The Art of Letting Go hits iTunes December 7th. AJ wants people to know his hope for these songs is that God will continue to use them as encouragement in the lives of people through his stories and experiences. The album’s title track is about the last couple of years since the break-up of Nevertheless. “God has taught me a lot about 'letting go' and holding on to Jesus, not finding my identity in anything but Him.” Overall, the theme of the EP is remembering that there is grace in the middle of the night. “No matter where we are, God is there to meet us."
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
AJ Cheek [The Art Of Letting Go]| Posted December 22, 2010 The Art of Letting Go by AJ Cheek released digitally on December 7th. AJ and his friends previously formed the band Nevertheless. After a year or two of building a Chattanooga following, Nevertheless signed with Provident Label Group/Sony BMG and toured nationally. Their seven-year career resulted in two full-length albums and two independent EPs. In 2009, Nevertheless called it quits. Soon after, label mates Revive asked AJ to tour with them playing guitar and piano. Recently, while out with Revive, AJ was inspired to write and record his own project. Rich Thompson, the bassist for Revive, approached him with the idea of co-producing/engineering the project. The album?s title track ?The Art of Letting Go? is about the last couple of years since the break-up of Nevertheless. ?God has taught me a lot about 'letting go' and holding on to Jesus, not finding my identity in anything but Him.? The lyrics are prayerful and introspective: ?So quiet my soul, and empty my hands, Put this tired heart to rest, I can feel the weight lift of my back, This burden is off my chest, This is the art of letting go.?
I?ve been listening to this excellent 6 song EP non-stop since it released and I can?t get enough of AJ?s sincere vocals and catchy, worshipful songs. Right from my first listen I was hooked by the Psalm-like reflective lyrics, especially in ?Close To You? which draws from Psalm 23: ?When I find myself deep in the valley, With nobody left to turn to, Still in my soul, I know I?m not alone,? and ?Lift My Head,? which draws from Psalm 69: ?Lord, where do we start?, Where to begin?, The water is rising to my neck, Fear has left me trembling, Where did I go wrong?? AJ co-wrote ?Lift My Head? with Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North and if you like their ballad-style songs ?By Your Side? and ?Healing Begins,? then you will absolutely love this song and album. I absolutely love the song ?Lift My Head? and it has become a personal worship song for me in my daily devotional time.
?Bird?s Eye View? and ?Take A Chance? expand on AJ?s contemplations where he submits fully to God?s plans for his life and ministry and the intelligent song-writing is one of my favorite aspects of this album. ?Take A Chance? has AJ reflecting back on his prior band?s experience again and sings his heart out with the very vulnerable lyrics: ?I know that things have changed, Some lose and some gain, Events unexpected have left some deep pain, But just know that there is healing.? Closing track ?The River? bookends the theme of the album, ?letting go? with extremely biblical and confessional lyrics: ?So take me down, down to the river, For my guilt has burdened me, Take me down, down to the river, For I need to be washed clean.? AJ wants people to know his hope for these songs is that God will continue to use them as encouragement in the lives of people through his stories and experiences. Overall, the theme of the EP is remembering that there is grace in the middle of the night. ?No matter where we are, God is there to meet us."
I really love this album, it?s very reflective and worshipful. AJ?s song-writing and singing style reminds me of Phil Wickham, who is one of my favorite artists. If you like contemplative, sincere and prayerful songs like ?You?re Beautiful? by Phil Wickham and ?Restless? by Audrey Assad, then you need to pick up The Art of Letting Go by AJ Cheek. You won?t regret it and you?ll be craving more from this up and coming singer-songwriter.