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Todd Agnew’s “Grace Like Rain” Review
When I was a child, I spent about a year of my life in Foster Care. After being in the system and bouncing from foster home to foster home, I finally ended up in a more-than-temporary foster home. The family that I ended up with was a very loving, older couple who had already taken into their custody several young boys as well as a pregnant teenage girl. This family was very religious and attended a Pentecostal local church at every opportunity. Being a minor, and having no choice but to go where they went, I also attended each service that the church held, and so there I spent about ten to fifteen hours each week. Being young, fairly impressionable, and moderately troubled for a young woman in my position, I accepted their ways and was accepted within the church a part of the Youth Group.
Back then, one of the newest, fastest rising Christian musical artists was a man by the name of Todd Agnew. Almost everyone in the church community had a copy of his album, Grace Like Rain, so, after saving up for a bit (I was fourteen, money was hard to come by!), I, too, purchased the album. Even though my beliefs today are not those that I held back then, I still find myself listening to as well as enjoying this album. While the message that Agnew desperately croons in his capable, gorgeous voice, which is clearly filled with adoration for his god, is clearly just that, a Christian one, between the soulful sound of Agnew’s harmonizing, the beautiful guitar pieces and the general overall sound of a man singing about his love for worship, the album is more than easy to listen to, it is addicting. While not everyone practices Christianity, most believe and try to follow its most basic message, “do unto others…” which is basically what the message of this album is. However, this album is also blatantly a Christian one, so to those who may be offended by even the subtlest of Christian undertones, this is not the album for you. In fact, for anyone who is not at least tolerant of the Christian message, just completely avoid this album.
Most lyrics are very clearly Christian ones, such as “Jesus died for our sins/ his blood will wash away these stains/ he died to give you freedom/ so why do you still wear those chains,” (Lay it Down) and “You are/ the truth you are the light/ you are/ all that I ever dreamed of,” (You Are) while others, such as “I don’t even know how I got here/ wandered to this darkness from your light/…and I want to go home but the sands of time surround me/ and the dirt’s finally covered my shame” (Wait for Your Rain) still has a moderate-to-heavy, clear Christian message, but is still a beautiful song in and of its own right. In fact, many of the songs on this album are unbelievably beautiful ones, most are slower and leave listeners feeling content and serene. Some songs though, such as “Lay it Down,” begin with fun, upbeat, catchy and memorable guitar solos that immediately capture the listener’s interest and get them moving in their seats.
Perhaps one of the best songs on the album is the title track, “Grace Like Rain,” which Todd Agnew performs twice on this album. The first time it is preformed, it is a bit more acoustic and classic, it is slower and sung in even, moderate tones. The second time that the track is found running smoothly into the end of the track at the end of the album, “Wait for Your Rain.” Personally, I prefer the second version best, as it is a bit more rock-esque, especially considering how much louder the drums are played, the guitar is strummed, and how strained Agnew’s voice seems to be. “Amazing grace/ how sweet the sound/ that saved a wretch like me/ I once was lost/ but now am found/ was blind but now I see/ hallelujah, faith like rain/ falls down on me/ hallelujah, all my stains/ are washed away/ they’re washed away” (Grace Like Rain).
Each of the twelve tracks on this one hour and forty-two second (1:00:42) album is moderately long running at an average of about five minutes each. In addition, there is a hidden bonus track at the end of the album that is really quite good. I definitely recommend this album to any Christian who likes to hear good, quality, soulful music sung in the genre, as well as to any persons tolerant of hearing a Christian message in the music that they listen to. Agnew’s voice is most assuredly worth hearing at least once, even if it is only by singing about his love of his god.
Pros: Gorgeous voice, beautiful music, positive message.
Cons: Probably only enjoyed by Christian listeners.
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