November 19, 2015 

By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw 

Contributing Writer 

 

It’s been almost five years since we’ve heard from the prolific and visionary artist, Kirk Franklin, and it was well worth the wait.  “Losing My Religion” is Franklin’s 11th studio album and its chock-full of feelings of love, hope, and goodness. 

 

“God loaned me some incredible songs for this album,” Franklin said. 

 

“Losing My Re­ligion” is definitely food for the soul or as Franklin says, “One-stop-shopping for your soul.”  It’s raw, personal, loving, and invites everyone to partake in its sumptuous feast.  The title alone will have fans wondering if Franklin has left the Church… just the type of dialogue that he’s hoping this title will generate. 

 

“What religion has done is thrown so many rules, so many laws, and so many other things at people, that people are drowning and have become frustrated.  My job on “Losing My Religion” is to show that God wants you to receive salvation, and religion doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

 

The title song finds Franklin delivering a potent spoken-word message as he unapologetically reminds humankind “there is room at the cross for everyone.” 

 

“These songs are personal for me, they are my narrative, my personal struggles, and I hope that people will connect in a way that turns their heart to God and his love for us.

 

“I know in my heart that we all - straight, gay, or whatever - we were lost and in need of a Savior, and there’s room at the cross for all of us,” says Franklin. 

 

Relentless in his quest to find answers or at the very least to provoke thought from the Christian community, Franklin asks, “Are we giving a Gospel that one hears or one that can be seen?” 

 

Franklin and his producing partner, Shaun Martin, on Franklin’s label, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, produced the 13-track album, which Franklin hopes will point humanity towards love and acceptance of one another.  Franklin is at times reflective as he poignantly sings about the pain of personal judgment on the powerful “Pray for Me,” reminding us “judging me is not helping me to grow.” 

 

There are the beautifully penned “My World Needs You,” “When,” “Intercession” and “Miracles,” songs that are pure Franklin which perfectly frame this album reiterating his message of love and hope. 

 

This album features a stellar list of collaborators, all bringing their ‘A’ game:  Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs, Tamela Mann, Lalah Hathaway, Kim Burrell, Tasha Paige-Lockart, and Zacardi Cortez. 

 

“I love working with talent and I’m so grateful that people want to work with me.  I love hearing voices come together and blending as one.  It’s a beautiful thing for me,” Franklin said.

 

It wouldn’t be a Kirk Franklin project without the soul-thumping stirrings found on “Over,” – “If you got air to breathe – it’s not over,” and “123 Victory.”

 

Franklin’s impact upon modern gospel music is immeasurable.  His career expands over 20 years and he is the recipient of nine Grammys, 39 Stellar Awards, 16 Dove Awards.  The accolades speak of his influence not only on gospel music but also on the cultural music fabric of the nation. 

 

Franklin has sold over 10 million albums and is currently the executive producer and host of one of BET’s top rated shows, “Sunday’s Best.”  Franklin extended his reach re-branding Sirius XM’s praise channel into “Kirk Franklin’s Praise” and he recently headlined The King’s Men Tour with Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, and Israel Houghton.

 

Yes – Kirk Franklin is losing his religion and as he says, “Thank God, it’s my job to help you lose yours.”  Franklin has hopes for the future and its rooted and grounded in love; that we see others through the lens of love. 

 

“When we infuse people with love, with possibilities, then maybe people can live the life that God envisioned that they would live.”

 

“Losing My Religion” is on sale everywhere.  Visit kirkfranklin.com for more information.

Category: Arts & Culture


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