Today the nominations were announced for the 35th annual Dove Awards. It seems that the Doves will maintain their reputation of nominating popular albums over good albums. The top nominees are Steven Curtis Chapman (as usual), Third Day (as usual), Cece Winans (as always) and Stacie Orrico. Let’s look at some of the categories:
Song of the Year:
- “All About Love”; Steven Curtis Chapman; Sparrow Records, Peach Hill Songs (BMI)
- Child of Mine”; Mark Schultz, Chris Eaton; Word Music, Here’s to Joe Music, West Lodge Music (ASCAP)
- “Everything to Me”; Chad Cates, Sue Smith; New Spring Publishing (ASCAP)
- “Great Light of the World”; Bebo Norman; New Spring Publishing, Appstreet Music (ASCAP)
- “He Reigns”; Peter Furler, Steve Taylor; Ariose Music Group (ASCAP), Soylent Tunes (SESAC)
- “If We Are The Body”; Mark Hall; Club Zoo Music, Swecs Music (BMI)
- “Lord Have Mercy”; Steve Merkel; Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (ASCAP)
- “Meant to Live”; Jonathan Foreman, Tim Foreman; Sugar Pete Songs, Meadowgreen Music (ASCAP)
- “Three Wooden Crosses”; Doug Johnson, Kim Williams; Mike Curb Music, Sweet Radical Music, Sony/ATV Tunes (ASCAP), Sydney Erin Music (BMI)
- “Word of God Speak”; Pete Kipley, Bart Millard; Songs from the Indigo Room (SESAC), Simpleville Music (ASCAP)
I cannot comment too much on this category since the music comes from a diverse group of genres while I mainly listen to pop and rock. I would like to see Switchfoot take the award, but have not heard all the songs so that is just based on the fact that I like them more than the other bands listed.
Group of the Year
- Jars of Clay
- Third Day
No surprises in this category. Jars of Clay and Third Day receives a nomination every year and MercyMe and Switchfoot both had success in the mainstream market which assures them a nomination. The Newsboys pick up a nomination for their worship album. I would consider them a longshot with MercyMe being the favorite.
Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year:
- “Beautiful Day”; In The Name Of Love: Artists United For Africa; Sanctus Real; Paul Hewson, David Howell Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr.; Sparrow Records
- “Breaking Me Down”; So Much for Substitutes; downhere; Marc Martel, Jason Germain, Glen Lavender; Word Records
- “Go”; Exodus; Andy Hunter; Tedd T., Andy Hunter; Sparrow Records
- “I Am Understood”; Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right…But Three Do; Relient K; Matthew Thiessen; Gotee Records
- “Savior”; Collide; Skillet; John Cooper; Ardent Records
I have not heard Sanctus Real’s version of Beautiful Day, but can only hope it does not win. Frankly I am not very enthusiastic about any of these songs. “Savior” and “I Am Understood” are mediocre at best. Breaking Me Down would probably be my choice here.
Modern Rock Recorded Album of the Year
- 2; Apt Core; Will Hunt; Rocketown Records
- A Beautiful Glow; Rock ‘n’ Roll Worship Circus; Gabriel Wilson; INO
- Beautiful Lumps of Coal; Plumb; Jay Joyce, Jimmy Collins, Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, ShaunShankel, Jeremy Lee, Bryan Stewart; Curb Records
- Perfect Change; Dakona; Rob Cavallo, Arnold Lanni; Maverick Records
- Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right…But Three Do; Relient K; Mark Lee Townsend; Matthew Thiessen; Gotee Records
I would definitely choose Perfect Change for this award. Dakona’s album is very good and deserves some wider recognition. I would love to see them take this award.
Rock Recorded Song of the Year
- “All About You”; Inside Out; Nate Sallie; Nate Sallie, Chris Estes; Curb Records
- “Ammunition”; The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; Jonathan Foreman; Sparrow Records
- “Dirty”; WorldWide; Audio Adrenaline; Mark Stuart, Will McGinniss, Bob Herdman, Tyler Burkum, Ben Cissell; ForeFront Records
- “Free”; Beautiful Lumps of Coal; Plumb; Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, Matt Bronleewe; Curb Records
- “Get This Party Started”; Momentum; tobyMac; Toby McKeehan, Pete Stewart, Michael Anthony Taylor; ForeFront Records
Though I really like Audio Adrenaline’s album I do not consider Dirty one of the better songs on the album. Get This Party Started is good, but my choice here is Ammunition.
Rock Recorded Album of the Year
- Believe; Big Dismal; Jack Joseph Puig; Wind-up
- Lose This Life; Tait; Mark Heimermann, Michael Tait, Matt Bronleewe, Chad Chapin; ForeFront Records
- Phenomenon; Thousand Foot Krutch; Aaron Sprinkle, Steve Augustine, Joel Bruyere, Trevor McNevan, Latif Tayour; Tooth + Nail
- Picking Up the Pieces; Seventh Day Slumber; Juan “Rhino” Alvarez; Jeremy Holderfield, Joseph Rojas, Joshua Schwartz, Crowne Music Group
- Say It Loud; Sanctus Real; Pete Stewart; Sparrow Records
I do not understand the nomination for Tait’s album as it was a pretty sad effort. Say It Loud was solid but I would choose Phenomenon. It had a great sound, was well-produced and featured some interesting song writing.
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
- “Gone”; The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; Jonathan Foreman, Tim Foreman; Sparrow Records
- “Meant to Live”; The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; Jonathan Foreman, Tim Foreman; Sparrow Records
- “Sing a Song”; Offerings II – All I Have to Give; Third Day; Mac Powell, Tai Anderson, Brad Avery, David Carr, Mark Lee; Essential Records
- “This Fragile Breath (The Thunder Song)”; Grace Like Rain; Todd Agnew; Todd Agnew; Ardent Records
- “You Are So Good to Me”; Offerings II -All I Have to Give; Third Day; Don Chaffer, Ben Pasley, Robin Pasley; Essential Records
There are some good songs nominated in this category, but if Gone does not take the award I will forever lose the little confidence I have in the Dove Awards.
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
- Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage; Jars of Clay; Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark; Essential Records
- Grace Like Rain; Todd Agnew; Jason Latshaw; Ardent Records
- So Much for Substitutes; downhere; Jimmie Lee Sloas; Word Records
- The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; John Fields, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas; Jonathan Foreman, Tim Foreman; Sparrow Records
- WorldWide; Audio Adrenaline; Charlie Peacock, Jason Burkum; ForeFront Records
Audio Adrenaline won the Grammy for Worldwide and perhaps that makes them the favorite for this award. I hope, though, that the Dove voters have heard The Beautiful Letdown as it eclipses the rest of these albums. No contest here!
My biggest disappointment this year is that Derek Webb was overlooked. His album stands with The Beautiful Letdown as the best albums released in 2003. It’s a pity that the Dove Awards could not nominate it. I’m sure the snub was based on his harsh words towards the church and Christians in general.
The full list of nominees is posted here. The awards will be given out on the 28th of April.