Last go-round, Kirk Franklin was dark and cathartic for The Fight of My Life, but for 2011's Hello Fear, despite the title, Franklin sounds much more positive (but still dedicated). On the cover, he stands at the edge of a rocky cliff, looking serious, ready to confront any obstacle. (After all, saying hello to fear is a welcome and not a withdrawal.) Inside, although Franklin definitely sounds a sober note during his spoken word narrative "The Story of Fear," the music is different: hopeful, inspired, encouraging. The album title is especially ironic given that Hello Fear features some of the most uplifting material Franklin has written in several years, including "Give Me," "Today," and the lead single "I Smile." Elsewhere, he reprises his 1998 classic "Something About the Name Jesus" with a part two that includes contributions from Rance Allen, Marvin Winans, and John P. Kee, and welcomes Marvin Sapp for "The Altar." The closer, a celebratory old-school bounce track called "A God Like You," is the perfect capstone.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush