The Ministry of Kirk Franklin

The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, GospoCentric Records
by Adrienne S. Gaines

Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin describes the last three years as the darkest of his life. But out of that wilderness experience he says God birthed an album that signals a turning point in his career. Featuring duets with Shirley Caesar and the late gospel great Willie Neal Johnson among many others. The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, is all about ministry, Franklin says, and he hopes it will focus attention on the message of Christ instead of His messenger.

Though still laced with the R&B hooks and hip-hop beats that marked earlier releases, the disc captures the heart of praise and worship. The opening "Hosanna" is a jubilant anthem that captures the passion of young people willing to give God their all. "My Life, My Love, My All" is a stirring prayer or surrender, while the worshipful "Always" speaks of unwavering devotion to Christ.

The release also features a host of guests, including Bishop T.D. Jakes on "9/11," in which he converses with Franklin about keeping faith in turbulent times. Donnie McClurkin, Crystal Lewis and Jaci Velasquez lend their voices to "The Blood," a standout cut calling for racial unity in the body of Christ. A reprise of it features Yolanda Adams and Alvin Slaughter.

Richard Smallwood offers a piano solo on "Don't Cry," and dc Talk's Toby McKeehan helps Franklin break some cultural barriers on a bonus track that sounds similar to P.O.D.'s work.

The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin proves that Franklin knows how to reach diverse generations with the gospel.

Reprinted with permission from Charisma and Christian Life (April 2002). ? Strang Communications Co., USA. All rights reserved.

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