So the SN Fan Award nominations for Song of the Year or Favorite Song or whatever you wanna call it are out (the rest of the nominations are there too but there’s not much of note there, unless I missed something; David Bruce Murray crunches some numbers about the winners and losers from the last round of balloting).

“Do You Want To Be Forgiven” - Signature Sound
“Don’t Let The Sandals Fool Ya” - Triumphant Quartet
“He Saw It All” - Booth Brothers
“Healed” - Brian Free & Assurance
“His Name Was John” - Perrys
“I’m Not Ashamed” - Inspirations
“New Day Dawning” - Whisnants
“Out Of My Darkness” - Legacy Five
“Paid In Full Through Jesus, Amen” - Greater Vision
“Shepherd’s Call” - Crabb Family

This is a pretty uninspiring list, all the more so because the majority of the albums from which these songs were taken have far superior cuts on them. Perrys, L5, GV, Crabbs, and BFA (even excluding “Long as I Got King Jesus,” which has already taken its spin on the awards circuit). I guess my complaint isn’t so much with these being fan favorites - after all, fans vote for the songs that groups and labels promote - as with the judgment that singled these songs out for promotion. “His name Was John” is a good example that I’ve complained about before. Of all the good songs that were left on Life of Love to single after “I Will Find You Again” (namely, “I Am the Water” or “But I met a Nazarene”), they chose that one. Bleh. Similarly, “Goodness and Mercy” is a much stronger mid-tempo cut to reach for if you’re BFA needing a second single off the NYC album. Same thing with L5 (shoulda singled “Roll Away”) and Crabb Family (”Walk Away,” for example, is more of a trademark CF single). I’ll not go into high Chicken Little mode here about what this kind of anemic list portends for or says about the state of gospel music, not least of all because even if most of these tunes are snoozers, the best groups here (SSQ, Booths, BFA, Perrys, L5, GV, Crabbs) represent a strong and young core of musicians about which there is much to be hopeful. But still, the list of pretty thin. Btw, I think “He Saw it All,” while not all that, is the best song here.

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