The Christian faith journey inspires transformation. It seeks answers to the question, “How can humanity grow more and more into the likeness and image of God?” The first step, of course, aims to draw one’s self closer to the Creator. The next step, as Anthony Evans learned recently, is to let go of vain attempts of self-sufficiency and instead embrace the fact that God, in good times and through difficult times, will never ever abandon us.
The aptly titled project, Letting Go, arrives as the sophomore release from Anthony Evans, one of Christian pop’s most distinct and gifted artists. The Dallas-based singer is recognized widely for his dynamic vocal presence, his joyful expression of passionate faith and for his insatiable thirst to understand matters that are important in his relationship with God. With Letting Go, Evans finds his voice soaring through an album of new songs grounded in a deeper understanding of God’s relentless grace.
“This record is about trusting God absolutely, and understanding the magnitude of the hope we have through the sacrifice Christ made,” Evans explains. “I now stand confident in this truth.”
Championing true and intimate art, Evans co-wrote nine of the album’s ten songs by partnering with top writers, including Matthew West, Michael Boggs, Chad Cates, Ben Glover and Jason Ingram. Track after track, these songs represent a transformation Evans experienced as he struggled last year with his call to represent Christ in music ministry.
“You know in human relationships how it’s ‘You do for me, I’ll do for you and then we’ll be friends’? I was equating that interaction I have with people to my relationship with God. I kept saying, ‘You’ve got the wrong guy, Lord. I’m not good enough.’ I could not separate acceptance without performance.”
But he learned that’s not how God’s grace operates.
“The way I was living—trying to earn my way to God—was taking away from the sacrifice that Christ made,” Evans says. “Jesus went through all that He did so that I wouldn’t have to do anything. I can’t add anything to his grace.” Inspired by this fresh understanding, Letting Go is thoughtfully packed with love’s reassurance.
“The vantage point here is that I’ve realized more concretely that God doesn’t want anything from me when it comes to the performance thing. All I need to do is give him my heart. God created me this way and God unconditionally loves me. I better recognize what God’s love truly means,” Anthony says. This revelation provided Evans with the freedom to approach more closely what God intended him to be, not just as an artist, but as a Christian trusting God to hold onto him unconditionally.
“God doesn’t ask us to come in and be ready and prepared for everything. We don’t have to be capable. We just need to be available.” That perspective is artfully portrayed on the album’s energetic opener “Good Enough.”
“You don’t have to be good enough
This love is for free and it’s more than enough
I’ll be your strength in all you say and all you do
My love will make you good enough.”
The title track “Letting Go” assures listeners that God stands fast beside them in difficult times. Evans says, “Sometimes you can just tell something is going on in another person’s life. In this song I admit I don’t have the solution for them. But I can tell them God knows where they are because He’s been there, too. Jesus experienced hurt and pain, and because of that He’s right there with you. He’s never letting go. That’s what matters most.”
The album’s other songs include the anthem “I Choose Now,” which is also the record’s first single; on “Meaningless,” Evans recognizes the reality of humanity’s sinful tendency, but does so without diminishing creation, which God called good; the ballad “Whatever I Can’t Erase” portrays another face of God’s creative redemption; and closing the record is “You’re My God,” a track witnessing to God’s character as being one of strict faithfulness.
Producers Matt Bronleewe and Nathan Nockels crafted Letting Go to hone in on Evans’ strong pop sensibilities, more so than on any of the artist’s previous work. The project showcases Anthony’s passionate vocals spread across a backdrop of gritty rock guitars and rhythmic bass lines.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience when it comes to creating and producing this record,” Anthony continues, applauding his producers. “Nathan’s so good at creating soaring, acoustic arrangements. And Matt—he’s a guy that takes creativity to another level. It’s incredible how well he mixed so many rich flavors into the context of this record.”
Letting Go is poised to capitalize on Evans’ successful 2005 touring season. Anthony garnered high praise from fans and critics on the road with pop stalwarts FFH and singer/songwriter Matthew West. Evans also gained listeners’ attention performing as a summer staple of last year’s Promise Keepers lineup. Before that, Evans launched his solo career in 2004 by releasing Even More on the heels of several dates with acclaimed industry superstars Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin. Anthony received his break into professional music singing backing vocals for Franklin, who has since become a friend and mentor, too.
With so much time spent on the road, Evans, more than ever, relishes opportunities spent with friends and family. His father, well-known pastor/author/speaker Dr. Tony Evans, and mother, Dr. Lois Evans, executive vice president of The Urban Alternative, still live in Dallas. Anthony’s brother is Baylor University football standout Jonathan Evans, who recently signed with the San Diego Chargers, and his sisters are author/speaker and mother Priscilla Shirer (often tagged as the next Beth Moore) and Chrystal Hurst, a mother of four children.
During 2006, Evans plans to continue to team up with Dr. Tony Evans to facilitate the duo’s celebrated conference events. Anthony also stands eager to tour Letting Go, spreading to others in need the hope-filled message he’s personally experienced.
“I hope that people will be really encouraged through this record,” Evans says. “I hope they will take away a new perspective on their journey, that wherever they are now is a single page in their story and we already know it’s going to have a good ending. I hope people can hear this album and gain confidence and assurance in the relationship they have with God, knowing God’s arms are securely around them and He is never letting go.”
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