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Kirk Franklin - Songs for the Storm Volume 1

2007-06-06 15:42
The album's title may alert you to much whining about the tests and trials of life, but Franklin manages the tempo well and the album doesn't drag or become too introspective.

It features a compilation of songs from this multi-Grammy winning artist's previous albums, all conforming to the theme of overcoming hard times in life.

On the album, Franklin says, this "is a collection of songs from the last ten years that have been a testimony to the beautiful struggle of necessary storms in my life".

Some songs do go on for a bit longer than necessary, and a track's strength is often undermined by a prolonged ending of seemingly pointless harmonising and "hallelujahs". "He'll Take the Pain Away" is a well-crafted song for the most part but sort of loses the plot at the end.

Nonetheless the songs are often quite beautiful and, obviously, inspiring.

"When I Get There", we are told, was written for the storm of having a loved one die. Expecting a sad anthem you'll be surprised by the up-tempo beat. The track is more likely to get you up and dancing than mourning. All the songs have strong vocal backing from ‘the family’ (as Kirk calls his choir).

A stand out track is "When You Fall", a beautiful song sung by a female vocalist. Like many of the other tracks it is carried by the vocal talent with minimal instrumental backing.

"Blessing in the Storm" is another great get-up-and-go kind of a song. Franklin ministers to the audience throughout but it is done well and creates a nice contrast with the flawless choirs' chorus.

The fact that the songs come from different albums can mess with the continuity. Track number seven is littered with references to this being the end of the album (it was actually the end of the album it was taken off, and only a little past halfway on this compilation).

The only original track on the album is the closing track "Look at Me Now" but, somehow it doesn't entirely work. Franklin opens it by rapping the first verse; which is different for him, by his own admission and the choir kicks in again with a very upbeat ending to the album.

With this much help, you’ll be able to tackle any storm in your life. And if you still need help, there's always Volume 2 to look forward to!

- Verashni Pillay
Even if you’re not a fan of gospel, this man has a way with music that'll get anyone listening. Kirk Franklin is the big name in gospel music. He has topped both gospel and mainstream charts, partnering with musicians like Bono and Mary J Blige and earning himself a reputation as a skilled musician in the process.

What to read next: Kalahari

Sibusisiwe 2007/08/01 4:47 PM
Kirk Franklin-Songs for the storm This is an awesome and uplifting album and would rcommend it to anyone, whether you're a gospel fan or not. Kirk Franklin has done a great job here.
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