Despite the facts that "Home" is undeniably THE best coronation song in "American Idol" history and has already sold a whopping million downloads thanks to some seriously prominent placement in 2012 Summer Olympics promos on NBC, Season 11 "Idol" champion Phillip Phillips has always had a love/hate relationship with the song, making it clear from the get-go that it is not representative of the type of music he wants to record for his debut album. (The Associated Press even reported that Phillip fought to have an original tune he wrote with brother-in-law Ben Neil, "Drive Me," be his coronation song, but "Idol" producers shut him down.) Meanwhile, Phillip has had to spend this summer's Idols Live Tour watching his co-star, seventh-placer Colton Dixon, perform his own original song, "Never Gone," onstage night after night. But now, finally, P-Squared has gotten the chance to publicly perform one of his originals, "Take Me Away."
Phillip debuted "Take Me Away" at a Mix 106.1 radio event in Philadelphia, which was streamed live on the station's website, on Tuesday night. The bluesy barnstormer is definitely much darker and slower than the irresistibly buoyant singalong that is "Home," and it doesn't necessarily sound like a candidate for a second single....but I dig the vibe, and I certainly don't think it would sound out of place next to "Home" on Phillip's album tracklisting. And it certainly should appeal to fans of the man's grittier, more jam-bandy "Idol" performances. We'll just have to wait and see if "Take Me Away"--or "Drive Me," for that matter--make the album's final, Iovine-approved cut.
Just for kicks--and for a better idea of the type of original music Phillip might like to release if he gets his way--check out another performance from his pre-"Idol" days (shot in October 2011 for Albany, Georgia's Fox 31 WFXL), of an original tune titled "Hazel." I actually like this one more than "Take Me Away," and would like to see it make P-Squared's album:
What do you think of Phillip's original music? Let me know.
- Phillip's exclusive interview & performance
- Phillip's new "Home" music video
- More on "American Idol"