LABEL: ARDENT MUSIC
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 6, 2012
ow To Be Loved
ow To Be Lovedis the eighth studio album from Todd Agnew and it is stunning. The album is filled with raw emotion without tripping over its own feet and falling into clichéd CCM territory, the minimal, Folk music style backing keeps Todd Agnew’s on the forefront for the album. The album is expertly balanced with serious tracks sprinkled between lighter fair that makes the album easily digestible when listened to the entirety. This album is sure to be one of the strongest of the year.
For the unconverted Todd Agnew fan he can readily be compared to a CCM version of Ray LaMontage. He has a voice that could never really be called beautiful but works because it conveys emotion perfectly because it is humble and raw. This talent really shines in the CCM genre, which is flooded with over produced and pitch perfect artists. The only slight downfall on this album is it just on the brink of being too short, given that it is just slightly over forty-five minutes.
“The One You Want” opens the album with a bang, with Todd Agnew sounding as raw and humble as possible. The song is about feeling filthy and shamed but still feeling that call to God, and struggling to believe that we are worthy of God’s love. A simple message but the song is absolutely perfect. Few artists can make a song so perfectly humble and come off as genuine but this song is emotionally charged and every moment is just heavy, it is amazing.
“Give What’s In Your Hand” is a rock song that has a simplistic message but one we often forget. It is about not knowing how to help our neighbor but realizing we don’t need to try to fix the world but give what is in our hand. Simple gestures can multiply and when we see a man in need we need to do what we can. It is a simple message but the song manages to not come off as overly simplistic.
“Letting Go” is another track that Todd Agnew shines on, as the title suggests it is about letting go of all the negative things in life It is a very traditional CCM/Gospel track but the focus is squarely on Agnew’s consistent delivery. It is not the prettiest voice, or always perfect, but it is intimate and close, sounding more like an encouraging Prayer than a song from a major recording artist.
How To Be Loved is an amazing album that is hard to ignore or dislike. It has a solid collection of happy songs and very heavy, raw songs that come off as almost frighteningly personal appeals to God. The album is perfectly balanced with the heaviest songs being offset perfectly by lighter fair that never makes the album hard to listen too in its entirety. The only real fault of the album, other than Todd Agnew’s voice may not be tolerable for some, but the album is also on the verge of being too short.