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"So my thought was, 'Let's do a record with a drummer, a guitar player, a bass player and some keyboards.' So that's how we started..we definitely strayed from that.As we started meshing the creativity and the simplicity together, sometimes the simplicity fell away."That creativity, that exploration of various sounds and styles—be it rock of "Still Has A Hold," the groove of "Least of These," the lightheartedness of "Funny" or the reinvention of Rich Mullins' piano-driven "Can I Be With You"—weaves in tightly to the singer/songwriter nature of some of the other tracks, giving Better Questions a sonic diversity that holds the listener's attention while maintaining that reflective thread the overall theme requires."For me, it meant going some different directions sonically, like having more keyboards on a record than ever before."He's not going to give you the answer that will let you think, 'Oh, I've got it all figured out now,' He's going to give you the answer that is going to pull you in to Him, because that's what you need."We've kind of developed this idea that says Christians can't be challenged by art, they can't be made to think about anything, we can't have lyrics that are more than two syllables long, you can't directly quote stuff out of the Bible because it's going to go over their heads," Agnew says."But my thoughts are, if they've connected with some of the things I've done in the past, then they're probably asking some of these same questions."And I can't help those people by giving them the answer, because I don't know the answer.
So you hear the feedback and expect the rhythm to come crashing through, but it just subtly comes in and moves you along.""But this song also deals with the danger of the format we've been taught in writing for this genre: you can present any question you want, as long as you answer it 30 seconds later," Agnew says.But I can help them in letting them know that they're not alone in asking the questions.The church, as a body, can ask those questions, and we may or may not end up finding the answers, but we can walk that path together."And for Todd Agnew, an artist willing to stand up and make the music he's called to make while simultaneously making the points he's compelled to make, just getting the questions asked in the first place is an encouraging first step down that path.There's an axiom that should apply in so many areas where we live our lives, be it classroom or boardroom or family room.
"There's no such thing as a dumb question."But there's one place where this idea tends not to apply."We had planned to do a live worship record next after the Christmas record," Todd says.