Yet another worship-leader-turned-CCM-artist has hit the scene. So, you may ask, what makes Todd Agnew original? Well, to be honest, he isn't really. But that doesn't mean his debut on Ardent Records is something to avoid. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Yes, it's really nothing new. Typical worship, typical contemporary, typical this, typical that. But Todd Agnew takes things to a new level. With his inclusion of rock and a strong voice, this guy can appeal to a vast audience.
Take the song "This Fragile Breath." It gets play on a range of stations scaling from Christian rock all the way to the opposite end, Christian adult contemporary. The song is aggressive enough to pass on rock stations, though tender enough for AC. It has a very The Calling feel to it, and I noticed many similarities between it and The Calling's song "Wherever You Will Go" the first time I heard it.
In fact, Todd Agnew's voice sounds very much like that of Alex Band's of The Calling. Agnew's voice also resembles that of Jason Wade from Lifehouse. But you get the idea - deep, strong, and passionate vocals. But Agnew has a southern flare to his voice that puts an interesting spin on things. Lyrically, Agnew speaks of the love and grace of God on all of the twelve tracks of Grace Like Rain and it's pretty solid. He admits on "Still Here Waiting," "I'm surrounded by the very thing You freed me from"/ And adds, "I don't know where I turned around from chasing what I always found completed me… And You always met with me, and You're still here waiting." On the aforementioned "This Fragile Breath," he says, "You speak with thunder and lightning. Your voice shakes the mountains, the foundations of the earth. All I can offer is this fragile breath. With each one I'll praise You." It's all about admitting man's frailty and God's grace.
Todd Agnew doesn't do too much that hasn't been done before, but he does it right. If he can continue to appeal to the large audience he is now, he'll become one of the big names in CCM. Look for his name when the Dove Awards come around. Until then, enjoy this worship/contempory/rock/just-about-everything-else blend that Todd Agnew has concocted. It's a winner that can be recommended to just about anyone.- Review date: 9/2/03, written by Josh Taylor
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