Published on March 12, 2014
The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com Album review: William McDowell's 'Withholding Nothing' is raw, powerful Typically, William McDowell bypasses the overproduction that can happen in the studio by going the route of raw live albums. By doing this, McDowell can capture the core and heart of worship. On his latest, “Withholding Nothing,” which came out today (Nov. 5) McDowell continues on the same path. On this album, McDowell does what he does so well—Usher those hungry for a touch from God into His throne room. To get into the right frame of mind before writing the songs, McDowell and his team fasted for 40 days. The first track of this album, “Releasing a Sound” shows the pastoral side of McDowell. On the song he shares a prophecy he received from God. It is a powerful word from the Lord that is the backbone of the rest of the album. "Bring Me a Minstrel" is an instrumental track with no vocals. It illustrates the demand Elisha made in 2 Kings 3:15. I truly love this verse as it talks about the hand of God coming on Elisha while a musician played. The purpose of this track, I think, is to prepare us for the hand of God that will touch us on the rest of the album. The piano and cello give a warm welcome to "Expecting." McDowell sings about waiting and expecting God to move. He declares the manifestation of God's move in this generation. I think a lot of people will relate to this song based on the applause and approval it received from the 1 / 3
The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com audience in front of which it was recorded. The atmosphere and energy swiftly changes to that of a lively hip hop influenced one on "Are You Ready" as McDowell and his crew announce that they ready to see signs and wonders. On songs like "We Will Prevail" McDowell offers encouragement and greases the elbow of people’s faith. He musically shares the word of God to help deal with the different situations of life. "Sovereign God" was a beautifully written, arranged and performed worship song that focuses on the sovereignty of God and people. It features American Idol alumnus Danny Gokey. Gokey did a great job with his vocals and helped propel the band to heavenly places. "When I Call Your Name" and "There is Something About That Name" are simply blissful. Both songs feature the heart-clutching vocals and focus on the grandeur of the power of the name of Jesus. On "My Heart Sings," McDowell tries to express the holiness and beauty of God, but falls short. He sings, “How can I describe a God that's indescribable/How can I explain a love that's unexplainable/I'm at a loss for words." “Can't Live Without You" features Nicole Binion as the lead vocalist. She does an outstanding job and leads the team to perform a worship song that is soul-stirring. An album like this would just feel incomplete without a medley of some sort, and McDowell gives it to us on the “Witholding Nothing Medley.” It features lyrics from “Give Myself Away” which was a huge gospel song and the album title track “Withholding Nothing.” “What started in rehearsal as a way to re-work our song ‘Give Myself Away’ became the title track after the event,” McDowell explains. “As we were singing the chorus of what would become ‘Withholding Nothing,’ the response was overwhelming. The whole evening was like that at least 45 minutes of the project was unrehearsed.” The studio version of the title track served as the album closing track. It’s a beautiful song that lives up to the expectation placed on it, musically, spiritually and otherwise. Regardless I must add I feel this radio-edit could have been better mostly in terms of lyrical content because it just felt like a long chorus. I also feel the same way about some other songs on the record, but it can be overlooked since it is after all a live record after all. From the moment McDowell announces the grand arrival of the Holy Spirit by “releasing the sound” on “Withholding Nothing,” right to the end where he surrenders and yearns for more of God, he has done so with musical fluency. The powerful spoken word message that follows most songs on this album is a bonus. The message and word joined with the impeccable raw vocals and instrumentation makes it a reverent record. I see a lot of churches with urban gospel choir adapting the songs from this 2 / 3
The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com album for their services. “Withholding Nothing” is an album for the church, for individuals and for the people of God. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 3 / 3
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