Kirk Franklin Review - ChristianMusic.com
Kirk Franklin Bio * Kirk's Lyrics * Kirk Franklin Albums

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"REBIRTH OF KIRK FRANKLIN" CD Review:

Kirk Franklin's Mission statement and the philosophy behind the making of this CD:

Kirk Franklin's Mission Statement:

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

This Romans verse contains the promise that Christians can hang onto during the trials that enter their lives, as Franklin did during his past trials. Franklin comments, "I live life lovin' God. The emphasis is now on the ministry, than on the messenger. The ministry of Kirk Franklin.- The last few years that I've been goin' through some things, that at the time I didn't realize that God was in it, breakin' me and makin' me to more what he wanted me to be. And now through that process, I kind of feel born again. but the vision now is more now on the ministry, and I really don't want more attention on me or another person, but now I really want the attention to be on Christ."

Kirk reflects on the process of being remolded by trials and difficult circumstances. "I can look over my life and career now and see both seasons of success as well as struggles and pitfalls," says Kirk, "and God has allowed it all. It's all done with the purpose of the Lord drawing you closer to Him-getting you closer to where He wants you to be. And it can be painful sometimes until you reach the point where you can see it's all been for a purpose, and that's a true moment of awakening and rebirth."

"When God allows the breaking process to happen in a believer's life, it can and will be a very dark time. Picture Job: Crying over the bodies of his dead children. Picture Joseph: Betrayed by his brothers for twenty dollars. Picture Jesus: Sweating in anguish over His fear, and God's will. So, every reader who is caught in between life and death, smiles and sorrow, you and Him....Rejoice! For your rebirth is near."

THE REBIRTH OF KIRK FRANKLIN CD -

CD starts off with a short, heart-rendering dramatization of a desperate young mother on the doorstep of her own elderly mother in the early morning hours, begging her mother to take her young son for two days, while the boyfriend honks the horn of the car, telling her to hurry up. The grandmother of the toddler finally takes the boy into her arms and prays over him, "Jesus, bless this baby, raise him up to be a great man of God, use him for your glory, Lord. Let him him know that it was You who brought him from a mighty low way. Keep him safe; protect him from all hurt and danger, and Jesus I will give you all the glory, because you are worthy of all the praise."

The young boy's situation depicts what had happened to Kirk Franklin at the age of 3, who was taken in and raised by his sixty-something Aunt. While praying in his dressing room before the concert, Kirk finishes his own current prayer with "Jesus, I will give you all the glory, because you are worthy of all the praise," which is a spiritual truth that this CD was built on......

At the 18th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, this marvelous effort, THE REBIRTH OF KIRK FRANKLIN, created and put together by the Spirit-inspired Kirk Franklin, took home five awards, including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year ("Hosanna"), CD of the Year (The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin), Producer of the Year (The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin) and Music Video of the Year ("Hosanna").

It is no wonder that this wonderful, inspirational, encouraging, uplifting collection of Gospel songs on this CD, which range from Traditional Gospel to Contemporary Gospel to Hip Hop in genre, from praise songs to hymns, won these 5 Stellar awards mentioned above. Kirk Franklin composed something for everyone's liking, sometimes combining musical styles. Franklin leads the audience, directs an inspiring choir, and has talented guests sing the solos in his various songs. Artists such as Donnie McClurion, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the late Willie Neal-Johnson, Yolanda Adams, Alvin Slaughter, Crystal Lewis, Jack Velasquez, Pappa San and Tobymac, offer their Spirit-inspired performances of Franklin's music, which lifts this Christian ministry to the highest goal of giving Jesus all the praise and glory, of bringing the hope and good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the listener, and of bolstering and uplifting discouraged people with spiritual truths and promises that believers have through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So many of these 16 songs have such universal appeal, that they reach across the denominations and the generations of the Christian church, and would be welcomed as Praise and Worship songs. Needless to say, this reviewer highly recommends this CD to listeners who enjoy great Christian music. The Holy Spirit is felt throughout the music on this CD, and the songs will be a blessing to anyone who listens to their message.

