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 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,
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.
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
* 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.
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
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....."
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)
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
* 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.
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.
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).
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!
Kirk Franklin - Your ministry for Christ shines in this CD!)
Reviewed by: Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com