Jim Farber
June 07, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

God must have a good sense of humor. How else to explain the smash success of a gospel album by Andy Griffith (!)? This, despite the actor’s croaking vocals and brittle, leisurely arrangements on I Love to Tell the Story. By contrast, Kirk Franklin’s hit gospel album, a live effort, couldn’t work harder to sound urban and up-to-date, employing new-jack swing inflections plus a Prince-like title to make religion seem groovy. Luckily, his Family can belt with the best of them in Whatcha Lookin’ 4. Voices like these could appeal to any music fan’s soul.
I Love to Tell the Story: C
Whatcha Lookin’ 4: B

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