Christian rocker Todd Agnew, has returned with a new album From Grace to Glory: The Music of Todd Agnew, while wrapping up the pursuit of a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. His signature raspy rock vocals grace an album that has some of his more popular recordings alongside several lesser known and previous recorded tracks that never made it onto albums in years past. Where an album like this could feel like the makings of a scrapbook with a few newer pictures added recently, From Grace to Glory is a portrait of the artist rather than collage. This album is the current summation of a long recording journey, solidifying Todd Agnew’s proclamation of faith, and a nod to the artists who have helped shaped his path.
From Grace to Glory opens with a contemporary sounding hymn, “Glory to Our Great Redeemer.” Theological imagery abounds with a melody that is a blend of classic and contemporary, melding the realization of redemption with carefully crafted lyrics that will satisfy proponents of classical hymns as well as those desiring new material for their congregations. The melody is comfortable and familiar, the lyrics compounding the glory of Jesus Christ. “Nearer Home” is a modern seafarer’s anthem, arranged to sound like waves as a schooner cuts through swells of the ocean. There’s also a groovy version of “His Eye is On the Sparrow” with guest vocalist Trulah Maloy, that is just a great version. Soul, blues and groove meet with the classical and deliver a rendition that is celebratory, and just makes you want to get up and dance to Jesus. We get to see a glimpse of Todd Agnew as a deep blues rocker with grit, soul, and full out belt with the U2 cover of “When Love Comes to Town.” Not only do we get Todd’s musical tastes and influences, but also we get a growl and emphasis and power out of Todd that is not often heard on CCM albums. Aside from the cover, the repeats, and the few new songs, for the hard core Agnew fan, some will be familiar, as they have been part of his set lists while touring. “This is All I Have to Give,” is one of these songs. The pop background with strings, piano, overlaid with Todd Agnew’s voice, feels a bit out of place, but we’ll give him a pass on this one. In addition, the song “On a Corner in Memphis” drags a bit, but the rest of the album more than makes up for the few lackluster songs.
From Grace to Glory is a good addition for the longtime fan of Todd Agnew, as well as the new initiate. This album gives a good overview of his career for the past 15 years, with some rarities and B sides that are revisited and brought off the cutting room floor. If we pick a single it would be “Glory to Our Great Redeemer,” but we think the album as a whole is worthwhile.
Should you? Yes, yes you should.
From Grace to Glory official release is May 26th, 2017