This project is as close as it gets to having a true, bona fide masterpiece. The artistic genius of Kirk Franklin weaves through each of the 17 songs included on this gem. The title of this project, The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, says it all. Musically speaking, he has been born again. The project effectively mixes live tracks recorded in Houston, TX, in early 2001, with some stellar studio tracks. Many naysayers have unjustly criticized Franklin for departing the successful formula of this self-titled debut project, which included the mega-hit “Why We Sing.” Well, in that regards, he has returned to the traditional/contemporary-flavored mix of his early work, only with a more progressive feel. Franklin has never been noted or recognized for his singing ability, a fact that he readily recognizes, sticking ever closely to his spoken-word rap. He relies on his talented background vocalist, along with the all-star list of special guests, to take care of the vocal chores. Featured throughout are such artists as Donnie McClurkin, Crystal Lewis, Jackie Velazquez, Shirley Caesar, Richard Smallwood, the late Willie Neal Johnson, Yolanda Adams, and Bishop T.D. Jakes, among others, with the latter joining Franklin on the track “911.” There is also a hidden bonus track entitled “J Train,” featuring Franklin and DC Talk’s Tobymac. The true brilliance of Kirk Franklin shines again.