CD REVIEW: “four: twelve” by No Other Name

For over fifteen years, Curb recording artists No Other Name has been traveling the world singing about Jesus. From their moments of singing with Bill Gaither and the Homecoming Choir to singing in Thailand for a song to promote missions and the International Missions Board, this group represents all that is right with Christian artists today.

There’s something about this trio when they come and lead in worship. Don’t believe me?  Schedule them for a worship event and let your congregation tell you.  They don’t come and just play an “event” or a “gig”…they lead you in worship with songs centered on Christ, His message, missions and worship.

No Other Name has been nominated for a Dove Award the past two years (New Artist of the Year/Song of the Year) and I know a third consecutive year is coming based off these tracks.

This new album (preceded by The Other Side, Lead You to the Cross) is called “four: twelve” and has ten songs (eight of which are previously unreleased). The CD is based off of Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else.  For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. Let’s take an in-depth look at the songs:

1) NO OTHER NAME BUT JESUS (Clark, Koch, DeMarcus) This up-tempo song is a perfect opener for worship events.  I can hear the trio Phillips, Craig and Dean singing this song (that’s a compliment).  This song will become the new “mission statement” for No Other Name…it shares their ministry vision in a perfect way.  This song is a good radio selection, too. Based on Acts 4:12.  (DC – 4.5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 4.5 out of 5 stars)

2) JUST AS MUCH GOD (Koch, DeMarcus) “Just As Much God” is a modern song that proclaims that God is the same yesterday, today and forever!  My favorite part of this song are the lyrics of the bridge as Chad sings: “…there may be no more mangers for Love to send a Baby…there may be no more crosses where a Savior will die..there will always be a King…there will always be a Light that forever shines…”  This song is packaged and ready for radio.  This song is based off of Hebrews 13:8. (DC – 4 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 3.5 out of 5 stars)

3) BLESS THE LORD (Skinner, Poythress, Land) As a worship pastor, when I first heard this song I thought to myself “we have to sing this in worship!”  Thankfully my research led me to find this on the CCLI SongSelect database.  This song is destined to be a favorite with congregations across America!  Sam takes the lead on this up-tempo worship song which would serve as a great worship opener.  This song fits the group’s style very well.  As they lead congregations in worship, this song is easily singable and based off of scripture in Psalm 103.  (DC – 5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 4 out of 5 stars)

4) MORE THAN MOVED (Boggs, Cox) Sam leads out vocally on this song that hints at the idea singer/songwriter Matthew West gave us in his song “The Motions” which reminded us to get out of the routine and stop going through the motions.  No Other Name is rooted in missions and this song lets them remind the listener to practice what you sing and preach!  This song is flexible that can be done with the track but can also be done acoustically.  This songs is based off of many topics including: following Christ, worship, routines and breaking free from our comfort zones. (DC – 3.5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 4 out of 5 stars)

5) LOVE BLIND (Laura Allen, Sam Allen, Chad Smith, DeMarcus, Koch) In “Love Blind” Chad sings the lead and reminds the listener to follow the greatest commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Moreover we should love with our hearts and not our eyes.  This is a great reminder for us as Christians.  The style of this song reminds me a little of Steven Curtis Chapman’s recent songs.  All three members of No Other Name chimed in and wrote some of this song.  (DC – 4 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 3.5 out of 5 stars)

6) ALIVE IN ME (Sam Allen, DeMarcus, Koch) On “Alive In Me”, Sam leads out on a song that could be done by track or acoustically depending on the worship event set up or worship set.  This CD has three or four songs that are great filler songs which have quality lyrics and melody, but just aren’t the power ballad or “straight-to-radio” hit.  I think songs 4, 5, and 6 are those songs for this recording.  Not every song on a CD is a top ten hit, but don’t underestimate this song or just skip over because it is slower.  Sam does a great job singing the truth of God being alive in us.  References: Ezekiel 37, Galatians 2, John 3.  This song is a great song of testimony.  (DC 3.5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 4 out of 5 stars)

7) YOU SHINE THROUGH (Gilkerson, Llewellyn, C. Hoisington, A. Hoisington) I love the feel of this song.  It is easy-listening and the kid’s background vocals are a super touch.  Chad leads but not to be outdone, one of Chad’s daughters sings background vocals.  I love the driving beat, percussion, background vocals and into/interlude that is played and double voiced by the child singer.  To me, this song defines a true No Other Name song by the energy it gives, voicing, and its message of Christ shining through us, in spite of our scars.  John 8 is referenced in this new, radio-ready single.  (DC 4.5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 3.5 out of 5 stars)

8) WHAT GRACE DOES (Laura Allen, Poythress, Farren) Laura only sings lead on one song for this record and she gets a wonderful song to shine on.  “What Grace Does” has a way of staying with you after only one listen.  This type of song – when heard in worship or on the CD – makes you stop in your tracks and listen, weep and worship.  It relates to every listener, no matter where you are in your Christian walk.  This song allows Laura’s voice to soar in her comfortable vocal range and builds dynamically and then comes back down only to have Chad take the chorus in a new key in a way that only his powerful voice could.  This power ballad is radio-ready and should be played on every station…every day…forever.  (DC – 5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 4.5 out of 5 stars)

9) LET IT START WITH ME (Laura Allen, Sam Allen) This song was born out of a movement to allow assistance to fellow Christians who long to share the love of Christ with others.  In fact, the International Missions Board asked Sam and Laura to write this as the 2011 missions theme song.  This song is a prayer that leads to obedience to Christ.  “Let It Start with Me” is based on Isaiah 6:8/Matthew 25.  (DC – 5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 5 out of 5 stars)

10) LEAD YOU TO THE CROSS (Beck, Bosarge, Sprague) This song assist the listener in fulfilling the Great Commission.  What a powerful charge to follow in Paul’s footsteps and be “all things to all men”.  The IMB also used No Other Name in 2009 to help promote missions.  “Lead You to the Cross” is based on 1 Corinthians 9:19-23/Matthew 28. (DC – 5 out of 5 stars) (ZR – 5 out of 5 stars)

Overall Zach and I average out to a CD rating of 4.3 out of 5.

This group is very flexible stylistically.  Moreover, they appeal to all generations, not based off of style alone, but also platform personality and character.  Not many groups can sing “Midnight Cry”, “I’ll Fly Away” and then modern songs like “No Other Name But Jesus” in the same concert and pull it off.  These guys do.  Centered around missions and then music, No Other Name shares the love of Christ through the songs they sing, words they write and mission trips they lead.  This recording will go down as the best – so far – in the group’s short history with Curb Records.  Many of these songs have radio written all over them.  Also, they provide foundational lyrics to use in worship services at churches and other worship events.

If you are a worship leader and can only bring in one group this year, DO NOT HESITATE…call No Other Name today and schedule them to come to your church.  Tell them you saw it on my blog.

CD produced by Jay DeMarcus, Don Koch, Michael Rossback, Blake Bollinger and Bernie Herms

The group is represented by 168 Management

Visit the website of No Other Name here.

Purchase music from their website, iTunes or amazon.

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