STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 34214-13577 LABEL: GospoCentric 886971677225 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-12-15 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
The real transformation of Franklin's life wasn't when he was going to church or first doing gospel music. The real breakthrough came when he joined a church that truly taught him the Bible and he started to understand the truth that could set him free. The 'Hero' album recounted some of those struggles and victories and 'The Fight Of My Life' continues the story and it shows Franklin still at the peak musically and spiritually. There are plenty of top songs and performances here. The beautiful ballads "Help Me Believe" and "How It Used To Be" are packed with the honest lyrics we have now come to expect from Franklin. The more traditional sounding "He Will Supply" and the sweetest of ballads "It Would Take All Day" also hit the spot. Toby Mac shows up for the rock-orientated "I Am God" to continue the collaborations between the two artists. Interestingly on this release Franklin is doing more singing/rapping than ever before. It works best when he collaborates with other great singers/rappers. The highlight is "Little Boy" where the legendary Rance Allen contributes a scorching vocal and the song contains the memorable couplet "let him see your mind not the crack of your behind." Franklin is on his own when it comes to getting away with that kind of lyric in church circles! Franklin's albums have in the past pioneered where gospel music was going and he shows no sign of flagging anytime soon though some critics might observe that on this release Kirk has found a successful formula and is sticking with it rather than pushing back the boundaries. But there's nothing wrong with that, of course, and no one can argue that Kirk continues to make powerful, challenging gospel music.
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Kirk Franklin is the top selling urban Gospel act of all time, and for good reason!
He continually reinvents himself and has an uncanny ability to speak directly to the hearts of his listeners, who are as diverse as the musical genres that he seamlessly incorporates into his music ministry.
His forthcoming release, 'The Fight Of My Life', is possibly the most compelling body of work to date. It examines the most difficult battle that anyone can face: the battle with one’s self.
Song by song, Kirk delves into the internal struggles that we face as believers, and more universally, as people. 'Little Boy', which features Rance Allen addresses the plight of our youth in today’s materialistic and harsh society. 'I Like Me' is a compelling chant of affirmation, also directed toward our youth, featuring acclaimed Gospel rapper Da T.R.U.T.H. The song boldly encourages young people to love themselves, perceived flaws and all. 'Help Me Believe' is a beautiful ballad that demonstrates the need for one’s faith to be renewed, usually in the midst of life’s most turbulent storms. Also included in this awesome collection of songs is 'The Last Jesus', which reminds us all that Christ lives within us and we must remember that, at any given moment, we may be the only “Jesus” that they see.
Of course, no Kirk Franklin release would be complete without his signature praise-party starters, and Kirk serves up a double-dose here!
'Declaration (This Is it)' samples the famed Kenny Loggins’ classic 'This Is It' and brilliantly brings the familiar into modern musicality with Franklin’s masterful innovations! Not stopping there, Franklin also presents 'Jesus', which is poised to become a bold universal anthem, with production that rivals any urban song currently on the radio.
'Jesus' picks up where Franklin’s last smash, 'Looking For You' left off and propels the listener into another praise chant, 2008-style!
'The Fight of My Life' is a clarion call for all those who are disturbed about the social ills that plague our planet, and a beacon of light for those who earnestly yearn for another way. Franklin has done it again!