Kirk Franklin, Hello Fear
By Cameron Conant, contributing writer, watchgmctv.com
With a knack for uplifting people through music, Kirk Franklin gives fans encouragement to press on during trying times with his latest album, Hello Fear. But instead of looking into the unknown with trepidation, Franklin (a Dove and GRAMMY Award-winner) greets difficult circumstances with a buoyant proclamation of faith. The best example? A song called “I Smile” that’s counter-intuitively dedicated to “recession, depression, and unemployment.”
Franklin never glosses over people’s difficulties here, but rather stares reality in the face, even confronting his own challenges with bracing honesty. He even goes so far as to say, “I can’t sing, but I’m gonna work hard for you to like me.”
Indeed, the biggest question about Franklin musically is the observation that he neither raps nor sings: So what exactly does he do again? Cajoles is the best answer. He also has a knack for arranging, directing, producing and assembling some of the best musical talent in Gospel and R&B. And more often than not, the results are fantastic.
Which brings us back to Hello Fear. It might not be Franklin’s best, but it’s darn good, and probably carries the most heartening message you could impart to someone having a bad year. The songs range from slow piano ballads to pew-shaking gospel numbers and R&B songs as comfortable in the church as they are in the club. And with the uncompromising declaration: “with God’s help, you’re going to make it,” it’s not so difficult to confront the scary road ahead.