Prime Cuts: Arise (You Are Good), I Have Found (Featuring Tasha Cobbs), Everlasting Father
Operating on six cylinders, you can feel the energy and passion of Bishop William Murphy leaping out of the speakers as soon as the first few notes resonate. Murphy sings with a holy abandonment that is nothing less than pulverising. Thus,"Demonstrate" is more than just a record. This whole album is a Holy-Spirit moment caught on tape. Recorded in front of a live audience at The Church at Chapel Hill in Douglasville, GA last year, Murphy is more than just a singer, he inspires us to worship. By the time you are in the middle of the album's opening cut "Alive," you can't help but be an animation of the song's titular.
Murphy started his music career in 2005, with the release of All Day on Epic Records. This album was listed on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. His second album, The Sound, was released in 2007 on Central South, and was listed on the Top Gospel Albums chart as well. He self-released We Are One in 2011. This album was listed on the Top Gospel Albums chart, along with the Heatseekers Albums chart. His fourth album, God Chaser, was released in 2013 on Verity. The album reached the Gospel Albums chart, as well as the Billboard 200.
"Demonstrate" is Murphy's debut record for the RCA Inspiration imprint. Fans who have been listening to Gospel radio would have been familiar with radio hit "Arise (You Are Good)." With flowing well-developed melodic struggle augmented with some crisp R&B claps and brassy horns, "Arise (You Are Good)" is a bold shout out to God. "Bow Down and Worship" finds Murphy in his velvety Luther Vandross best as he proves that his voice can be just as powerful when he's restrained. While Gospel music has often been discounted for its melodic fluidity, this is not the case with "Everlasting Father."
Speaking of hit singles, Murphy's duet with Tasha Cobbs' "I Have Found" bares potential. Featuring jazzy George Duke piano riffs that slowly crescendos to a powerful climax, "I Have Found" is a brilliant Gospel-filled testimony set to song. Also packed with lots of Gospel truths is "Free in Deed," which is a clever play on word on "free indeed" and "free in deed." Murphy does his take of Bill Gaither's "Because He Lives" on "Light It Up/Because He Lives." However, one would have wished he would have sung the whole song rather than belting out a few lines of it. The same can be said about his take of the hymn "To God be the Glory."
Murphy truly puts in his heart and soul into this project, and these songs are the evidences. When you listen to "Demonstrate," you don't find like a spectator. Murphy draws you in to worship and before long you can't help but shout "Amen" over and over. This is what a worship record ought to do.