Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Boldly entitling your album 'Anthems' raises a certain level of expectation in your listeners. If your songs are then found to be anything other than "anthemic" it could be off to the wilderness for 40 years! Todd's website homepage is headed up "Worship, an anthemic life" and this really sets the tone for this Colorado-based singer/songwriter's very honest biography describing his struggle to accept the Lord's call to be a worship leader rather than a performer. Getting to the point of recording this album has taken some tough decisions, but the result is 13 "really easy, hooky songs that make it simple for listeners to connect with God." Stylistic comparisons would be the likes of Ben Cantelon, Brenton Brown and Lincoln Brewster, with upbeat, energetic songs brimming with honesty and heartfelt praise. The punchy rock anthem "Why We're Singing" kicks off the album, with a long tension-building intro breaking into plenty of raucous guitars underpinning the declaration, "God is good, for he is holy, God is great in all his glory...God is love, and we adore him/God is God, there's none before him/This is why we're singing." Much of the rest of the album really qualifies this statement, exploring Jesus as "the one that saves, the only way", "the God that never leaves, the God that's here with me, Immanuel", "my rock, a shelter for me", "the first and the last, not a picture of stained glass...you're the voice that spoke the earth, greatest prize of greatest worth" and much more. Apart from the opener, other highlights are "Victorious" and "The Only Way", with their soaring chorus melodies, and the closing "Psalm 18". Todd has an attractive voice with a smoothness that remains even at full power. Whilst you might say there's not really anything particularly different to other worship leaders' recordings, each song here is a gem; whether the more rocky or the more reflective songs, they are all characterised by meaningful, praise-inspiring lyrics, catchy melodies, rock-solid playing/musicianship and first class production from Otto Price (TobyMac, BarlowGirl).
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