Phil Stacey, “If You Didn’t Love Me”

Even as an American Idol junkie, I found the sixth season completely underwhelming.  Phil Stacey making it as far as he did was more of a reflection of the field’s weakness than anything distinctive or special on his part.     Here, he’s matched with material as faceless as his delivery was on Idol, but to his credit, he puts more energy and feeling into his first shot in the studio than he ever did during his stint on the televised competition.   It’s just not enough to overcome such a hopelessly generic song.

Written by Gary LeVox, Wendell Mobley & Jason Sellers

Grade: C

Listen:  If You Didn’t Love Me

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30 Comments

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30 Responses to Phil Stacey, “If You Didn’t Love Me”

  1. Leeann

    This definitely sounds like something Rascal Flatts would record (noticing the writers’ credits)…and this isn’t a compliment coming from me.

  2. Cowboy Blue

    I really don’t see whats so bad about Rascal Flatts type of material. This song pretty good. Not the best he probably could have had, but I like it. I admit it has been done over and over again in many different ways, but its really not THAT bad.

  3. MelissaNo Gravatar

    I love the song. The first time I heard it, I wasn’t sure, but now I love it and can’t get enough of it. Phil was my favorite contestant in Season 6 because he showed so much emotion while singing. Each love song was directed to his lovely wife Kendra. It is the same thing with his first single. It’s obviously the same with his first single. He is singing it to Kendra.

  4. Who does he sing his cheating and drinking songs to?

  5. CarolNo Gravatar

    I’m another one who loves the song. It’s better than most of the fare that’s played on our local Country station. I wish they’d play it more. And frankly, I’m more than bored with drinking, cheating songs, and wildly glad to listen to lyrics that aren’t a bunch of whining complaints.

  6. Vicki

    I too have to admit the first time I heard the song I was kind of disappointed. But, since then it is really wowing me. Everytime it comes on I find myself singing with it. I LOVE it. I thought Phil’s vocals on American were very good. He has a very strong voice, very well controlled and he sings with great emotion. He was awesome on country week when he sang Where The Blacktop Ends and then on Bon Jovi week when the did Blaze of Glory. Both very, very good vocals. All of his performances were good but these two were way above average. Phil Stacey has a long future ahead of him, you might as well get used to hearing him or change stations. Oh and just for your information, Phil made it as far as he did on AI because the guy can SING!!!!

  7. JudithNo Gravatar

    And to add to what Carol said, Peter, the man is a Christian, raised in his father’s church, is a devoted husband, and to my knowledge, doesn’t drink. If you take the time to listen to segments like the feature about him from CMT Insider Extra, you will know that he said he will put on his album what connects with him. Drinking and cheating won’t be part of that. Sorry that Phil is such a disappointment to you, but not to me, his Philnatics, and definitely not his wife and family.

  8. bobbyNo Gravatar

    i don’t think his vocals are very powerful and the background music overshadows them, mkaing them even less powerful. it’s a nice song, but i dont think it’s very effective

  9. Vicki

    Good for you Judith!!! Applause, applause. Tell it like it is. I hope Phil never stoops to their level just to produce a song. He is a man of faith, faithfulness, love and integrity and I pray fame never changes that.

  10. Tired of the drinking and cheating songs on country radio? What is this, 1975?

    Sorry, but you’re revealing that you’re promoting Stacey in a genre you’re not very familiar with. At least you didn’t call it Country & Western.

  11. DianeNo Gravatar

    Eveyone is entitled to their opinion as to whether they like a particular song. Personally, I like it and am looking forward to Phil’s CD which is being released on April 15th. Not everyone in the country music industry sings about cheating and drinking. Some of the top recording artists today don’t sing about it. I can’t see Phil singing songs that go against his value system. I think Peter was trying to be humorous with his remark but I didn’t find it to be very funny.

  12. Hey Kevin, Y’know what’s funny about your and the9513’s take on the song and all the comments you’ve both gotten w/r/t it and my (lack) of comments? I guess it’s that I didn’t ‘trash’ the song like I guess people think both you and the9513 ‘did.’ I actually think we agree more or less on the song.

    Hey, he sings it better than LeVox probably does, heh.

