CD REVIEW: NO OTHER NAME “The Other Side”

1.  HE’S ALIVE – No Other Name’s newest release begins with a wonderful song about the truth of the resurrection.  The verses are taken from Samuel Medley’s 1775 hymn entitled “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”  A new chorus and bridge have been added to this great hymn that I believe could make it very accessible for modern worship.  Chad does a masterful job of capturing the meaning of the song in his performance.  This musical arrangement does a good job of serving what these powerful lyrics are saying.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)

(Story behind the song)

 2.  THE OTHER SIDE – This is the title track to the 2011 release.  Within these lyrics, Chad, Sam, and Laura sing about what “The Other Side” will be like for the homeless, a widow, the lame, the blind man, and the mother who lost a child at birth…  “On the other side there are no more good-byes, every heart will be unbroken, every tear wiped from our eyes.  Sorrow has no grips there, death is left behind, on the other side.”  This song is a nice change in pace on the CD, and provides a positive message about our eternal promise through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us.  “It talks about how great it is going to be in heaven…and is a reminder of how much better its going to be on the other side…”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15)

(Story behind the song)

3.  EVEN ANGELS – This is a much-needed song for a world that often perpetuates an unscriptural view of angels.  Many people out there associate songs on secular radio that contain the words “angels” or “God” as being highly spiritually.  Most of these songs are not only unspiritual, but unbiblical.  Humans are the only creatures who can sing about grace, angels can’t.  No Other Name has written a great song that will hopefully help many people start to have a better theology of angels.  Sam continues to knock it out of the park on this project.

 “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)

(Story behind the song)

 4.  LEAD YOU TO THE CROSS – This is probably No Other Name’s most popular song and has propelled them to promote missions in the world.  Via the NON website, “Lead You to the Cross is a vibrant anthem that proclaims the essence of No Other Name’s ministry.”  The song was the featured music video for the 2009 IMB Lottie Moon Christmas Offering emphasis.  The group shot this video in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The theme of this song should be the heartbeat of every faithful Christian.  (Previously released on the “Lead You to the Cross – EP” in 2009)

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

(The official music video)

 5.  THE ONLY ONE – This high-energy song proclaims our dependence on God, praising Him for who He is and what He has done for us.  I love the energy in this song!  “The Only One” is a radio-ready song that could quickly climb up the charts.  The verses gradually build in anticipation to the energetic chorus.  “When everything is said and done, You are the only One.”

(Previously released on the “Lead You to the Cross – EP” in 2009)

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

 6.  BEFORE I GO – This is a great song that was written around the passing of one of Sam & Laura’s relatives that was a faithful saint.  It is a song that encourages us to make the most of our time on this earth.  This song could remind one of the poem “Only One Life” by C.T. Studd.   “Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  Life is but a vapor and this is a great musical reminder.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.(James 4:13-14)

 7.  LET IT START WITH ME – Track #7, is amazing.  Simply put, it is the best track not only on the album, but one of the best songs I’ve heard released in Christian Music over the last few years.  Based off of the principle that changing the world starts with change within you, the group clearly communicates the need for missions both in your community and in the world.  This year, the Southern Baptist Convention has already selected the song for its missions campaign.  The International Mission Board created a video (filmed in Thailand), to be distributed to more than 40,000 Southern Baptist Convention churches this fall as part of the said campaign.

“‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25)

(official music video) (story behind the song)

8.  MAPLEWOOD METHODIST CHURCH – In 2009, pianist and vocalist, Gordon Mote released this song, but No Other Names takes it to the next level with their tight harmonies and laid-back arrangement.  This is a great story about a janitor who works by cleaning the church but “his real work don’t start ‘till quittin’ time when he goes through every prayer request lying on the preacher’s desk”.    This song challenges the listener to go beyond the minimum and know that even when you think you are just a “simple man” you can be a prayer warrior of great strength when you hit your knees.  The only issue with this song is when you sing “Maplewood Methodist Church” in a Baptist church.  “Maplewood Baptist Church” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, ya know?!

(Previously released on the “Lead You to the Cross – EP” in 2009)

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective…” (James 5)

9.  CHRIST AROSE – This is a classic hymn aka “Low In The Grave He Lay.”  One of the best arrangements ever of this hymn.  The tight harmonies sound wonderful recorded and just as good live in concert!  This is definitely a crowd favorite!

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where helay.” (Matthew 28:6)

10. MIDNIGHT CRY (live) – Gold City, Ivan Parker, Michael English have all performed this song and now No Other Name sing this powerful arrangement.  The unique part about this on the recording is that it is a live track.  The group does a great job at singing and proclaiming the track.  Offering a live track on a studio CD showcases the trio’s vocal strengths and song delivery in a worship service.  I love this personal experience that ends the CD…and also the best message to leave the listener with…the second coming of Christ.

(Previously released on “The Prelude”)

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (I Thessalonians 4:17)

CONCLUSION:

No Other Name is a great trio.  They are following Christ’s call of the Great Commission through reaching the lost in song and building the believers up through the truths of His Word.  Blog contributor Zach Rice has had the group at his church three times and I have been preparing to have the trio at HBC for the second time.  The church hasn’t stopped talking about the first time they were here: “amazing spirit, amazing music”, and we consider ourselves very privileged to have had them as part of our worship service.

Yes, there are many accolades:

  • Signed to Curb Records in 2008
  • Partners with the International Mission Board
  • Recognized by industry and fans with a GMA Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year.

But, more important than the accolades is the power of the Gospel that is presented in the music of this trio.  Worship Leaders, I encourage you to check out their website, social media (twitter & facebook), as well as a Church Music Today interview of this trio.  Being a music leader in a church I am constantly looking for the group out there who will bring an attitude of worship backed by strong Biblically-based lyrics and this group puts it over the top with that, PLUS a heart for missions.  You can’t go wrong with bringing No Other Name to your church!

Finally, check out a promo from David Platt, purchase their CD…and invite this group to your churchyou will be blessed by them!

(This project was reviewed jointly by both Dennis Cook & Zach Rice)

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