Prayer of a Common Man
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.