Dove Brothers post song clips from “Life”

A few days ago, when the Dove Brothers sent out an email announcing that they had posted clips of their upcoming release (Life) on their website, I started drafting a post summarizing my thoughts on the songs. But yesterday, when I visited Coomer Cove, I saw that Brandon had the same idea I did. His mini-review is done well enough that it would be a little redundant for me to say essentially the same thing.

I will make a few comments, though. There isn’t really a clear follow-up single to “I Can Pray.” Granted, short of covering Gold City’s “Preach the Word” or “About the Cross,” both of which have similar melodies, it would have been rather hard to do.

Brandon Coomer wasn’t quite sure who had the feature on song #6, “Face to Face with Grace.” He described it as “low to be Eric, but high to be David” and wondered if it could be Jerry Kelso. While I’m not completely ruling out Dove or Kelso, I am fairly certain it sounds like David Hester. He is probably the single most versatile bass in Southern Gospel, and if this is indeed him, he’s re-defined how well a low-note bass singer can sing a solo. In part since I prefer more traditional sounds, and in part due to the strength of the song itself, I imagine this will end up being my favorite song from the project.

The final song on the project, though, was what really caught my attention. I knew I’d heard it somewhere before, and shortly realized I’d heard it on Monument’s Myspace Page. When I first heard the song, I recall being slightly surprised that the only reference to God was a passing illustration on how busy Americans’ lives have become (setting aside “an hour for God”). The song was one of the country tracks on Monument’s recent crossover project.

Since the album title appears to point to this song, I’m thinking this track could be one of the more emphasized on the project. If the Dove Brothers are thinking of using the song to help open the doors to new audiences, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve tried a new direction. Their last change of course, moving from traditional to moderately progressive, brought the group quite a bit of attention, including a #1 hit and a signature song. Of course, if the Dove Brothers are viewing the track strictly as a novelty track, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve tried that, either, with 2005’s “Gossip the Gospel” being perhaps the most notable example from their repertoire.

That’s all the long way around getting to my conclusion: This could well end up one of this genre’s most talked-about projects of 2008.

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13 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Why is everyone looking for a follow-up to “I Can Pray”? The DBQ has already followed up “I Can Pray” with “I’m Gonna Make It” – which has already gone #1 on Gospel Music News and SGUSA Countdown, spent eight weeks at #1 on, and is currently in the Top 10 (#8 for January) on Singing News.

    I think it’s followed up “I Can Pray” as well as anything can.

  2. I do like “I’m Gonna Make it”–in fact, more than “I Can Pray.” But I, as well as quite a few others, will be watching this album to see if the album has any songs that go as far as this one did.

  3. Daniel’s right. The terms “follow-up” to “I Can Pray” appear to mean that there are no songs which lyrically or melodiously resemble the #1 ballad. I don’t think Daniel’s implying that there’s no good (or potential hit) songs on the project.

  4. I think Monument Quartet recently did a video of “A Day In The Life” and used some carnival in the background.

  5. Ronnie Milsap originally recorded “A Day In the Life of America” on his recent cd, “My Life”, as well as the original version of “You Don’t Know My Love”, which has been re-written for DBQ as “You Don’t Know God’s Love”.

  6. Aaron–yes, they did. They had it on a continuous loop at their NQC booth. If I’m not mistaken, they’re currently pushing it to CMT (Country Music Television).

  7. Monument has gone the direction that the Statler Bros. and Oak Ridge Boys had gone…country music with some Gospel.

  8. My philosophy: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Why change, when what you were doing in the first place is what made you sucessfull and brought you to where you are today?
    I have nothing against the Dove Brothers, I just don’t understand why they’re going in the direction they are.

  9. The name of the game is to retain the fan you have while attracting new fans who haven’t heard you before. If you always sing the same style of music, the chances of attracting new fans diminishes.

    “I Can Pray” made history for the Dove Brothers in a way that none of their previous singles ever did.

    I’m going to reserve comment on _Life_ until I can hear the whole thing, but I’ve really enjoyed everything they’ve done since David Hester joined the group. This country sound they adopted with “Movin’ To The Rhythm” and fleshed out on the _Anything But Ordinary, Everything But Typical_ and _Never The Same_ projects works great with their vocals.

    I’m glad they aren’t content to find a single formula and try to duplicate that every time they go into the studio. Some groups do that and do it very, very well…Greater Vision is a good example. With DBQ, though, I’m more more interested in hearing what they come up with next because I don’t know exactly what to expect. I never expected “I Can Pray” after hearing their previous CD, but they were absolutely right to record it. I plan to give _Life_ the same opportunity to impress me without knowing exactly what to expect.

  10. I think the Dove Brothers are doing things just fine. They aren’t really changing their style in my eyes. Every group out there has “played” with our styles of Southern Gospel Music. So some songs have a country beat. In my opinion, most Southern Gospel songs do.

  11. Quite a few SG songs have a country beat. Some of the discussion seems to be due to the fact that the lyrics are a little more country than would be expected on an SG project.

    For anyone who is interested in hearing the full song (as done by Monument on their country project), visit here:

  12. Oh I see, Daniel. I guess I can understand that. I don’t think the Dove Bros. will continue in this direction. They must have felt led to put these songs on their CD. I am sure they will touch someone listening.

  13. i love this song, it means so much to me. my son is not living for the lord and i have talked and cried to him until i’m blue in the face. so all i can do is pray!!!