Artist – Kirk Franklin
Album – Hello Fear
Label – Verity Gospel Music Group
Street Date – 22 March 2011
Album Length – 15 tracks. 1 Hour, 17 Minutes, 41 Seconds.
Genre – Urban/RnB/ Gospel
IPod Pick – A God like You
Veteran artist, Kirk franklin, respected and loved even by those in the mainstream market is back after so much wait since his last release with a new one. This one is tagged ‘Hello Fear’ and quite unlike his former efforts. It would really not be nice to compare ‘Hello Fear’ to any of his former release. If we do, we might not just appreciate the fresh material Kirk has to offer on this new one.
The album starts off with something I personally think shouldn’t be an album opener. It’s the album titled song ‘Hello Fear’. An eager fan that has waited all this while since Kirk’s last release would definitely skip this track to listen to the next. Funny enough the next track is a telephone conversation styled interlude tagged ‘The Story of Fear’. My opinion – I think that’s too early for the album or should have been the opening track. It would sure be a skip too for a fan that has waited this long. The album goes next to the gospel funky hip- hop ‘Before I Die’, a track that has great lyrical depth amidst its beaty tune. ‘I use to be afraid to die. I use to try . . . but the Son came to give me life now I feel like I can touch the sky’ Kirk sings on this one. But I roll my eyes as Kirk uses already very common clichés such as ‘As we proceed to give you what you need’. Does he really have to? Please!
‘I Am’ is a song that centers on transformation and the work God is doing in us. ‘But The Blood’ would soon become a favorite after a first listen. The stories Kirk shares at the end of the song would also capture your heart. Other highlights of the album are the RnB – esque ‘I Smile’ that sounds like the traditional Kirk Franklin and Family sound. The much loved Mali Music appears on the Pop flavoured ‘Give Me’. Other guest appearances on this effort include Marvin Sapp, Beverly Crawford, Rance Allen, Marvin Winans amongst others. ‘A God Like You’ is a beaty song that would sure get you moving 30 seconds into it. The track ‘Today’ is a stand out. It’s fresh and also very contemporary. It does sound like and have chants like the World cup song for Africa performed by Keri Hilson and Akon.
My take – if FEELS Mr. Franklin is just here to give his fans something new so that the wait wouldn’t get longer than it has gotten. This album FEELS like something that should have come become ‘The Fight of My Life’ album. The songs do really sound like something we’ve heard before, the lyrics might just trend in the ‘I’ve heard that before’ waters sometimes and I don’t mean to be demeaning. But like I said earlier, we shouldn’t compare this to any of Kirk’s former releases. And really if we don’t, we would better appreciate the material on ‘Hello Fear’. Personally, I do think it’s the type that would grow on you as you listen. So next time you pick that telephone called ‘the Music store’, ‘Hello Fear’ it is! Go get yours . . . . NOW! 🙂
Review by Ayomide Akinukugbe