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Better Questions

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Album Review

Todd Agnew is serious about his Christianity, and he's serious about prodding his co-religionists to move beyond what he calls the "everything is fine" attitude and start truly engaging with some difficult questions about their place and proper function in a corrupt world. Hence, the album's title. But while his heart is obviously in the right place, the musical expression of his heartfelt sentiments on this, his fourth release, is problematic in several ways. The first problem is his vocal delivery, a singing style that crosses the gravelly portentousness of Nick Cave with the over-chewed vowels of Brad Roberts (of the Crash Test Dummies). Then there are the melodies, which are all attractive enough, but none of them is particularly inspiring or even very hooky. There are some great guitar sounds on this album: "Least of These" makes a serious bid for awesome heavyosity, and it pretty much gets there; "Family," on the other hand, layers funky rubber-band guitar with equally funky clavinet and organ, and it sounds great too. (The reggae attempt, however, just sounds awkward and clunky.) But even when the songs boast a great sound, they almost never really take flight — if you're going to build an anthemic sound, you need inspiring choruses to go with them, and those are sadly lacking on this album. The last straw is the overweening preachiness of too many of these songs — check out "Peace on Earth" and "Family," for example. He probably doesn't mean these to sound as self-righteous as they do, but that just makes him a good guy. It doesn't make this a good album.

Customer Reviews

Probably his best yet --> honest, sincere, challenging

Although I've always been a fan of Todd's, I'm not biased on giving this one 5 stars. At the CD kickoff concert last night here in Memphis, he mentioned his first intent was to make a live worship album. But 8 songs later, God had given him a set of songs he had to record. You definitely won't hear most of these tracks on various mainstream "postitive & encouraging" Christian stations, but that's definitely ok. I love those stations as much as anyone, but these songs lay out some tough questions we all go through with our relationship with God. These songs don't beat around the bush, and gets the questions out there we seem to keep inside ourselves. After halfway through the album, the first thought I had was that it was nice to hear a Christian artist who is asking the same questions I have...this guy's walking right beside me in the questions I have had toward God. In other words, Todd doesn't have the answers, but he's asking the same stuff I am. That is really great for an artist to lay out an album like that. As Christians, we need to challenge each other, and hold some level of accountability to get out there and share Jesus' love as brothers and sisters in Christ...this album challenges us to do that (among other things). There are songs that totally rock and are lyrically strong (Least of These, War Inside, etc), and the musical diversity is incredible as well. Blues (On a Corner in Memphis - which has a great message by the way), rock, you name's all over the board. At yesterday's concert, I actually bought 5 CDs to give out to my friends who don't regularly come to Church, but I know will check this out. Check it out for yourself; you won't be disappointed.

Powerful and Provocative!

Todd and God have done it again! The music is absolutely great, showing such creativity and talent--from the great Memphis blues on "On A Corner in Memphis" to the gritty rock in "Least of These" and "War Inside" to Todd's piano postlude on "Lovers In Our Heads." All the music and musicians were outstanding! The soulful sound and words of "If you Wanted Me" was the front runner for me until I listened to the bonus track "Glorious Day." Todd breathed new life into that old hymn! But what made my heart leap, and just about evoked a shout, was when Todd sang so powerfully and passionately "One day He's coming, oh glorious day!" Between the powerful worship in "Our Great God," the love song from God in "Martyr's Song" and the sound of hope and victory in "Glorious Day" I could just float away up to heaven and not have any regrets about leaving this world. This new CD is a provocative, inspirational, powerful combination of great music and profound lyrics. The raw honesty about life's struggles resonate with everyone who has questions only God can answer. Some of the lyrics provoke us to examine ourselves to see how God can use us as His hands and feet to reach out to a hurting world. Thanks to Todd for continuing to listen to and struggle with God. The two of them are a powerful combination!

"There's a Truth Deeper than Our Opinion"

Everyone has had a thought and repressed it, You think "God, did you really mean me?" or "Why can't I be free from who I've been?" and then everything you've ever learned teaches you to hold back that thought and you'd better never let it out. The music is incredible, but the lyrics force us to realize that "There's a truth deeper than our opinion" and it sparks the listener to search for the answers to these "Better Questions" Song note: "On a Corner in Memphis" is a great companion to Reflection of Something's "My Jesus"


Born: March 15, 1971 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Praise & worship singer and songwriter Todd Agnew was born March 15, 1971, in Dallas, TX. With a kind of indie rock approach, pop-oriented style, and unique voice (which at times takes some getting used to), Agnew's spiritually directed songs aren't quite like anything else in the contemporary Christian market. Basing himself in Memphis, TN, and working through Ardent Records, he has released several albums with the label, including Grace Like Rain (2003); Reflection of Something (2005);...
Full Bio
Better Questions, Todd Agnew
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Customer Ratings