Sample of some of the Songs:

* * HOSANNA - This is a favorite of this reviewer, sure to lift the spirits of the listener. I would describe it as being a vibrant, vigorous Praise and Worship Song to get the audience in the Spirit, pumped up and ready to worship, that would be well received in any denomination, across all generations.

After encouraging the audience to make some "Holy Ghost noise," this song begins with spirited electric piano introduction, supported by orchestra with syncopated horn & string accents, which really establish the melody, bringing the spirit of this high-energy song off to a great start.

Franklin knows how to compose for group vocals, and builds the song's dynamics and harmonies as the song progresses, which effectively heightens the worship experience. I especially appreciated the Bridge, as the choir builds in half step intervals the intensity and volume of the song, which soars into the third & fourth verse in full, four part harmony (FF). Also enjoyed the great transition in the VAMP, again using 1/2 step intervals.

Lyrical Samples:

1) The angels bow down at the thought of You, The darkness gives way to the light for You, The price that You paid gives us life brand new, Hosanna forever we worship You, Hosanna forever we worship You.

2) For You are the joy that my soul longs for, The lamb that was slain for my sins, and the one I adore, King of kings, Ruler of everything. Hosanna forever, we worship You, Hosanna forever, we worship You.

Bridge: For Your patience and kindness, And favor and mercy, And honor and glory, Because You are worthy, We can't live without You, We can't breathe without You, We can't sing without You, Hosanna, Hosanna.

3) No greater love in this world but You, No one can compare to the things You do. Wherever You go I will follow You, Hosanna forever we worship You. Hosanna forever, we worship You.

4) Someday every tongue shall confess Your name, this house made of clay soon shall pass away, and whatever the test You will bring us through, Hosanna forever we worship You. Hosanna forever we worship You Hosanna forever we worship You.

Vamp: Hosanna, forever, Hosanna forever and forever and forever. Hosanna, We praise You, Hosanna forever and ever and ever.

* CAUGHT UP - A Traditional Gospel hymn - Lovely melody sung with gusto and feeling by guest, Pastor Shirley Caesar. Song about the coming Rapture, when believers will be caught up in the sky with Jesus. (1 Thess. 4:17, Rev.11:12 & Rev. 21:4)

Song has great musical support by orchestra, electric piano, organ. During VAMP, vocal solo and choir, with music accompaniment builds nicely in true Gospel fashion.

Lyrical Samples:

Chorus: Caught up to meet Him, Can't wait to see Him, When He cracks the sky, Can't wait to hold Him, By His touch, I'll know Him, Together, Jesus and I.

1) The trumpet will sound, We'll all be changed. We'll walk the streets of gold One day I'm gonna behold my Savior's face. I'll finally be in that place. I'm finally, I'll find peace for my very soul.

2) Oh, He's gonna call my name (yes). I'll be caught up in the twinkling of an eye (yes I will). See, these other things they don't compare. To the joy God's got over there. We'll be together, we're gonna get together. Jesus and I (oh yeah).

VAMP: Caught up, To see Jesus. I will be caught up, Caught up, Together Jesus and I.

* THE BLOOD SONG - - Donnie McClurkin, Crystal Lewis + Jaci Velasquez.

(Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.- John1:29)

I would describe this song as a Contemporary Gospel hymn. Features great dynamics, and choral harmonies, which back up and support the main vocals. Verse one vocals, were sung by Donnie McClurkin supported by piano. Strings, some guitar join the piano for the following verses.

Chorus: For It's strong enough, To wash away my sins, and it's pure enough, To cleanse me deep within. And it's real enough, To find me when I'm lost. Great enough to die upon the cross. It doesn't matter what color You are. As long as You're blood was red.

1) You have the power, To make the seasons change. The river flows for You. The wind whispers Your name. For me, You left Your throne, And traded crown for thorns instead. I'm saved within not by Your skin, But because Your blood was red.

2) (Crystal Lewis) We may be different but, The God we serve is the same. Yet every Sunday we separate, and bring the Father pain. Your name is higher than any other. yet You took my place instead. And now my sins are washed away, Because Your blood was red.

VAMP - Oh precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow. No other fount' I know. It doesn't matter what color You are, As long as Your blood was red.(traditional hymn - Nothing But the Blood", by Robert Lowry Plainsfield 1876).

