REVIEW: Kirk Franklin–“Losing My Religion”

Kirk Franklin-Losing My ReligionThere is no denying that THE most recognizable figure in modern gospel music is Kirk Franklin. With 9 Grammy Awards to his credit, his catalog, pen, and unbridled creativity have made him one of urban music’s most successful personalities. It’s been nearly five years since the Hello Fear project which produced the huge single “I Smile” and Franklin returns with what he deems his most “intentional body of work” to date.

Titled Losing My Religion, this 13-track body of work, in a word, is a masterpiece. Void of traditional gospel cliches and imagery, this project is relevant, thought-provoking, and necessary. With a generation seemingly turning away from the things of church, Losing My Religion speaks to the concerns of those who have seemingly lost their way and makes a distinction between God and Religion.

The project begins strong with a poignant spoken word piece that is the album’s title track. Franklin’s incredible metaphors, similes, and delivery makes one wonder if he could ultimately add the title of “conscious rapper” to his impressive resume. The track addresses the religious constructs that have seemingly kept the lost from discovering and embracing the true love of Christ. It’s a challenging piece that addresses emotional wholeness, homophobism, racism, gender equality, and more, all in under four minutes!

Kirk Franklin LMR promoFranklin takes time to strategically address social issues such as #BlackLivesMatter and more in hidden interludes throughout the album that are often attached to powerful songs such as “Miracles”.

So, let’s talk songs shall we? Losing My Religion is a sobering, mature, and transparent body of work. Generally known for his vocal ad-libs and narration, Franklin sits down at the piano and sings songs such as “Pray For Me” and “Intercession”. With Franklin singing lead, you hear the authenticity of his heart’s cry. He speaks to the power of prayer and the need for believers to spend less time judging situations and more time committing them to prayer. Lyrics such as “He sees me but He hears You” (lyrics from “Intercession”) show the depth of perspective from which Franklin writes.

Franklin has always been a master of presenting the right collaborations at the right time. This project is another shining example of this as he pairs vocal powerhouses Zacardi Cortez and BET Sunday Best winner Tasha Page-Lockhart on the track “It’s Time”. Musically potent and creative, this unpredictable song speaks to the challenge of waiting on God to deliver on His promises and Cortez and Lockhart deliver in a big way during the song’s vamp. Tasha Cobbs, Sarah Reeves, and Tamela Mann come together with Franklin on “My World Needs You”, another track where Franklin handles lead vocals. The simplicity and heart behind his vocals resonate significantly, and Reeves, Cobbs, and Mann all bring their distinct strengths to this song making it another universal hit and cry for help.

Kirk FranklinPerhaps one of the most anticipated collaborations sees the vocally revered Kim Burrell and Lalah Hathaway come together with the group TEN of NBC’s The Sing-Off on the track “When”. The presentation of this song from its musical arrangements to its vocal execution is simply perfect and is a vocal masterpiece that will exceed your expectations. The song shares the longing for the return of Christ in one of the most peaceful and refreshing ways in recent memory.

No Kirk Franklin project would be complete without uptempo jams and he delivers. The connecting “123 Victory” and “Road Trip” are fantastic summer jams that will definitely be in rotation all year long. Equally impressive are the tracks “True Story” and “Over” which are cleverly produced, incredibly encouraging, and infectious.

From start to finish, Losing My Religion once again sets the standard in faith based music. With this opus, Kirk Franklin has masterfully fused excellent production and arrangements with thought-provoking lyrical content and undeniable authenticity. Before it’s all over, Losing My Religion could be considered Franklin’s greatest body of work, which is an INCREDIBLE statement. Needless to say, Losing My Religion belongs in your collection QUICKLY!!

Kirk Franklin: Losing My Religion
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2015
Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records
Purchase Here: | iTunes | amazon |

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