Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Have you ever known a talented person whose art does not truly reflect their capability? That is how I felt about No Other Heroes. Brinson is a super talented guy that has been around for a while. I was a little disappointed when I heard this album because I felt like the album is not a good representative of what he is capable of.
Being that I am in Florida, I’ve gotten to see Brinson perform plenty of times. His on stage presence is ridiculous. He really knows how to capture the crowd. Unfortunately, that high energy experience does not translate the same way over mp3 format. This album had some good moments and bad moments. I found myself trying to engage with the content, but I did not feel like the music was for me. For this album review, I want to discuss the highs and lows that I experienced while listening.
I hope that the above impression I gave is that this album wasn’t all bad. No Other Heroes had great content. Brinson discussed a variety of topics that encourages all believers. The first track, “Chase God” speaks for itself. It’s important that we never stop chasing for more of God and growing in our relationship with him. He does a great job communicating that we not only need to focus on God but also share him with others.
Brinson also has a song called “Gold.” This was a good song that highlights how easy it is for people to use their God-given talents for their own selfish ambitions. He tells a story of a person that grows up in the church and eventually uses his talents to become famous. In the end, the person still feels empty and realizes that “when I left the Lord, I lost everythang.” This message was strong. It took you through each stage of compromise and displayed how easy it is to be led by sinful desires. We need to be reminded that when we pursue our own selfish ambitions, we’ll not only be dissatisfied, but we will also find ourselves further from God.
One of the best songs on the album was “Last Time.” In this song, we’re reminded that Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross paid a ransom for our past, present and future sins. Uncle Reece sang a chorus that many Christians can relate to: “I told myself I won’t do this no more, but that was the last time and I did it again, but God he forgave my sins.” Many people do not like to admit to their shortcomings, but we have to remember that Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient for ALL of our sins (Not just pre-salvation sins).
No Other Heroes had other songs with great concepts. He even has a track that has a prayer for salvation along with follow up steps for a new believer. With that in mind, I do not feel that Brinson fell short content wise.
From the beginning of the album to the end, I got the notion that this album was for a different crowd. As I stated before, he came with great messages. This had me thinking to myself, “So who is he writing to?” I felt the answer was youth groups. I came to this conclusion based on the quality of rhymes along with style of songs.
If you have this album, you may agree with me that there is not much lyricism. There are rhyming words. There is not wordplay, witty metaphors, and allusions. This is not a bad thing if the album is reaching a younger demographic. His songs have a simple, straight to the point message. Brinson does not try to entertain the listener by using a bunch of clever lines. He raps in a way that is easy to memorize. This is great for younger people that need to learn biblical truths in a fun way. I say younger people because as you get older, delivery and production tend to matter a lot more.
Initially, the songs on No Other Heroes did not grab me. I could not get with the way the songs were laid out stylistically. I felt like I needed a crowd to get the most out of them. Again, this made me think of a youth group type of setting. A bunch of kids yelling, “I Chase God, I chase God!” is probably a lot more exciting than listening to the track alone. I am only 23, but I felt that I was too old to vibe with many of the songs on this album. It seemed that I was forcing myself to get hype.
In our culture, we love to use the phrase “keepin’ it real” as an excuse to be rude. I do not want to do that. I am going to be honest and explain. No Other Heroes has great messages that go unnoticed due to poor sound, lyrical style, and presentation. I mentioned that it seemed to be for youth groups, but I doubt that was their aim. I stated that because from the production to the hooks, I did not feel like I could share this album with a friend and tell them it’s quality music (music that is up to par with what people are listening to now).
Were the messages strong and could help young believers? Yes. But when using music to reach people, the message is just one part of the equation. Many of the beats were simplistic and did not pull in the listener. I mentioned that his rhyme style was simple, but I would’ve hope to hear more from him. I stated earlier that Brinson is an amazing performer and extremely talented. I wish that talent would have been better displayed on this record.
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