Prime Cuts: Greatness of You, Love Never Fails, Settle Here
Overall Grade: 4/5
William Murphy is more than just a gospel music singer. And "Settle Here" is more than just a record. Rather, Murphy is a scavenger for the holy. He scours through the happenstances of life - whether it's our trials or our joys - and he helps us see the vistas of God's grace, love and sovereignty in such tableaus. Without ignoring our daily grinds and struggles, Murphy teaches us to relinquish our fears and trust God afresh. Thus, it's in these songs our faith are strengthen and our love for Jesus gets heightened.
"Settle Here,"Murphy's sixth album, was produced entirely by Murphy's spiritual daughter and son-in-law, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Kenneth Leonard (the duo behind Cobbs-Leonard's current chart topping release, Heart, Passion, Pursuit). And like his previous album "Demonstrate," this is also a live album recorded in two sessions. The first session included a small and intimate gathering of worshippers gathered in the sanctity of Murphy's home, and was followed by the second session, which manifested as a much larger corporate worship setting, and took place in the church that he pastors, The dReam Center of Atlanta, GA.
The album starts off on an explosive note as Murphy offers a spirited version of Zach Williams' hit "Chain Breaker." When Murphy commands "If you need freedom or saving/He's a prison-shaking Savior/If you've got chains/He's a chain breaker," you can feel your own shackles rattle. While the rowdy "The Rock" is a tad nondescript, the album picks up with "Greatness of You." Flourished upon a gorgeous melodic line that gives exaltation to our God despite our circumstances, the song has a nostalgic 90s soul groove that is hypnotic. Those of us who are in the throes of trials know the dread of the word "wait." But when Murphy sings "We Wait" with so much faith, waiting on God doesn't sound that grim.
A listen to the title cut and single "Settle Here" reveals why this is already a radio darling. Wrapped with Murphy's warm tenor and the tender vibrato of the synth, "Settle Here" is a heart-warming invitation to the Holy Spirit to dwell in our midst. The keyboard-led "Love Never Fails" is hands down a gem of a ballad. Add to that Murphy's emotionally charged nuances, this song is definitely something to write home about. As with most live recordings, there are some moments of impromptu spontaneous worship. In this case, "Praise Break" and "Shout" are such exemplars. Depending on how you view these moments, they can either be tedious or spirited expressions.
"Settle Here" does not have some fabulous moments. But the pride of this record is not just in the songs. Rather, it's what these songs can do to our lives. In times when we feel the pinch of life, this album helps us to see the holy in the ordinary.