- Thursday, August 01, 2002
- Looking For You
- Let It Go
- The Process
- Imagine Me
- Could've Been
- Without You
- Keep Your Head
- First Love
- The Appeal
- Brokenhearted (Reprise)
A thread of personal and collective brokenness winds throughout. While not without hope, several tracks make an unrelenting case for the world's need for the hero described in the title track.
That doesn't mean the music is glum.
"Hero," a powerful, orchestral choir song, showcases Franklin's gifts as a songwriter and arranger. It opens with verbal testimonies from people miraculously saved from death, then builds a sense of drama by alternating between soft, unison verses and bolder ones sung in S-A-T parts. It reaches its dramatic pinnacle as Dorinda Clark-Cole ad-libs over a repetitive vamp.
"The Process" transitions into "Imagine Me," a mellow, mid-tempo track which completes his story, as Franklin writes of imagining total freedom from insecurity and pain. "Could've Been," a high-energy collaboration with Tye Tribbett and J Moss, is a step-danceable praise party, with a funky breakdown vamp and lyrics that take on an extra poignancy given the recent hurricanes. The skatable "Better," has more than a hint of the verve and showmanship that mark the drum-and-bugle corps on many historically African-American colleges and universities. Listen for this one on a football field near you.
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