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Hero - Kirk Franklin

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Gospel / Artist: Kirk Franklin / Content/Copy-Protected CD / Audio CD released 2006-05-29 at Bmg

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      30.10.2009 03:49
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      **Introduction**

      I requested this album to review a couple of months ago but Had not got around to reviewing it as I have discovered a lot of music recently which I was listening to. I reviewed his recent album "Fight of My Life" a couple of months ago so I thought I'd better get round to reviewing this one now. Kirk Franklin as you may have read in my reviews is my favourite Gospel artist. I am not in the slightest but religious but I do like to listen to Gospel Music that is more about faith rather than God/Jesus mumbo jumbo. So here's my non religious take on this album.

      **Hero**

      This album was released in 2005 and is a varied album which is regarded as one of Franklin's best. The album led to two Grammy Awards for Kirk Franklin. The album features some very well known artists including Stevie Wonder and Yolanda Adams and was produced by Kirk Franklin along with J Moss. At 20 tracks which equate to just over 73 minutes this is a pretty long album but there are a few short interludes which bring up the total number of tracks. Due to the number of tracks I will only review the full tracks rather than the interludes as well.

      1 Intro
      2 Looking For You ]
      3 Hero - Franklin, Kirk & Dorinda Clark-Cole
      4 Interlude
      5 Let It Go
      6 Process
      7 Imagine
      8 Could've Been - Franklin, Kirk & J Moss/Tye Tribbet
      9 Better
      10 Afterwhile - Franklin, Kirk & Yolanda Adams
      11 Brokenhearted - Franklin, Kirk & Marvin L. Winans
      12 Without You
      13 Keep Your Head
      14 Why - Franklin, Kirk & Stevie Wonder
      15 First Love
      16 Appeal
      17 Brokenhearted
      18 Interlude (1)
      19 Sunshine
      20 Outro

      **My View**

      The album opens with a short version of "America The Beautiful" by some African children with Kirk's voice over it.

      Looking for you is a funky flowing track which has a great beat and some great vocal harmonies. This is a feel good song with a great rhythm to it. Great up tempo track which shows the variety of the album and hints at the up tempo material to come from this album.

      "Hero"

      This is a really fabulous ballad which opens with A spoken part from people who have had life threatening illnesses and problems and have survived. This track is about having the faith that things can get better. This is a really inspiring song that builds perfectly until a great climax. Brilliant song. The Gospel Choir part on the Chorus is superb.

      Interlude

      "Let It Go"

      From the opening you would think this was a normal Gospel song until the dark beat comes in, this track is about fighting your demons and becoming a better person. This features an unlikely collaboration with Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D and Toby Mac. This track features the chorus from Tears for Fears "Shout" This is an absolutely brilliant song with Kirk Franklin's very emotive almost tearful vocal shining.

      The Process

      "Imagine Me"

      This is another incredible track on this album, It features a Stonking Drum beat which comes in from the opening and the music builds around it. When I first heard the opening I knew this track was going to be good and it is seriously good. This is another inspiring track about self confidence and believing you can make your life better. I love the combination of the thump of the beat and the beauty of the piano sequence which runs throughout. Just brilliant music, lyrics and vocals.

      "Could've Been"

      This track features J Moss and Tye Tribbett. This is another funky up tempo track along the lines of Looking for you, This track is about how you feel when you hear about someone who has lost everything and how easily it could have been you. This just has an amazing rhythm which is the "Jelly" of this song as Michael Jackson would say.

      "Better"

      This is a funky track with a hip hop style beat and some great female vocals. This is another strong up tempo track with some great hooks and a great flow. This is not one of my favourites from the album just because of the amazing quality of the best tracks that's all.

      "Afterwhile"

      This is a brilliant duet with Yolanda Adams where her vocal really shines. I have reviewed her albums already and you may know how highly I rate her, This is a lovely ballad with Piano, Yolanda and Kirk. This track is about staying strong through bad times as they will soon pass and you will get over your problems. Just such a beautifully inspiring song.

      "Brokenhearted"

      Featuring Marvin Winans this track opens with a gentle organ sound and the smooth Gospel choir. This track builds beautifully and Is another fabulous track about staying strong through pain. Marvin's laid back voice shines on this track as does Kirk's and of course the superb Choir.

