Phil Stacey

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Phil Stacey Music Poster Image
Formulaic schlock-athon from Idol finalist.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

A Christian bent (lyrics like "Say a prayer to the Good Lord -- that's how we do it 'round here").

Violence & Scariness

Some gunslinger imagery in "Blaze of Glory" of the "staring down the bullet let me make my final stand" variety.

Sexy Stuff

The very mildest of "waking up with you in my arms" innuendo.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that on this American Idol finalist's debut CD, family-safe, family-values messages abound -- at the expense of subtlety, originality, and imagination. Stacey does reference Christianity, praying, and God.

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What's the story?

Phil Stacey, American Idol's Season 6 finalist, delivers fine vocal performances on his debut CD, offering 11 well-produced country-rock ditties that (despite the all-around terrific playing and singing) are absolutely unmemorable. The lyrics are family-safe but so saccharine as to almost come across as self-parody.

Is it any good?

The project sticks closely to formula: uptempo rocker followed by countrified, finger-picked, droning anthem, followed by heartfelt ballad, and so on. Stacey offers terrific singing over a lot of well-worn (some might say worn-out) lyrical themes and musical arrangements. The simplistic-bordering-on-inane lyrics avoid originality at all costs; it's a testament to Stacey's vocal abilities that he can sing lines like "Every prayer has been answered/every dream I have's come true/and right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be/here with you here with me" with earnest, heartfelt passion. Ultimately, it's Stacey's endearing sincerity and delivery -- certainly not the songs -- that save the day. Non-Idol fans might want to look elsewhere for exceptional, ground-breaking country music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about having what it takes to be a true original. Do you think Phil Stacey would have had a shot at stardom if he hadn't been a contestant on American Idol? If you had to pick one quality, would you rather have a great voice or a great imagination?

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