* BRIGHTER DAY - A bright, snappy Gospel Hip Hop Praise song, that pleases all generations. Inspiring use of horns, and once again great harmonic build up by choir, as the dynamics of the song gather momentum. Great horn section play not only accents but an interesting counter melody, in syncopated style. Guitars help support the beat, along with the drums.

Lyrical Sample: 1) When I close my eyes and think of You, And reminisce on all the things You do. I can't imagine my life without You. It's like paradise now I know that it's real (um). It's a mystery. For someone to give their life just for me. What You did on Calvary. Makes me wanna love You more.

Chorus: I never knew, I could be so happy. I never knew, I'd be so secure. Because of Your love, Life has brand new meaning. It's gonna be a brighter day, brighter day.

2) Never thought that I would smile again. I never thought the dark clouds would end. Never thought that I could have a friend, That would keep me, never leave me alone (um). Jesus You're my everything, the only One that makes my heart sing (heart sing). Now I know what real love means, It's everlasting, lasting.

Bridge: Nothing can compare, To the joy You bring. An everlasting love affair, Jesus my life will never be the same. I found someone who truly cares.

* * MY LIFE, MY LOVE, MY ALL - Lovely personal prayer Gospel hymn, which describes a personal surrender and personal relationship with Jesus. Song has beautiful, full harmonies in the choir which bring the melody to life, stirring the soul. Starts off simply with electric piano accompaniment, which is slowly joined by other instruments in the orchestra. During the VAMP, sound and harmony of the choir has built full throttle, and then quiets down for the beginning of the third verse.

Kirk Franklin begins the song with a personal prayer: "Father, I just want to stop for a minute and say I love you. Just want to thank you for being patient with me, just for giving me another chance. You have always been there for me, and You were the father that I never knew. I just want to say....."

Lyrical Samples:

1) My hands were made, To worship You, My heart my King, It beats for You. Oh Lamb so true, I surrender to You. My life (I give You) My all.

2) Your touch, Your kiss, Your grace to me, Is deeper than, (Lord Jesus) My soul can see. My purpose it changed, when I called out Your name. My life (I give You), My love (I give You) My all. (Repeat verse)

VAMP: My past has been erased, with just one touch from You. My clouds, my rain, My pain has changed. Your blood has made me new. Oh Lamb so true, I surrender to You My life (I give you) My love (I give You) My all.

LOOKIN' OUT FOR ME - Guest: the late Willie Neal Johnson, helps Franklin lead the song. A contemporary Gospel song, with elements of R& B and Hip Hop, which are all blended together in a unique combination, with interesting rhythms, catching the spirit of this song. Interesting pronunciations of some of the ending words of the phrases (lookin' out for me)

Lyrical Sample:

1) Every time I look back, and every time I think back, On all the stuff I been through, and then I tried You and just when I was about to fall, Your love caught me when Your name I called. Jesus, You keep on lookin' out for me.

Chorus: You keep on lookin' out for me (3x) In spite of all I've done, Jesus, You keep on lookin' out for me.

3). I shouldn't be here today, And when I look back on all my mistakes. If it hadn't been for Your grace, I don't know where I'd be where I'd go, Who can love me like You do, And who can hold me when I'm goin through, Jesus You keep on lookin' out for me.

* ALWAYS - Praise and worship song, with wonderful harmonies, a beautiful melody with great dynamics that build throughout the song and interesting key changes. Song features acoustical guitar, violin, light percussion. Women softly begin the first verse, and builds in sound until the chorus. Full harmony in the choir blooms in the chorus. More is added in each verse. By the third verse, full choir participates in great harmonic unity. Song quiets down nicely for the ending.

Lyrical Sample:

1) You know I've had some lonely days. I've made mistakes and had to pay. I've had some friends that walked away. Just like mama told me. But there's someone whose love is real. who cares about the way I feel (I know you feel). Every pain and erase every stain. There's peace when I call out Your name.

Chorus: Jesus You're my everything. The cross You did that just for me. So whatever You take me through, I promise You, I'll spend my always with You.

