The Fight of My Life
by Monica P. Watkins
WARNING: Please exercise caution while reading this review, as the writer suffers from an extreme case of Kirk Franklin-itis. Nielson Soundscan numbers lead us to believe that millions suffer from some variation of this condition, which is known to be highly contagious. Symptoms (in extreme cases) include the following chain of events: frantic searches for car keys, erratic driving, and "holy encouragement" of the nearest music vendor to get you a copy of the latest Kirk Franklin project - The Fight of My Life.
When it comes to prioritizing music purchases, I have two simple lists. There's the "music I must have...but not right now" list, and then there's the coveted "New Tuesday" list. "New Tuesday" artists require no preview of the music, no buzz, no fresh new radio single. They are simply required to drop a new album and somehow make sure I know about it! Without a doubt, Kirk Franklin is perched atop my "New Tuesday" list, and his current offering, The Fight of My Life, did not disappoint.
After giving the track listing a good once over, I will admit to being a tiny bit disappointed that there wasn't a corresponding track to go along with this knockout CD title. However, my disappointment quickly hit the mat with round one (track one, that is). Yes my friends, I jumped into the fight at the INTRO!
Songs like Help Me Believe found me fighting back tears and fighting for faith as my heart embraced the passionate lyrical plea, "My faith is almost gone. I can't hold on much longer; take this cup from me. Help me believe. Can I believe? Let me believe. I wanna believe." Oh yes! This fight was definitely personal! The singers on this project, an arsenal of the industry's most elite vocal talent, pour a dramatic dose of passion and realism over tracks like Hide Me and the poignant musical prayer and petition, How it Used to Be. I found myself fighting for family and for today's youth on tracks like Little Boy and A Whole Nation, a track which features a grandiose vocal effort by pre-teen Donovan Owens. On I Am God, Franklin enlists the efforts of long-time friend tobyMac, a striking lead guitar and string section, and a fantastic Gospel choir to create a stadium-sized song with anthem-like potential. And the list goes on.... I fought for self-esteem as I rapped with Franklin and guest artist, Da' T.R.U.T.H., on I Like Me. Then I fought for my freedom as my soul stirred from the combination jazz and old spiritual feel of the song, Chains.
Fortunately, this 16-round bout had more highs than lows. I could compare it to the previous Hero project or even projects prior to that, but why? The Fight of My Life is simply another rock solid offering from a contemporary Gospel pioneer who appears to somehow outdo himself by simply being himself. Franklin's music - a blend of rock, hip/hop, jazz, and R&B - is much more than just a compilation of studio sessions. To the contrary, the very essence of who he is as a man, a minister, and a musician is infused into every track of every project, and The Fight of My Life is no different. Recognized as the best selling Gospel artist of all times, this new release from Franklin certainly tells the story of how he arrived there - no doubt he simply endured the fight of his life.
Vote On Album
Download of the Week