  13. I should mention the lack of comments about the song on my own blog for those reading along….

  14. Anonymous

    It’s true that cheating and, to some, drinking are very distasteful behaviors. However, the purpose of country music is to sing about everyday occurrences. Unfortunately, those topics are things that happen in real life..even in the Christian world. In fact, I have heard Christian artists tackle both of those subjects. Of course, not in the fun way of Friends In Low Places or Before He Cheats, but sung about nonetheless. Finally, perhaps aside from Rascal Flatts, I cannot think of one top artist who doesn’t sing songs with cheating and drinking. Even Sara Evans has one on “Real Fine Place To Start.”

  15. DianeNo Gravatar

    Another one that comes to mind is Josh Turner. I can’t recall any of his songs dealing with those subjects. In fact, I believe he specifically came out and said he refused to sing songs about cheating and drinking. I agree that is real life and country music is known to deal with real life emotion. I guess it is an individual choice and I respect an artist who chooses to stick to his or her moral code.

  16. Leeann

    While “White Noise” doesn’t specifically mention drinking, it’s definitely taking place in a bar. I respect the artist’s choice not to sing cheating or drinking songs, but it doesn’t always work out for them. I read a Lonestar interview where they say that they think the reason they were dropped from their record label is because Richie McDonald kept insisting on releasing such squeaky clean songs. While I don’t think that is necessarily fair, I would agree that singing about such a singular aspect of life can get rather maudlin after awhile.

  17. Lonestar seemed to sing about the one singular thing that you mentioned. I think the label dropped them because Richie was leaving the group. As for Josh Turner, I know from ‘inside sources’ that he follows the ‘clean life’ so he demands that people around him follow such things, including not allowing certain types of movies, music and games on his bus. He also stated he wanted ‘good, clean music.’ I think he’s come off of that statement just a little bit as he’s gotten more popular.

  18. T-Country

    Surprise Gary Levox was a co-writer… God this sux…. this guy’s whole look sux… who the hell does he appeal to?

  19. Leeann

    I think this excerpt from CMT’s Ed Morris article is telling:

    “It’s hard to point the blame in one direction,” Britt says. “Just from my hindsight-is-20/20 perspective, I think we painted ourselves into a corner between
    songs that were being written and songs that the label was putting out. They started putting out a bunch of family-type songs. I think that really pigeonholed
    us. The majority of the band didn’t really want to continue doing that same thing. But that’s what kept getting put out.

    “We had songs like ‘I’m Already There,’ ‘Front Porch’ and ‘Mr. Mom’ kind of back to back. I think that really limited our appeal to a mass audience. When
    we had songs like ‘Amazed,’ anybody in love could relate to it. Suddenly, [it was] ‘OK, they’re in love, but they have to have kids’ and then, ‘Well, the
    kids have to be this age.’ It kind of really started limiting our audience. I think that’s what started the slowdown.”

    The dip also corresponded with the other members conceding the right to pick songs to McDonald.

    “With the Lonely Grill album, we all sat down and we all had pretty much equal say in what songs got cut,” Britt says. “And that seemed to be very successful.
    As time went on, I think maybe Richie tried to assert himself a little bit more into the song-selection process. Honestly, it didn’t turn out that successful.

    “Now, when he had a song like ‘I’m Already There,’ it was a great success. But I don’t think any of us would have picked ‘Class Reunion’ to be a single.
    Even when ‘Mr. Mom’ was released, [producer] Dann Huff said, ‘I think it’s a hit, but I don’t know if that’s the road you all want to go down.’ It turns
    out he was probably right.” [“Class Reunion” peaked at No. 16 on Billboard’s country singles chart.]

    The article also says that Richie decided to leave the group after they were dropped from the label:

    Britt says McDonald revealed his intention to leave after BNA Records had severed its ties with the group.

    “We were actually sitting down to a meeting to talk about other possibilities for our record deal,” he explains. “That’s when Richie told us he wanted
    some time to think about what he wanted to do. Then he let us know a couple of weeks later.”

    To compound the shock, says Britt, McDonald jumped the gun with his announcement.

    “He started leaking it out to the media before we’ve even decided to do that,” Britt says. “So we’re still trying to play catch up to Richie at this point.”

    CMT.com attempted repeatedly to reach McDonald to get his account of the split, but his representatives declined to make him available for an interview.

