No Other Name, The Other Side

By Lindsay Williams | contributing writer,
Posted: Mon, 10/17/2011 - 13:38

New Curb Records trio No Other Name enters the scene with debut The Other Side, one part Avalon, the other The Martins. Siblings Sam and Laura Allen, along with friend Chad Smith, come together in three-part harmony to create a debut that finds them straddling the country and pop worlds.

Produced by award-winning writer/producer Bernie Herms (Natalie Grant, Casting Crowns) in cooperation with Jason Kyle and Blake Bollinger, The Other Side introduces fans to No Other Name’s greatest strengths—tight harmonies and a heart for the Great Commission. The group members share a passion for international missions as evidenced by songs about evangelism such as “The Only One,” “Let It Start With Me” and stand-out “Lead You to the Cross.”

Before I Go” is set apart with its unique, layered harmony composition at the end of the song which finds the group members singing the bridge over the chorus with reflective lyrics: “Moments fly so quickly/Soon the years are rolling on/One day I’ll turn around, to find that it’s all gone/And even now I can’t believe the time that’s passed/I want to spend it on the only thing that lasts.” The song finally pushes Laura’s female vocal to the forefront. Unfortunately, her vocals seem to get lost on most of the other songs, so this cut allows her to shine.

“Maplewood Methodist Church” will be an instant favorite, akin to a smash-up of Rascal Flatts’ “Mayberry” and any song in Jason Crabb’s discography. The cut, set in a rural church, gives a nod to prayer warriors and is easily relatable. “Even Angels,” a track written by the group, contains an infectious pop-centric chorus laced with a tinge of country.

By far, the trio’s harmonies shine on powerful hymn “Christ Arose,” sung a cappella. It isn’t until this song, toward the end of the album, that listeners realize the vocal group’s authority lies in its interlaced harmonies. The closing live version of the popular “Midnight Cry” showcases their layered vocals as well, but again uplifts their a cappella version of the previous song to new heights.

While the band shares co-writing credit on several songs, they mainly rely on the talents of strong writers such as Evan Wickham, Chad Cates and Michael Boggs, among others, to make their lyrics align with their passions. While fans of southern gospel and country-pop will find The Other Side enjoyable, parts of it seems a bit outdated. If “Christ Arose” is any indication, the vocal prowess of No Other Name is there, it just may take several albums for the group to perfect their true sound.

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