2) No one can touch my heart like You, or make me smile the way You do. I've finally found someone who, who really truly loves me. And when my strength has come and gone, Your life in me, it makes me strong. Your hand is where my heart belongs. You took all my pain and erased every stain.

* WHEN I GET THERE - Contemporary Gospel Praise song, with elements of Hip Hop, which expresses the hope that believers have when they go home to be with Jesus in heaven. Another real toe tapper, that will have you dancing around the room! Choir carries the rhythmic melody, with great support from orchestra. Franklin again uses dynamics to great use.

Lyrical Sample:

1).The sun will shine and my heart shall sing, One thought of You, Jesus, what joy it brings. My soul can't wait to, to see Your face and I'll bless Your name, Jesus when I get there. You'll wipe my tears and You'll say well done and You'll hold me close and tell me I've overcome, And You will exchange joy for my pain, And I'll praise Your name Jesus, When I get there.

Chorus: Come on (let's go) let's go (We'll cry) we'll cry (no mo') no mo' We're gonna be just like Jesus, when we get there Come on (hold on) hold on, (It won't) it won't (be long) be long. We're gonna be just like Jesus, When we get there.

OUT RO - Guest: Yolanda Adams + Alvin Slaughter sing first and second verses of THE BLOOD SONG, with just the beautiful piano accompaniment, and some back up vocals of the choir. Ends with parts of other well-known gospel songs; "The Blood will never loose its Power," by Andrae Crouch (1966) and "Nothing But the Blood", by Robert Lowry Plainsfield (1876).

Lyrical Samples:

1) (Yolanda Adams) You have the power, To make the seasons change. The river flows for You. The wind whispers Your name. for me left Your throne, And traded crown for thorns instead. I'm saved within not by Your skin, But because Your blood was red.

2) (Alvin Slaughter) We may be different but, The God we serve is the same. Yet every Sunday we separate, and bring the Father pain. His name is higher than any other. but He took my place instead. It doesn't matter what color you are Jesus, as long as that your blood was red.

(Choir & guests) To the highest mountain, and it flows to the lowest valley, the blood gives me strength today, and it will never loose its power, it will never loose its power. (Traditional song: "The Blood will never loose its Power.")

Kirk Franklin then leads the traditional song, "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus."

THROW YO HANDS UP - Guest: Tobymac (D.C.Talk) - (This song can be found on cut 23, so anyone who isn't a fan of this genre of music, won't listen by accident. Furthermore, a funny disclaimer, complete with a warning beep, warns listeners that the following song is intended for only for "spiritually mature audiences only." May the older generation who are set in their ways, be warned!)

A Hip Hop, rock, rap and Gospel praise song, that is well executed and put together by two talented artists; Kirk Franklin and Tobymac of D.C. Talk. Features harmonica, a singing woman, piano, drums, some electrical guitars, and an electric piano during Rap chorus. Song builds in intensity and volume, and is supported by an interesting combination of instruments and female vocalist, singing minor intervals, which adds a special zing to the composition.

"1,2,3,4 - (This is for Maria, Megan, for Cody and Jesus, my man Toby, DC Talk and unbelievers)"

Tobymac - "Can you feel me/ Can you hear me? God I need you, Can you see me? Cause I love you, you are worthy, everybody, can you hear me?"

Chorus in Rap style: (Tobymac & Kirk Franklin) "Throw Your Hands Up! (get em up y'all, get em up y'all, get em up), Throw Your Hands Up! Throw Your Hands Up! Throw Your Hands Up!"

Tobymac - "You forgave me (forgave me), and you changed me (changed me), was a sinner (was a sinner) and you saved me, (saved me) Lord I love you, (Lord I love you) and I praise you (praise you), everybody, HELP ME PRAISE HIM

Throw Your Hands Up! (get em up y'all, get em up y'all, get em up) 4x

Rap: Tobymac & Kirk Franklin together - very well done, sharp diction, fits together well. Then together they say, taking turns: John 3:16, that works very well.

VAMP - No doubt! Baby, No doubt! Throw Your Hands Up! Throw Your Hands Up! Throw Your Hands Up! Throw Your Hands Up! No doubt!

(Well-done, Kirk Franklin - Your ministry for Christ shines in this CD!)

Reviewed by: Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com

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