1. We Lift You High (Feat. Jesty Beatz)
2. Teach Me To Pray
3. Use Me
4. Better Than
5. You Have Been There
6. I Surrender
7. Hold On To
8. Even If (Feat. Otis Cockron)
9. Break My Heart
10. You Are Beautiful
11. Saving My Heart
12. Yet I Will Praise
13. Rise Up
When Sara Richardson was 10 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer that would eventually cause her to have to have a leg amputated. At that time in her life Sara’s faith grew and she began writing songs and developing her vocal and piano skills. Then Musicdesignhouse.com decided they liked what they heard and a year and a half ago Sara began recording her first full length album, the result was the independent and inspiring Living the Reward.
The album opens with the catchy and upbeat “We Lift You High” a worship song taken from the Psalms. Musically the song feels like every other praise and worship song of its kind until the appearance of rapper Jesty Beatz in the bridge, it works out to be a solid opener. The rest of the more upbeat songs follow a similar pattern with songs like “Hold on To” and “Even If” taking on a bit of contemporary gospel feel. But these tracks stand out more for their vocal content then their music content.
Sara seems at her best musically when she slows down using piano over the guitars. The album title cut “Use Me” as well as the reflective “You Have Been There” are good examples of this. Sara seems to have a way of making one of the most used instruments fresh again.
Lyrically this album might be one of the best I’ve ever heard. As Sara’s story is portrayed through her beautiful lyrics and voice song like the afore mentioned “You Have Been There” invite the listener into Sara’s story, while showing the power of relying on God. “Break My Heart” shows the desire to be like our savior (“Break my heart, so I can be like Jesus, break every part, so I can be like him”). This could easily be one of the best songs on the album.
“Save My Heart” manages to incorporate songs about the hope of future romance without sounds cheesy or over the top. “I Surrender” talks about living in daily surrender to our God and king and the closer “Rise Up” goes deep into the message of Romans, encouraging the listener to stand in the grace of God, looking forward to the end of the age.
If you don’t fall in love with Sara by her story her music will certainly encourage you and probably seal the deal. Living the Reward will make a great addition to any contemporary Christian music collection.
Label: Independent (Musicdesignhouse.com)
Length: 55 Minutes