- reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Jun
- You Know My Name
- I Love You
- Even More
- The One
- Unity (We Stand)
- Everything In Me
- Just Like You
- Restore Me
- Here's My Life
- Come Home
- Be Still
Anthony Evans is a member of the new class of up-and-coming voices in Christian pop. The Dallas native, a lifelong vocalist, toured recently as a backup singer with friend and mentor Kirk Franklin. He's also appeared in places as diverse as church conferences, The Tonight Show, Soul Train, and the Grammy, Stellar and GMA awards.
Evans' solo debut,
"You Know My Name" starts the album with Latin-flavored guitar, serpentine strings, and hints of funky rock. Evans' voice here is smoky and agile, a hint of rasp adding a sense of mystery and vulnerability to the lyrics: "You hold the stars in place/Order time and space/And yet you know my name/You hold me in your hand/Help me understand/Your love will never change/'Cause you know my name."
"Fearless," "Even More," "Here's My Life" and "Come Home" have hints of '90s-era Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith, using the familiar combination of guitar-and-piano driven music, short verse and soaring chorus and bridge.
Franklin joins Evans for "Incredible," a midtempo, slightly churchified track featuring funky guitar and organ. Playful moog accents give the song a light, faux-retro feel, and soulful background vocals add energy. "I Love You" is one of the highlights, a smart, groove-able pop/R&B song with lyrics focused on how Evans' enjoyment of God's everyday gifts points him toward the giver.
"The One," another high point, has a slightly Fosteresque pop feel, aided by evocative piano, acoustic guitar and gently arranged strings. Energized by forceful bass guitar, it builds gradually to a dramatic chorus, backed by a solid corps of vocals.
"Everything in Me" has a thumping, danceable vibe. Jovaun and Jerard Woods team up with Evans, adding sharp, edgy background vocals in this slightly ethereal dance-pop number. "Just Like You" is Evans' moving, simply accompanied tribute to his father, the well-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans. Confessional and intimate, "Restore Me" is a lush, fulsome ballad, showcasing the depth of Evans' emotional range and his vocal agility and clarity. If there's a "saaaang, son!" song on the album, this is it.
The message of "Unity" is timely, vocal arrangements are solid, and Crystal Lewis is great. Unfortunately, it's a missed opportunity to do something fresher. From the "marching" tempo and progression from lead vocal to duet to the spoken segment by Kirk Franklin to the addition of the gospel choir, you've heard this song before.