Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Poo Review: Phillip Phillips - Behind The Light


Sophomore jinx, you say? Bah, with a name like Phillip Phillips you should have known the second would be just as good as the first.

A mere 18 months after the release of his platinum smash debut LP, "World From The Side Of The Moon", P2 is showing us he has a prolific streak with the release of his fresh 15 track, self-penned album, "Behind The Light".

I gotta confess, I was a bit nervous at first. So often after a taste of debut success, we see artist's shit the bed on the sophomore effort, seduced by the allure of studio overproduction and synth. The result is invariably a collection of formula dreck with no value other than milking the first album's popularity for a quick buck.

Fortunately, my fears were unwarranted.

In a nutshell, BTL offers up a unique, individual expression while maintaining enough characteristics from WFTSOTM to give fans a sense of continuity with Phillip's signature style and sound.

That's not to say there aren't many different flavors and spices here. The album is cohesive variety, and has the right mix of styles for extended listening. Every track moves with a nice groove, and is overall a bit tighter than the debut effort.

While a large string section contributes to give a generally bigger sound to much of the album, special props need to be given to Errol Cooney, Dave Eggar and Jason Thomas for some phenomenal musicianship. Along with Phillip, this group forms a truly talented band of musicians, and I look forward to seeing them push the envelope even further in the love shows.

So, what if anything would I change about the album, you ask? Well, maybe it's nitpicking, but I would like to see him go heavier still on the rock, reduce the anthem pop choruses, and just get edgier overall...like he does live. That said, I respect that he has to appeal to his label and his teen pop audience, in addition to older, hardcore fans like myself who want to see him dig even deeper.

With that said, I should emphasize that it's really a great CD . I've been looping it for two days, and haven't needed to skip a song yet. That was also the case with his 1st album, which I've happily worn out, and is testimony to how consistently strong Phillip is as a singer, composer and musician.

P2's future Behind The Light is indeed very bright, and I give his sophomore effort the FULL FOUR POO'S.

Here is my track-by-track brief summary.
  1. Searchlight - A catchy, poppy tune with an infectious beat. Phil's growling voice gives it some needed heft.
  2. Raging Fire - Inspirational pop rock anthem
  3. Trigger - A haunting hard rock track with early Genesis influences. REALLY, REALLY dig this one.
  4. Lead On - A cool, funky, upbeat jam that provides a nice mood counterbalance to Trigger.
  5. Alive Again - Driving, inspirational pop rock.
  6. Open Your Eyes - See "Alive Again"
  7. Fool For You - GREAT song with an unmistakeable Bruce Springsteen vibe. This needs to be the next single.
  8. Thicket - The dark, instrumental masterpiece of the album which reflects P2's Dave Mathews side. Think "The Stone".
  9. Fly - This track ROCKS! Clever use of steel guitar (I'm guessing) to simulate the sound of a fly.
  10. Unpack Your Heart - Inspirational pop rock...the Can't Go Wrong of the album.
  11. Face - Reminds me a bit of the classic Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats. Great acoustic guitar work. LOVE this tune. 
  12. Midnight Sun - The Gone Gone Gone of the album.
  13. My Boy - Wonderful acoustic number. Rich and full with a nice groove. Think Bill Withers. Great shit. 
  14. Don't Trust Me - The "Man On The Moon" of BTL. Get up and dance with a drink in your hand!
  15. Armless Crawler - Mid-tempo rock with a refreshingly anthem-free chorus. Ear wormy.
Order Phillip's great new album "Behind The Light" from iTunes today by clicking here.


Poo over, Poo out.

14 comments:

  1. Great review and one I would love to share on our Facebook fan site if not for your signature foul language, Kenny. :) Sorry, dear, but it is a family site. ~ OWS_ellie

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  2. Love your review! You have a way of putting it you silver tongued devil. I do appreciate that you would not give a thumbs up if it was not warranted. PP is here to stay!!!!

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  3. Sorry about the language OWS, but you know that's how I roll!

    Cara, glad you liked my take! :)

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  4. Good review, Mr. Poo. Maybe could do an edit for Facebook fan site, as I would love for more people to read it. Just a thought.

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  5. I think this is a great review!! Love your take on all the songs also.

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  6. Great Review Kenny! I am in love with this album; yes Phillip is here to stay, and we are the lucky recipients of his amazing talents as a singer/songwriter! Janicetorres14

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  7. Great review and thank you for keeping it real! I totally agree with how you described his songs. Trigger and Fly are the best of all tracks but it's all great.

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  8. Thanls Karla, thanks Janice, thanks Jasmine, thanks Norma! Appreciate that you liked the review. Tell more people about it! The more eyeballs on positive reviews the better it is for Phillip and this great album.

    BTW, edited out the F-bombs for OWS so she could post this on her facebook. Ain't I sweet?

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    1. You're the sweetest Mr. Poo! Thanks for doing that so more people could see it! We who appreciate the full "Poo Effect" know where to look for the unedited version in any case.

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  9. There is no "POO" in this review….SPOT on Kenny! Thanks for this…you vocalized why I LOVE Unpack Your Heart! I have always held onto the Can't Go Wrong love affair even after it never got the publicity it deserved I feel. Kind of the black sheep of the album first album per sae and I still don't understand why it never got the recognition it deserved! Hopefully Unpack Your Heart will fair better. UYH along with My Boy, Searchlight and FLY have completely stolen my heart. Not saying that the rest of the album is not amazing…it is... but I personally relate to these tunes in particular! Thanks for sharing your amazing insight…much appreciated by worldwide Philatics I'm sure…as well as Phillip himself I would imagine! Great insight!

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    1. OH…and I forgot Trigger…so IN LOVE with this tune….can't forget it as one of my love affairs…oh heck..the whole thing is phenomenal…why do I try to single any tunes out…lol! Ok…going back Behind the Light…don't bother trying to reach me…lol

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  10. Vonda, you really need to climb out of your shell and share your true feelings. ;) Thanks for commenting, and I am in 100% agreement on Can't Go Wrong. Always been one of my faves.

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  11. Thanks Kenny P…I knew you were a man after my own heart…great taste like me…LOL!

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  12. No Poo posts since May??

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