Kirk Franklin: Hello Fear

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Posted April 3, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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Four-year wait from gospel’s biggest superstar feels like he’s slowly entering his eleventh round

At one time, the melodies from heaven were raining down on Kirk Franklin. Nowadays, the showers are looking more like sprinkles when compared to his earlier output. After a four year reprieve from music, the boy wonder of gospel – who singlehandedly pushed urban contemporary gospel into the mainstream – tries to resuscitate the churchiness of The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin and returns to the simpler times of Andrae Crouch. For the most part, Hello Fear works to Franklin’s advantage. He’s surrounded around heavyweight belters like Marvin Sapp and Beverly Crawford on the James Cleveland-seasoned soul number “The Altar,” he gets all inspirational-y on “I Smile” during a time when today’s economics won’t let you and he uses delicate CCM hymn standards on the worshipful ballad “For the Blood.” Later on, the album climaxes with his best party number since “Looking for You” on the go-go-anchored “A God Like You.” But an uninspiring reprise of “Something About the Name Jesus,” an avoidable Mali Music feature and a needless parody of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got a Feelin’” on “Today” gives the album a big downgrade. Hello Fear would have been a stronger sale if it had been released two years after The Fight of My Life, especially since Franklin puts the spirit of fear in the boxing ring this time around. In the end, high expectations are immediately dashed knowing that Franklin’s muse just isn’t as expedient as it was when God’s Property From Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation dropped.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 22 March 2011
  • Label: Verity
  • Producer: Kirk Franklin
  • Spin This: “The Altar,” “A God Like You”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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