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Behind the Light (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Phillip Phillips belongs to the second tier of American Idol success stories: not as a superstar, not like Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, but as somebody who found a solid little niche. Phillips' sound is adult alternative by way of the Dave Matthews Band, an influence evident on both the show and his 2012 debut, The World from the Side of the Moon, and still prominent on his 2014 sophomore set, Behind the Light. Like his debut, Behind the Light is co-produced by Gregg Wattenberg — he can claim credits on Five for Fighting, David Cook, Backstreet Boys, and Ed Kowalczyk — but there's a difference here, namely how all involved decide to incorporate a heavy element of Mumford & Sons and Lumineers folk-stomp. It's a smooth, easy fit for Phillips, who is a troubadour at heart, a sensitive soul strumming his acoustic guitar, sounding sweet enough to withstand the kind of cinematic productions he's given here. Often, the bombast of the sound contradicts the simplicity of the singer, but his slippery cadences — he's never seemed more like Matthews as he slides in and out of verses — don't sound ill-suited to the onslaught of gloss; he's dexterous enough to make all the slickness feel natural, if not authentic. At times, the ease of his delivery gives Behind the Light a supercilious feeling — he's enjoying his delivery more than the content — but even if the record doesn't rely on expertly sculpted melodies (which it doesn't; the feel means more than the form), there's an open-hearted, warm atmosphere that gives Behind the Light resonance. Perhaps Phillips has yet to find his distinctive voice, but there's no question he can color within the lines exceedingly well. [A digital version added three bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Complex, brilliant !

This kid is only 23. There is already so much sophistication in his music. "Thicket ", "Fool For You " are my favourites but Thicket in sheer artistry is in a class of it's own- it has hallmarks of being a landmark song of his career. His talent is not predicated on hype and hit making Svengalis but it is real.


Phillip Phillip's new album is my favourite album of the year. I have been listening to the entire album on repeat and there isn't one song I don't like. He's such an awesome musician and brings his own style to every song. It's refreshing to have an album that is a new style of music and different from the same music that multiple artists are releasing. My favourites are Lead On, Unpack Your Heart, Searchlight, and Midnight Sun. Buy the album; you won't regret it!

Album full of talent

I have been waiting since the moment Phillip Phillips announced his new album to hear it in its entirety. I am on my 4th run through of this album and it was worth the wait and is a definite must have for Phillip Phillips fans and music lovers in general. This album does not disappoint!!


Born: September 29, 1990 in Leesburg, GA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s

The winner of the 11th season of Fox's American Idol, singer Phillip Phillips is a soulful vocalist with a throaty style and a bent toward mixing acoustic singer/songwriter material with jam-oriented rock. Born in Leesburg, Georgia, Phillips began studying music in his teens. He eventually formed a group with brother-in-law Benjamin Neil and began performing locally. During this time, he won first place in the local singing competition Albany Star in 2010. While attending school at Albany Technical...
Full bio

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