STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 106453-17968 LABEL: Fo Yo Soul 886977791727 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2011-03-21 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Keren Perrott
It may seem an odd title for a record but Franklin has previously spoken of the fact that his albums are created with individual songs born out of a central theme, and the concept of triumph over fear is most definitely the thematic thread here. This is another exceptionally solid offering from Franklin, the Texan-born multi-award-winning gospel star and each song has been created with expert craftsmanship and thought provoking lyrics. From the gospel sounds of the opening title track and the life-affirming "Before I Die", to the beautiful, haunting vocals and piano on "But The Blood", Franklin knows how to hit all the right notes in an album that has huge appeal to lovers of gospel-fused R&B. Oh, and he's cool in his mass market appeal, too - check out American Idol's 2011 finale show for a snippet of Franklin holding stage with Gladys Knight, no less, and fifth-place winner Jacob Lusk. The trio gave a rousing rendition of "I Smile", to the delight of the all-age live audience. That Franklin is so often joined by some of gospel's best-known contemporary talents says a great deal about his standing within the global gospel music scene. This is a fine example of how he got there.
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With his new release, Hello Fear, Kirk Franklin continues to prove why he is the top selling urban Gospel act of all time.
Once again he delivers an array of spectacular music for Gospel music lovers young and old.
His new album challenges believers everywhere to stop, turn around and face whatever fear might be hiding in their lives.
Kirk delivers his signature songs as only he can – Before I Die is a rousing chant with a with a go-go beat that’s sure to be a hit with the younger generation; I Am is a soaring ballad with beautiful melodies, and I Smile is classic Kirk - a mid-tempo R&B laced track that is sure to become a universal anthem.
And, as only he can, Kirk bridges the generation gap as well. He teams up with Gospel luminaries Rance Allen, Beverly Crawford and Marvin Sapp, then flips the switch and partners with newcomer Mali Music.
Once again, Kirk Franklin has managed to tap into the pulse of what’s on. So get ready to say “Hello” to a project that’s destined to take the world by storm!