    Britt admits that McDonald’s action has caused hard feelings from his fellow bandsmen.

    “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t,” he says. “It’s his decision. I think what he really wanted was for the band to just end. The other three of us were
    really in no position to want to do that. We were still getting excited about having a new record deal. He’s got to do what he has to do to make himself
    happy. I just hope he understands we aren’t the ones quitting. We’re wanting to keep going and find ways to make it happen and make it more fun.”

  20. Leeann

    Also, in reading this CMT article, it seems that Lonestar’s record label dropped them due to low record sales. The article says:

    “After Lonestar hit it big with “Amazed” in 1999, the group seemed unstoppable. That song held the No. 1 spot on the country charts for eight weeks. Later
    came “What About Now” (four weeks at No. 1) and, in 2001, “I’m Already There” (six weeks). Lonely Grill — the 1999 album that yielded “Amazed” and “What
    About Now,” plus the shorter-lived No. 1’s “Smile” and “Tell Her” — sold 3 million copies.

    And the chart-toppers kept coming — “My Front Porch Looking In” in 2003 and “Mr. Mom” (two weeks) in 2004. But then things began to slow down. While Lonely
    Grill, I’m Already There (2001) and From There to Here: Greatest Hits (2003) all achieved platinum or multi-platinum certification, the group’s next album,
    Let’s Be Us Again (2004), reached only gold status. Coming Home (2005) didn’t even go gold, and Mountains (2006) has sold only 89,000 copies, according
    to Nielsen SoundScan, the service that monitors retail record sales.”

    89 thousand is a very low number coming from a once popular group.

  21. My only point (even if I made it sarcastically) was even for artists who are devoted husbands or wives – sometimes they’re not actually singing love songs directly to their spouses. More often than not they’re choosing songs their A&R team have pre-selected for them to review. And if all he’s going to sing is love songs all day long he stands the risk of becoming a one-trick pony.

    I’ll be interested to see the track list for the album once Universal’s distribution company starts soliciting the record.

  22. This is pretty bland and forgettable. I wasn’t a big Phil fan on AI. If he can’t make it at country radio, I think he will be gone very quickly. I don’t really see him as a country artist but this seems to be his only shot.

  23. Lindsay Kesh

    See him live and you’ll change your tune, he’s incredible. I enjoyed him last year on Idol, but seeing him live was totally different. I instantly became a fan, and cant wait till the cd is released. There are some great tracks that arent all about love of a wife!!
    If promoted the right way he will go far. I’ve said the same about other artists I saw from the beginning and all of them have made it to the top.

  24. bobbyNo Gravatar

    i liked this song until he got to the part where he repeated “if you didn’t love me” three times while trying to stretch his voice across the scale resulting in a very gary levox type sound, making it seem as if he’s trying way to hard to sound good and failing miserably

  25. DawnNo Gravatar

    I absolutely love the song!

  26. kim earnshawNo Gravatar

    i love this song
    phil is good in concert
    i saw him at the crystal palce
    his gutiar player is hott
    go rich i <3 u
    and andy olay home boy

  27. TenPoundHammerNo Gravatar

    I think Phil has the blandest voice in country music right now. No emotion whatsoever. This could’ve been a good song if even Jason Sellers had cut it.

  28. Wow, such a bunch of critics! I got this album this week and have spent a week listening to nothing else.

    The Christian messages are POWERFUL, and Phil is, for me, a kind of magical voice.. doesn’t fit any mold..

    He’s goofy looking and you wouldn’t think that voice would come out of him, but hey, same for LeVox.. oh, and LeVox is also a bit weak in person but fabulous in studio… it’s the pressure, I think… you’re live, you get one shot, tough stuff..

    But this is my new favorite album.. “Identity”, “It’s Who You Know”, “Lookin’ like love”… strong stuff!

  29. Who does T-country thinks they are i don’t what your problem is with not liking Gary Levox. He is probably is one of the best country singers out there if not the best. You know who he appeal to is everbody who have to grow up with out a dad to go fishing or hunting with. Maybe if you didn’t have a dad u would know what we r going through. Come on get life. If u didn’t know Gary is my cousin and i will be seeing him this holiday season i will tell about the person who doesn’t have a brain!