More Pop-Rock Than Soul on Anthony Evans' "Letting Go"

Artist:  Anthony Evans
Title:  "Letting Go"
Label:  INO

Thanks to his 2004 R&B flavored debut, "Even More," many may assume recording artist Anthony Evans is a purveyor of urban grooves. Yet his sophomore release "Letting Go" is actually a disc full of well-executed Christian pop/rock with a smattering of soul.

Yes, it’s true that Evans has spent studio and stage time with the likes of Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin. But the time he spent on the road last year with FFH and Matthew West (who surfaces here as a co-writer) seems to have made a more profound artistic impact on him. The co-producers selected – Matt Bronleewe and Watermark’s Nathan Nockels – have built their own resumés crafting modern pop showcases for a variety of artists, and they skillfully shepherd the transformation of Evans into a more straight-ahead pop act.

Unless missing Evans as an R&B maestro becomes a speed bump, it is quite easy to latch onto "Letting Go." Each selection is delivered cleanly, and the pacing – from crunchy opening rocker “Good Enough” to anthemic first single “I Choose Now” to power ballad “Meaningless” – is brisk. The lyrical themes are straightforward and, as indicated by the title, often refer to Evans’ recent lessons in using God’s standards to measure success rather than his own.

The main criticism of "Letting Go" is that it sounds a bit generic at times. The lyrics are relatable but not groundbreaking; the melodies are accessible yet not overly ingratiating; and, as a vocalist, Evans is engaging and robust but just a shade removed from compelling or warm.

Time should work well on Anthony Evans, though, as he continues to let go and become more comfortable in his artistic skin.

© 2006 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to subscribe.