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Prayer of a Common Man - Single

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Album Review

It's hard to call Phil Vassar's Prayer of a Common Man a concept album, as it contains no narrative, but it sure is conceptual, built upon the trials and travails of the common man in 2008, which naturally means there are plenty of passing references to Republicans and Democrats and the high price of gas. Vassar pumps Prayer full of everyman melodrama and easy nostalgia, supporting his conversational clichés with music that is country in marketing only, as he chooses to support his tales of the common man with songs that deliberately evoke John Mellencamp and Bob Seger — quite literally so with the latter, as Vassar builds in allusions to "Night Moves" and "Roll Me Away" on "My Chevrolet," which plays as if penned for a year-long television ad campaign. He may aspire to Mellencamp and Seger, but his reliance on grandiose piano runs makes large sections of Prayer of a Common Man feel like the work of a Midwestern Billy Joel, especially as the first half of the album is heavy on overheated songs, designed to fill arenas but almost feeling better suited for a theatrical production. Things get a little looser as the album rolls on, as Vassar eases into a great little zydeco rocker called "Why Don't Ya" and indulges in some surprisingly effective psychedelia lite on the chorus of "It's Only Love," which recalls the better moments of Big Kenny. These tunes prove that Vassar is at his best when he doesn't try quite so hard.

Customer Reviews

Good Job Phil Vassar!

This song is a "Must Have" for any christian-country fan!

Biography

Born: May 28, 1964 in Lynchburg, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporary country singer Phil Vassar made his name as a chart-topping songwriter before landing a record deal and becoming a hitmaking artist in his own right. Vassar was born in Lynchburg, VA, and won a track scholarship to James Madison University, where he first began to take music seriously. He moved to Nashville, learned to play piano, and sang his original material in clubs. One club patron and fan brought Vassar's demo tape to his father, crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, and Humperdinck wound...
Full Bio
Prayer of a Common Man - Single, Phil Vassar
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