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Gospel - Released September 14, 2018 | Schoolboy Records & Capitol Records

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On her third full-length album, 2018's Kirk Franklin-produced Hiding Place, singer Tori Kelly pivots away from the secular pop of her platinum-selling 2015 album, Unbreakable Smile, and delivers a joyful set of faith-based songs that balance contemporary gospel soulfulness with warm R&B hooks. Given Kelly's move to a sleek contemporary gospel vibe, her fans who came on board with previous singles like "Dear No One" and "Could've Been Us" might worry that she has sacrificed some of her own personality and acoustic guitar-based style in service of fitting into a specific genre box. Thankfully, while there is an overall tonal shift here, the results feel organic and true to who Kelly, a practicing Christian, seems to be. One of the pleasing aspects of Hiding Place is the organic soundscape Franklin and Kelly achieve, deftly combining Stevie Wonder-esque '70s instrumentation with an ear for the ringing, sleek gospel productions Franklin is known for. Tracks like the opening "Masterpiece," featuring rapper Lecrae, and the buoyant "Sunday" find Franklin framing Kelly's highly resonant voice with vibrant gospel backing vocalists, organ, and crisp bass grooves. Elsewhere, Kelly is joined by Anthony Hamilton's vocal trio, the Hamiltones, on the passionate "Help Us to Love," and displays her knack for earnest, emotive balladry on the thoughtful "Psalm 42." Franklin himself joins her on the uplifting "Never Alone," as does singer Jonathan McReynolds for the laid-back acoustic guitar number "Just as Sure." Certainly, taken as a shift from the world of pop to gospel, there's a sense of genre exploration and discovery here, and Hiding Place is as much a Kirk Franklin production as a Tori Kelly solo album. That said, even when she is singing a song written by Franklin, as with the searching "Questions," in which she ruminates on the challenges of keeping one's faith in the face of tragedy and despair, the sentiments always feel genuine. Ultimately, while the gospel nature of the album will certainly cater to fans of Christian-based pop, the religious messages shouldn't stop Kelly's secular fans from enjoying what she's achieved here. ~ Matt Collar
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Pop - Released August 9, 2019 | Capitol Records

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Following her breakthrough 2015 debut album, Unbreakable Smile, singer/songwriter Tori Kelly reconnected with her Christian roots and issued the Grammy-winning 2018 gospel follow-up Hiding Place. However, in the wake of those successes, she endured a series of losses. Her 2018 marriage to basketball player André Murillo was a romantic bright spot in a year that saw her endure the death of her grandfather and witness the divorce of her parents. Kelly brings all of these experiences to bear on her emotionally raw third full-length album, 2019's Inspired by True Events. Working with producers Jimmy Napes and Noel Zancanella, Kelly leans into her roller-coaster year, transforming moments of heartache and elation into riveting pop anthems. The results are certainly catchy, as on the yearning "2 Places" and delicately attenuated "Pretty Fades," both of which find Kelly showcasing her rich vocals against a subtle backdrop of woody acoustic guitars and nuanced percussion grooves. In fact, one of the more notable aspects of Inspired by True Events is just how stripped down and minimal it is. It's a sound that Kelly, also an adept guitarist, has favored since her 2013 Foreward EP, and one that complements the naked emotions on display. Nonetheless, there are still some more enveloping arrangements sprinkled throughout, as on the dusky "Kid I Used to Know," in which Kelly evokes a '70s orchestral soul vibe as she reflects on her desire to recapture the breezy enthusiasm of her childhood. Similarly, on the impassioned "Until I Think of You" she frames herself with strings and a vibrant gospel choir. She keeps things similarly understated elsewhere, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar for the relationship drama "Sorry Would Go a Long Way," and weaving in warm organ and choral accents on her homage to her late grandfather, "Your Words." Also adding to the album's organic, personalized tone are several sound clips culled from Kelly's home movies, including one with her father just after her birth in 1992, and one from 1997 featuring an irrepressible five-year-old Kelly talking to her mother about wanting to sing. All of this makes for a heartfelt listen and one that balances Kelly's talent for matching pop hooks with a winning sense of honesty. ~ Matt Collar
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Pop - Released January 29, 2016 | Tori Kelly

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Pop - Released January 25, 2019 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released October 29, 2015 | Tori Kelly

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly was barely into her teens when she began writing and recording her own songs in her bedroom in Southern California, and at 19, she self-released an EP, Handmade Songs. In 2012, Kelly also recorded a cover of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You" that racked up over 17 million views on YouTube. With 2013's Foreword, Kelly makes her major-label debut with a set of five songs that add a new sophistication to her sound without interfering with her subtle, emotionally expressive power as a vocalist and songwriter.
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 18, 2016 | Republic - Universal Pictures - Sing

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 2, 2016 | Republic - Universal Pictures - Sing

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Pop - Released August 9, 2019 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released October 16, 2015 | Tori Kelly

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Gospel - Released March 30, 2018 | Tori Kelly

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Gospel - Released March 30, 2018 | Tori Kelly

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