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The Fight of My Life (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

In the mid-2000s, fans, critics and the Recording Academy couldn't heap enough praise on Kanye West's brilliant, visionary fusion of rap/hip-hop with classic pop textures. But long before West was dominating the pop scene, Kirk Franklin was bringing this same type of cross-genre genius to the gospel world. While he was something of a breakout superstar of his genre in the '90s, he also was creating amazing faith based projects well into the 2000s. Beginning with a boxing ring bell and running close to 80 minutes over 16 tracks, The Fight of My Life packs a multi-faceted emotional punch that might challenge fans of only feel-good, happy expressions of "God is Great, all the time" type songs. Exulting in shouts, interjections, and his trademark talk-rap style over an exuberant female choir, bright orchestrations, and edgy scratches, Franklin uses a brilliant reworking of the Kenny Loggins-Michael McDonald lite pop classic "This Is It" to fashion his upfront statement of faith "Declaration (This Is It)." Through this track, he attributes his ability to come through all his trials to the Almighty's grace, but later, he (or rather, his female entourage) reflects refreshingly on his doubts on the gorgeous, heartfelt ballad "Help Me Believe." Then comes "Hide Me," in which he feels lost in life; while not understanding God's ways, he seeks shelter to help his faith grow. More than simply, wonderfully honest, ultra-hip gospel, this is modern-day Psalming at its best. Blending grooves, horn textures, choir textures and in your face rap, the fight constantly balances trust ("He Will Supply," "Jesus") with the darker issues confronting the idea of maintaining faith in a difficult world. The angry, blistering rock guitar driving "I Am God" underscores the tension of wanting to break free while God keeps pursuing and asking for our trust; this track breaks the typical Franklin mold and sounds more like crackling, anthemic Christian rock. The message is always the artist's focus, but with so many tracks, the stylistic diversity (from buoyant, atmospheric '70s disco on "Still in Love" to the tribal African vibe of "I Like Me" and the torchy ballad "Chains") makes the disc a soul-stirring blast from start to finish. This is one fight that will leave the listener smiling through the bruises. All contemporary gospel should be this musically joyful and lyrically raw and honest.

Customer Reviews

Mr. Franklin at his best!

A must have - what more needs to be said? Every song speaks to my spiritual needs at one point or another. But that's Kirk's gift - from "Help Me Believe" to "I Like Me" to "The Last Jesus" - oh yeah, I've used "The Last Jesus" in a many illustration to the teens I teach - it's all for you, all the time. GO KIRK! He keeps making music that's timeless, all the time!

wow

this is a great album. a lot of people think that because its hip hop with a message, it won't be good but kirk franklin is actually a great artist

kirk is amazing

Hey do not worry. I like how kirk had some more fun and dance songs, but he also had serious songs. this is what i am looking for, a good album that that mentions our GOD and that he isn't afraid to say it. he isn't afraid even to tell what he has gone through. look at his album hero. well this is a great album for you christian music lovers (thats all i listen 2)

Biography

Born: January 26, 1970 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Since his debut, 1993's Kirk Franklin & the Family, Kirk Franklin has been one of the brightest stars in contemporary gospel music. The album spent 100 weeks on the gospel charts (some of those on top), crossed over to the R&B charts, and became the first gospel debut album to go platinum. His second album, Kirk Franklin & the Family Christmas, became the genre's first Christmas album to make it to number one, and his 1996 album Whatcha Lookin' 4 went gold as soon as it was distributed. With such...
Full Bio
The Fight of My Life (Deluxe Version), Kirk Franklin
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