Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Need by Todd Agnew
"...an inspirational and expressive blend of rock-solid music and profound lyrics."
I must confess
I’ve heard of Todd Agnew but have never taken the time to listen
to his music until now. With his newest offering, “Need,” four
of the twelve tracks are original songs, while the remaining eight are his
creative covers of those lyrically rich hymns of our past. Although there
seems to be an abundance of artists rearranging hymns nowadays, Todd’s
take is well planned out and filled with worship. With his theme of need,
the message of “less of me, more of Him” was clearly presented.
From the sweet Memphis blues in "Joy Unspeakable," to the gritty rock in "Breakable," to the piano driven “The Love of God,” Todd has breathed new life into many of the hymns we’ve grown to cherish over the years. I felt I was in the middle of a gospel sing-off with his rendition of “Deep Love of Jesus,” even though we lost the guitar solo during the bridge.
He finishes up this CD with an original worship song entitled “Jesus, Hope of Glory.” Although I’m not a fan of repeating lines over and over again in a worship song, this title is heartfelt praise to the only audience who deserves it. The abrupt ending to the song was somewhat disconcerting. In a reaffirmation of the need to be silent before the Almighty, “Written on the Wall,” is a heartfelt yearning to hear and discern God’s will amidst the world’s deafening noises. Todd's raspy colored vocals evoke the passion of his heart.
The powerful worship led first with driving guitars in "Higher Ground," fades to a conclusion free of any instrumentation and a background of spontaneous solo expressions from the choir centered on these words of the chorus:
“Lord, Lift me up and let me stand, By faith, of Heaven’s table land. A higher place than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
"Need” is an inspirational and expressive blend of rock-solid music and profound lyrics. I was pleasantly surprised by Todd’s delivery of these time-tested hymns as well as his own original works. He reminds me vocally of a younger Bob Dylan or Mark Heard, a CCM artist from the early ’80s. I will definitely listen to his other recordings in order to hear more of his own songs.