Phillip Phillips’ “Raging Fire”

Phillip Phillips returned home to American Idol (the little show that launched his big career) tonight to perform “Raging Fire“, the lead single from the Season 12 winner’s forthcoming sophomore album, due out this year. Penned by Phillip with the writers responsible for “Gone, Gone, Gone“, the track sounds like a cross between the aforementioned song and his first single, “Home” and has all of the ingredients that made those songs huge successes. With his signature blend of a moving beat, jammin’ instrumentation, a catchy chorus (with lyrics like, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, won’t you turn my soul into a raging fire?), and a sweeping vibe, “Raging Fire” sounds as if it will be a surefire hit on the airwaves!

The past year has been a whirlwind for the singer/songwriter, with “Home” going five times platinum, and his debut album The World From The Side Of The Moon and “Gone, Gone, Gone” both reaching platinum status, along with touring with his music heroes, John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen. Starting this Saturday, Phillip will embark on his first Canadian headlining tour throughout March – the full schedule is listed on phillipphillips.com.

Phillip Phillips’ “Raging Fire” is available on iTunes.

As an homage to their special guest (and they actually really did honour him with their group rendition of “Home“), the theme for American Idol Top 12 week was… Home. The Idols sang songs that describe what the word means to them, be it their hometown, their family and friends, and/or fond memories from growing up.

Jena Irene (from Farmington Hill, Michigan) chose KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See“, which reminds her of road trips with her close-knit family. Alex Preston (from Mount Vernon, New Hampshire) put a personal spin into a signature song of one of his musical inspirations, Gavin DeGraw (who he has actually performed a show with before) with “I Don’t Want To Be“. Jessica Meuse (from Slapout, Alabama) sang “White Flag” by Dido, which reminded her of coming in her own during her teenage years in the early 2000s. Dexter Roberts (from Fayette, Alabama) sang Montgomery Gentry’s “Lucky Man“, which he dedicated to someone back home who is no longer around. Caleb Johnson (from Asheville, North Carolina) sang “Working Man” by his favourite band, Rush, as it reminds him of high school memories and his hometown’s eclectic music scene. MK Nobilette (from San Francisco, California) sang Train’s “Drops of Jupiter“, a band that hails from her hometown and a song that was one of the first songs she learned on the piano. CJ Harris (from Jasper, Alabama) gave an ode to his supportive hometown by singing “Waiting On The World To Change” by John Mayer. Sam Woolf (from Bradenville, Florida, and originally from Michigan) sang “Just One” by Blind Pilot, for the song reminds him of his friends back home. Malaya Watson (from Southfield, Michigan) went back to her gospel roots with Tamala Mann’s “Take Me To The King” and took it all right to the church. Ben Briley (from Gallatin, Tennessee) sang “Turning Home” by David Nail, a song about reflecting back on hometown memories. Closing out the night was Majesty Rose (from Goldsboro, North Carolina) who sang “Fix You” by her favourite band, Coldplay”, a song which was a source of hope and inspiration when she was a teenager.

Orlando, Florida’s Emily Piriz was eliminated in twelfth place. The proud Latina tapped into her Cuban roots with an upbeat and bold performance of Idol judge Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud“. While I appreciated her trying to breathe some life into the show with a mix of singing and dancing, the performance leaned more towards amateurish than artistic.  I thought Emily was a standout during Hollywood Week with her passionate rendition of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Stars“, and I wish she had stuck to that piano-playing songstress vibe during her time in the competition.

Are you digging Phillip’s new single? Who were your favourite Idols this week?

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