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Gospel - Released May 31, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Long Live Love is the ninth studio album from Kirk Franklin -- the first full-length from the Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and choir director since Losing My Religion (2015). Its "Love Theory" hit the top of the gospel chart before release, and is one of a few celebratory numbers that maintain Franklin's rooting in classic R&B spanning the '60s through the early-'80s. Between those songs and the reflective ballads, Franklin and company -- including the likes of Isaac Carree, Amber Bullock, and Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper -- cover racism, idolatry, and parental responsibility, as well as perseverance and gratitude. It's all neatly tied together on this succinct return. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Gospel - Released March 21, 2011 | Fo Yo Soul - Gospo Centric

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Gospel - Released January 24, 2011 | Verity Records - Legacy

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Gospel - Released September 20, 2005 | Gospocentric

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. © Andree Farias /TiVo
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Gospel - Released November 13, 2015 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released January 25, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released February 19, 2002 | Gospocentric

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Gospel - Released October 22, 1998 | Gospocentric

Kirk Franklin designed The Nu Nation Project as a revitalization of contemporary gospel, a way to bring it to an audience accustomed to the slick, funky innovations of hip-hop and rap. It's an ambitious project, and one that's not too far removed from his earlier records, simply because it finds him adding R&B production techniques and the occasional grandiose flourish, such as the cameos from R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, and Bono on the admittedly stirring "Lean on Me." Occasionally, the album feels as if Franklin is pushing a bit too hard for the mainstream audience and all that entails (namely, superstardom for himself), but the end result is every bit as engaging as his previous records, thereby confirming his status as one of the true visionaries in '90s contemporary gospel. © Rodney Batdorf /TiVo
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Gospel - Released September 2, 2016 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released November 7, 2006 | Gospocentric

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Gospel - Released December 14, 2007 | Gospocentric

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Gospel - Released December 18, 2007 | Fo Yo Soul - Gospo Centric

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. © Jonathan Widran /TiVo
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Gospel - Released February 11, 2011 | Gospocentric

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Gospel - Released September 10, 2020 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released April 19, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released October 25, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released September 20, 2005 | Gospocentric

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. © Andree Farias /TiVo
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Gospel - Released May 17, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released September 24, 2021 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records

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Gospel - Released November 8, 2019 | Fo Yo Soul Recordings - RCA Records