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Album Review

Kirk Franklin's seventh album, Hero, is special in more ways than one. The disc is his second as the sole titular artist — no Family, God's Property, or budding protégé to introduce to the world — and his first-ever all-out studio album, a prospect that gives him more leverage to try new things and push the envelope in ways that doing a live recording wouldn't let him. Franklin is unique in that he's more a master of ceremonies and choir leader than anything else, which means Hero's ambitious, often intricate compositions are meant for others to sing and make their own. In this case, the guest list is an endless parade of gospel luminaries new and established, including Yolanda Adams, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Marvin Winans, J. Moss, Tye Tribbett, and Franklin's own terrific backup vocalists. Not surprisingly, these collaborations represent Hero's churchier side, which can range from explosive ("Could've Been") and dramatic ("Hero") one moment to demure and understated the next ("Afterwhile," "Brokenhearted"). Stylistically, though, Franklin is at his best when he ventures outside of gospel into realms his peers rarely visit, like disco-pop ("Looking for You"), classic R&B ("Keep Your Head"), '80s pop/rock ("Let It Go"), and soul ("Why," featuring none other than Stevie Wonder). It's these out of the box experiments with their winsome throwback samples, horns, thumping beats, and those versatile backup vocalists that reveal the why of Franklin's superstar status in gospel: he's not just an artist, but a multifaceted entertainer, producer, songwriter, and arranger — a tireless renaissance man who has rightfully earned his place as the best-selling artist in the history of the genre he loves.

Customer Reviews

I loved it.

This album touched my heart, so beautiful.

Real Talk Hurts...BUT IS NEEDED!

i love this album for two reason. one, its straight real talk and it makes the conviction stronger from god that we need to grow in our faith. two, because Franklin doesnt hold back the message that God wanted him to let loose. dont listen to the people that said it was no good. they are just mad that they are getting convicted by the holy spirit through the lyrics and the fact that God's message is being heavily heard through the songs against what they want god to be (which is not who he is.hes way more and bigger)...GREAT JOD KIRK! YOU ARE BEING WHAT GOD WANTS! =)

Looking for you

That is like my face song on this album.

Ps. To certain people who commented: if any of this is scaring you it's because you need Jesus in your life ;)

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....
Full Bio