      "Without You"

      This is another fabulous track which features gentle guitar and Kirk's Vocals. This is a stripped down track which shows his emotive power. This track is about someone not being in your life any more. Just a fabulous track which will I'm sure shed some of your tears if you feel the same about someone who has recently left you in whatever way. Brilliantly Beautiful track.

      "Keep your head"

      This track features a brilliant sample of "Keep your head to the sky" by Earth, Wind & Fire. This classic track is brought into the modern day with a fabulous beat and some fantastic vocals. This is a great use of this great classic track which was one of their finest.

      "Why"

      This features Stevie Wonder and is a fantastic flowing track with some great smooth vocals, Stevie shines on this track as you would expect. This is a brilliant collaboration between two great artists. A really impressive track. Stevie comes in after about 1 minute 10 with his unique vocals.

      "First Love"

      This track opens with a Jazzy Pink Panther like sound and then develops into a fantastic track with some great bass hooks. The Gospel choir are superb on this track and show they can do more than just belt it out with a very emotive smoothness to their vocals. Brilliant track.

      "The Appeal"

      This is another fabulous track which shows that Gospel does not have to be an all out Choir Fest to be Effective. This is a really lovely ballad which is the longest track on the album at a little over 7 minutes and features some Beautiful piano work which sets the scene for the superb vocals from Kirk and the solo performers from the choir. A beautiful song.

      Brokenhearted Reprise

      Interlude 2

      "Sunshine"

      This is another very different track which opens with a lovely Chipmunk style effect. This is a very flowing track in which Kirk Franklin works extremely well with the Gospel choir and the Chipmunk effect works really well on this track. This is the final full track on the album which is followed by a short outro

      "Outro"

      I know I said that I would only review the full tracks but I thought this needed a comment on. This is a brilliant outro with just a short spoken piece which I thought I would mention the words.

      I Refuse to be another black statistic
      A black man who can wine and dine in the sin of the world and still be considered a christain
      I plan on being great, I care not to be less
      i refuse to wear a barcode across my chest
      i refuse to let a black tee or throwback jersey define me
      i refuse to let my children witness divorce or make mature decisions in court.
      I refuse to grow up carrying a generational curse, I refuse to feel the need to curse in my verse
      I hate being automatically looked at when somebody ask, can anyone rap?
      I wanna be a black man who can flip it from urban to corporate measures,
      A black man who doesnt gain knowlegde of the world for his own pleasures
      A black man who risks life to the fullest with no regrets
      My only regret is the stigma that many black statistics in the past have said, like;
      going to jail, bragging about bail, leaving our kids, cursing at church, Married and you still flirt, no father person at birth, inimosity within the ministers in our church
      I refuse to let my people be viewed as temporary
      I plan on planning on seeing enough for the moment before one is legendary,
      As for statistics, my Father broke the mold and I feel its just my job for the next generation to continue in it
      BECAUSE I REFUSE TO BE ANOTHER BLACK STATISTIC!

      I thought this was a great ending to this album and was a great two fingers up to racism.

      **Overall**

      This is a really brilliant album which has some astonishing work on it, There are probably five or six tracks on here that will stand up to anything else in the Genre of Gospel. Kirk Franklin shows himself to be an outstanding singer and Choir conductor. This album has a fantastic emotive quality than anyone whatever race or religion they are. That is the sign of great Gospel and this sure is great Gospel.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Intro
      2 Looking For You
      3 Hero - Franklin, Kirk & Dorinda Clark-Cole
      4 Interlude
      5 Let It Go
      6 Process
      7 Imagine Me
      8 Could've Been - Franklin, Kirk & J Moss/Tye Tribbet
      9 Better
      10 Afterwhile - Franklin, Kirk & Yolanda Adams
      11 Brokenhearted - Franklin, Kirk & Marvin L. Winans
      12 Without You
      13 Keep Your Head
      14 Why - Franklin, Kirk & Stevie Wonder
      15 First Love
      16 Appeal
      17 Brokenhearted
      18 Interlude (1)
      19 Sunshine
      20 Outro