springer, and what a beautiful beginning it is! The thirteen tracks include six original compositions, one vocal, and occasional sparing usage of atmospheric sounds. Most of the pieces are pure solo piano, and the piano sound is excellent. Springer cites influences as diverse as Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Glenn Miller, Kenny G, Jim Brickman, Yanni, David Foster, and Walter Afanasieff, and that diversity goes a long way in giving her a distinctive sound. I was surprised to learn that Springer is mostly self-taught since there are strong classical influences in her music and no trace of the unimaginative left hand that is a dead give-away for many self-taught pianists. On her website, Springer says, "As an artist, my goal in making music is to create an ambiance of soothing relaxation through the healing power of music, to lift your spirits." I would say that she has succeeded very well in reaching her goal with grace, heartfelt expression, and an obvious love for her music and instrument.

Hope begins with the title tune, which is one of my favorites. The rubato flow and graceful lyricism of the piece immediately catch your attention and make you want to pay close attention to the rest of the album. I also really like the dreamy “Hint of Dawn,” which overflows with wistful optimism and contentment. “Your Eyes Are Closed” is based on a traditional tango (“Sus Ojos”) and is a bit darker and more dramatic. “Angela” was apparently composed in honor of a beloved aunt and often conveys her name in notes. Gentle and very loving, it’s a tender beauty! “True Love” sings of joy, wonder, and deep emotion. “Reminiscence” is a gorgeous adaption of the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” updating and personalizing it to perfection. “Where Sky Meets Sea” begins with the sound of the ocean along with Native American flute and string washes which give way to solo piano after about a minute. This graceful and evocative beauty is another favorite. “Coming Home” is a lovely medley that includes parts of the Largo movement of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” and “The River Is Wide,” a combination I never would have thought to put together, but that works seamlessly. “With You” is a vocal love song that includes percussion and piano. Earthy with a touch of the blues, it shows another musical side of Kendra Springer that fits in well with the rest of the album. “Above the Clouds” closes the album with a warm and contented day dream.

Kendra Springer is certainly off to a promising start with her first album! It can be purchased from kendralogozar.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Recommended!
July 21, 2010
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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