12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Introducing Phil Vassar's fourth album with the timely "This Is My Life" is indicative of 2008, but will it age well? With lyrics like "They can kiss my price of gas…/ Republican or Democrat/ Well I don't give a damn about that" chances are slim. But who cares? Prayer of a Common Man is full of catchy country pop songs that were tailor made for blue collars trying to make it in red states, and if you identified with Eric Church's 2006 debut Sinners Like Me (or pretty much anything by Travis Tritt or John Mellencamp), chances are this album will strike a few chords with you and yours as well. Vassar waxes automotive adoration on "My Chevrolet" which conjures up Bob Seger sentiment from Bruce Springsteen inspired inflections on a bed of Billy Joel influenced piano pounding. But not all songs fit into patriotic themes. The festive "Why Don't Ya" gets a little Cajun with zydeco accordions and "It's Only Love" dares to put a little of that 1960s Byrds-forged, 12-string guitar jangle in the chorus. The smoky "Baby Rocks" struts between a 1970s ZZ Top boogie and a 1980s Don Henley slickness, making for an overall fun listen.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Introducing Phil Vassar's fourth album with the timely "This Is My Life" is indicative of 2008, but will it age well? With lyrics like "They can kiss my price of gas…/ Republican or Democrat/ Well I don't give a damn about that" chances are slim. But who cares? Prayer of a Common Man is full of catchy country pop songs that were tailor made for blue collars trying to make it in red states, and if you identified with Eric Church's 2006 debut Sinners Like Me (or pretty much anything by Travis Tritt or John Mellencamp), chances are this album will strike a few chords with you and yours as well. Vassar waxes automotive adoration on "My Chevrolet" which conjures up Bob Seger sentiment from Bruce Springsteen inspired inflections on a bed of Billy Joel influenced piano pounding. But not all songs fit into patriotic themes. The festive "Why Don't Ya" gets a little Cajun with zydeco accordions and "It's Only Love" dares to put a little of that 1960s Byrds-forged, 12-string guitar jangle in the chorus. The smoky "Baby Rocks" struts between a 1970s ZZ Top boogie and a 1980s Don Henley slickness, making for an overall fun listen.

TITLE TIME
3:37
3:25
4:13
3:57
3:21
3:39
2:46
3:52
3:48
3:33
3:25
3:38

About Phil Vassar

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 up recording "Once in a While," a song Vassar had co-written with a bartender friend, in 1996. Vassar's songwriting career blossomed from there, as he landed a publishing contract with EMI and penned hits for Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo"), Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money"), Tim McGraw ("For a Little While"), Jo Dee Messina ("Bye Bye," "I'm Alright"), and BlackHawk ("Postmarked Birmingham"). He signed a record deal of his own with Arista in 1998 and was named ASCAP's Country Songwriter of the Year in 1999. His self-titled debut album was released in 2000, and the lead single, "Carlene," shot into the country Top Five; its follow-up, "Just Another Day in Paradise," went all the way to number one. "Six-Pack Summer" also reached the Top Ten, and yet another single from the album, "That's When I Love You," became Vassar's third Top Five hit in early 2002. Phil Vassar was certified gold for sales of half a million copies, and its follow-up, American Child, was released later in 2002. The title track gave Vassar yet another Top Five single. Prayer of a Common Man appeared in 2008 from Universal South. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Lynchburg, VA
  • BORN
    May 28, 1964

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