Givin' It Up To God

Nobody's changed the face of contemporary gospel more than Kirk Franklin. His mix of mass-choir spirituals, hip-hop beats and slammin' R&B with the God's Property, the Family and Nu Nation projects preceded the gospel crossover success of Mary Mary and Trin-I-Tee 5:7.

Kirk Franklin Presents 1NC both continues in this vein and mines deeper musical territory. The forays into salsa on "Unconditional" and South African vocal stylings on "Be Like Him" (RealAudio excerpt) let his more contemporary stylings shine in a broader context.

But Franklin is still best at breathing new life into traditional mass-choir sounds, where a lead vocalist engages in intense call and response with a chorus. The soaring "Breath Away" (RealAudio excerpt) sounds at once modern and traditional. On the other hand, a straight-up club cut such as "Movin' On" (RealAudio excerpt) is thoroughly modern, an effective dance cut and a testament to the power of faith.