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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dove Awards 2012

Created by the Gospel Music Association in 1969, the Dove Awards aim to honor the best and brightest musicians in Christian music.  The awards cover all the major Christian genres, including: rock, pop, contemporary, gospel, country, hip hop and worship.

For this post, I want to talk about the nominees in the categories of Rock Recorded Song of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.  For each of the nominees, I listed the song title, followed by the band name and the album title is in parenthesis.  First, here are the songs competing for the Rock Recorded Song of the Year.

Rock Recorded Song of the Year

“Dark Horses” by Switchfoot (Vice Verses)
“Faceless” by Red (Until We Have Faces)
“Invisible” by Disciple (Horseshoes and Handgrenades)
“One Day Too Late” by Skillet (Awake)
“Your Love Is A Mystery” by Hawk Nelson (Crazy Love)

Overall, this is a very strong set of recorded rock songs.  This list features many of the popular rock singles from last year.  Due to their major success, the singles from Disciple, Red and Switchfoot were obvious nominations in this category.  I was surprised to see the singles from Skillet and Hawk Nelson making the list.  Both songs have performed very well on the radio, but I thought their chart success might have been too late in the year to garner recognition.

Even though this year’s nominees are very strong, I still think there were some snubs.  Icon For Hire should have made this list with their song “Make A Move.”  Not only was it a great song, but “Make A Move” was a major factor in helping Icon For Hire break the record for albums sold during a street week for a new Tooth & Nail artist.  If you look at the history of Tooth and Nail and their caliber of talent, breaking that record was a huge accomplishment for the band.  A second snub goes to Blindside.  It was great to see them return to the music industry after a long hiatus.  The Dove Awards did recognize Blindside for Rock Album of the Year, but two nominations for this long time rock band would have been nice.

This leads me to the questions of, “Who should win, and who will win?”  I would like to see Hawk Nelson receive the award for their song, “Your Love Is A Mystery.”  Crazy Love was one of the best albums of last year, and it was a huge faith statement for the band.  Since Crazy Love will be the last album with Jason Dunn as the lead singer, it would be great to see the Dunn era go out on top. 

As much as I would love to see Hawk Nelson receiving this award, I think Switchfoot will ultimately win.  “Dark Horses” is one of the newer songs in this category, and it’s hard to deny the success that Switchfoot has garnered from this widely popular single.  Switchfoot has this category pretty much wrapped up.

Here are the nominees for the Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.

Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year

“Born Again” by Newsboys (Born Again Miracles Edition)
“Crazy Love” by Hawk Nelson (Crazy Love)
“Drifting” by Plumb (TBA)
“Lucy” by Skillet (Awake)
“Slumber” by NEEDTOBREATHE (The Reckoning)

Just like the Rock Recorded Song of the Year nominees, this is another very strong category.  Newsboys were an obvious nominee.  “Born Again” was beyond huge on the radio charts.  It was great to see Plumb making the list for her song “Drifting.”  With guest vocals from Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay), “Drifting” is a pure joy to listen to.  It was good to see NEEDTOBREATHE recognized for their work.  Their southern rock style is a breath of fresh air in the Christian music world.  Finally, Skillet and Hawk Nelson each received another nomination in this category.   

Once again, there were some snubs in this category.  Peter Furler’s lead single, “Reach,” should have received a nomination.  Furler’s solo record was one of the strongest albums of last year, and “Reach” was a prime example of the musical talent of Peter Furler.  I was also a big fan of the new group Samestate.  Their single, “Hurricane” performed very well at radio.  I would have loved to see this debut band receive a nomination for their work.

With all that said, we come to the ever important questions of, “Who should win, and who will win?”  Skillet should get this award for their single “Lucy.”  This song is not your typical Christian radio single.  “Lucy” is a moving ballad about two young teenagers dealing with the aftereffects of their decision to have an abortion.  Being almost a tearful ballad, “Lucy” was the emotional song of last year.  What puts this song over the top is that Skillet equally measured the emotion with strong vocals and a perfect musical buildup. 

However, I think this award will come down to either Newsboys or NEEDTOBREATHE.  Most people believed that the Newsboys should have received a nomination for “Born Again” last year at the Dove Awards.  Even though the nomination is a year late, I think Newsboys will win in this category.  The success that Michael Tait and the Newsboys gained with their hit single “Born Again” cannot be measured.  On the other hand, don’t count out NEEDTOBREATHE.  They have won this category the last two years, and “Slumber” could easily help this southern rock group win for the third year in a row.
This is Part 1 of my coverage of the 2012 Dove Awards.  Part 2 will include my analysis of the Rock Recorded Album of the Year and the Rock/Contemporary Recorded Album of the Year categories.

The 43rd annual Dove Awards will be presented on April 19, and televised nationally on GMC TV on April 24 at 8 p.m. EST.

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