As I wrote in my review of his debut album, Phillip Phillips has more than a few things in common with Mumford & Sons — which is to say, his song “Gone, Gone, Gone” should soon be a certifiable hit, or someone’s not doing their job.
“Babel” took home the Grammy for Album of the Year earlier this week, and the charm of that album is in its universality and earnestness, rife with gang vocals, rockets into the four-on-the-floor with the choruses, rolling acoustics whether on guitars or banjos… Phillips’ “Gone” arrives with perfect timing, as its video presents goosebumps-inducing home footage of families who are not yours, effecting in the same way military-themed commercials for phones or chocolate or Wal-Mart hit that sentimental spot.
Phillips takes his viewer on a stroll at sunset, on your way to a bonfire. Super-8 and scratchy frames blow through his promises of being there when you’re down, laying next to you and helping you up and stuff. It’s generic and it’s generically uplifting.
On a side note… When I was younger, I was in worship bands at church and other Christian fellowships; we used to have this standard — we called it The Boyfriend Rule — where if you could easily interchange the word “Jesus” with “You” or your boyfriend’s (or girlfriend’s) name, you should proceed with caution or scratch it from the set. Because it’s kind of weird, isn’t it? (My personal favorite from this grouping: “I Want to Know You” written by Andy Park.)
“Gone, Gone, Gone” could have very easily be one of those worship songs, could thrive in communities where the Boyfriend Rule doesn’t discriminate in the setlist. “And I would do it for you, for you
Baby Jesus / I’m not moving on,” sings the choir.