Kingdom Come, The Soundtrack
Written and produced by Kirk Franklin....featuring some of R&B's most familiar names, and some of Gospel's too....the soundtrack to a new high-profile comedic and family movie from Doug McHenry (Jason's Lyric, House Party).....Producer: Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr
album release date: April 3, 2001
That's certainly enough to sky the project to the top of multiple levels of interest, if not fuel the fires of the never-die debate of whether Gospel music 'has gone too far'.
But credit Franklin with moving out of the box yet again, and much more importantly, remaining uncompromisingly true to his calling in Jesus Christ. With song topics ranging from hope, forgiveness, thankfulness, love and conviction, there's plenty to celebrate.
Hopping straight onto the repeat button circuit is the first track "Kingdom Come", a southern-fried duet from Franklin and R&B newcomer/dazzler, Jill Scott. Jazzily scatting her way through the track, Scott testifies of hope and endurance and waiting with certainty on God's promise of faithfulness. Franklin's ad libs and sparsely but funkily-instrumented track set it off.
Skipping to track 8, on the hope-filled "Someday" Crystal Lewis shows us once again her incredible range, her soul-soaked vocals and her undefinable welding of song delivery with an authenticity that tells you she knows what she's singing about. All of these make Lewis the perfect songstress for Franklin's powerful gift of songcrafting. This may well be the most enduring cut on the project.
OTHER GOSPEL SOUNDTRACKS
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Another standout is the Mary Mary - Kirk collaboration, "Thank You". As a bouncy urbanized ode of thanks directed to Jesus, Franklin fashions the praise around a catchy chorus from kids who pelt out enthusiastic 'thank yous'. Mary2 give the vocals, Franklin the trademark semi-rap shoutouts. In someone else's hands, this could be tacky, but it works a wonder with Franklin behind the helm.
Elsewhere Natalie Wilson and SOP make strong showing on "Daddy's Song". Carl Thomas takes lead on the mid-tempo prodigal prayer that asks God for comfort in sad times. Thomas' vocals are straight up quality, but it's SOP's support that makes the song gel, as they expertly ride the rhythmic hook from start to finish.
You can also find Deborah Cox returning to her Gospel roots on "Thy Will Be Done". Jeremy Lubbock's soft string swells lift Cox's sweetly-rendered heaven-directed confession that all hope must be placed in God, and that trouble don't last.
Urban kick comes courtesy of Trin-i-tee 5:7 on "It's Alright". With Myron Butler, Peaches West and Caltomeesh West on backing vocals, this number fulfills expections.
Similarly, there's no disappointment in "God's Got It All in Control", a Kurt Carr production that has Carr out front with Tamela Mann reaching with smoothily-flaired vocals.
Kingdom Come, the movie, is one of those star-studded features that delivers comedy in a family-toned approach. The plot centers around the Slocumb Family, who come together for the funeral of a family member. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Braxton, Vivica Fox, Jada Pinkett, Darius McCrary and LL Cool J, the scenes are comedic to say the least.
Amidst Shawn Stockman's and AZ Yet's contributions comes a shining effort from Tamar Braxton, who takes charge of "Try Me" with 1NC. Gorgeous arrangements and tender lyricism mark the cut. Bishop Kenneth Ulmer narrates on the album-ending reprise.
Marked with more of the softer musical side of Franklin than we've heard recently, this Kingdom Come soundtrack will no doubt gather many spins.
reviewed by Stan North —
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