Each coronation single hits all the cliches of schlock pop music: stiff arrangements that want to be important, big and empty productions, and all the cloying sentimentality of a dollar store greeting card. They’re an eagerly erased smudge on a promising career at best, and one foot in the commercial grave at worst. Anyway, let’s see what the new guy Phillip Phillips (seriously?) got stuck with.
“Home” begins with some acoustic picking that doesn’t sound too simple or too complicated before Phillips’ brings his Idol winning voice to the track. Dude has an interesting voice. I can’t tell if that’s interesting good or interesting bad, but his audition video struck me as early Eddie Vedder passing as a jazz singer (aside: is this really what passes as judging on Idol these days?). But none of that really shows up on the recorded version of “Home”. If anything, he sounds like more rawkin’ Marcus Mumford. But American.
But “influence” might as well mean “driving force” because this song’s lyrics are all of two stanzas stretched to their breaking point. It’s not even anything worth trying to snark at; “Home”‘s lyrics are about “Holding onto me as we go/As we roll down this unfamiliar road”, “Just know you’re not alone/’Cause I’ll make this place your home”, “It’ll be clear”, “No fear”, and “If you get lost, you can always be found”. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but “Home” could use some of that American Idol schmaltz just to give it a damn target because, as is, the song’s entirely too broad and dispassionate to connect.
The (remotely) good news is that the song's lack of Idol-single cliches may keep it out of rotation, which means this guy can build his career on more interesting music instead of being compelled by record producers to follow up with something similar.