Entertainment Weekly - 10/2/98, pp.74-75
"...Hear the gutbucket wails and stirring hymns of his choir, and if you still don't think this is sho nuff sanctified, you may be a heretic." - Rating: A-
Mojo (Publisher) - 03/99, p.96
"Franklin makes gospel records like DeMille used to make religious epics..."
Personnel includes: Kirk Franklin (vocals, piano, programming); Rodney Jerkins (vocals, various instruments); The Family, 1NC, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Crystal Lewis, Tamela Mann, Dalon Collins, Rance Allen, Men Of Standard, LaKeisha Grandy, James Henderson, Caltomeesh West, God's Property, Nu Nation, Gospel Tabernacle Church Choir, O.D. Wyatt H. S. Choir, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond (vocals); Mark Harper (acoustic & electric guitars); Michael Landau, Terry Jackson (guitar); The Road Crew Horns (horns); Dan Shea (piano, keyboards, programming); Bobby Sparks III (piano, organ, keyboards, programming); Jerome Harmon (organ); Nathan East, Jerome Allen (bass); Ricky Lawson, Erick J. Morgan, Jeremy Haynes (drums); Len Barrett (percussion).
Engineers include: "Bassy" Bob Brockman, Chris Bell, Kevin Bond.
THE NU NATION PROJECT won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album and was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "Lean On Me" was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Song Of The Year, Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best R&B Song.
In the '90s, Kirk Franklin emerged as the spearhead of the New Gospel movement that combined funky, contemporary urban sounds with spiritually oriented lyrical themes and won a whole new generation of fans for contemporary Christian music. If you took away the theological slant of the lyrics, THE NU NATION PROJECT would seem like a high-end R&B album, full of state-of-the-art production, a mixture of acoustic and electronic instrumentation and some impassioned, melismatic vocal performances. The grand production style underscores the earnestness of Franklin's lyrical concerns, as do the choral background vocals. Famous friends R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige and Bono (!) join in for the uplifting "Lean On Me."