Single Review: Phil Vassar - "Don't Miss Your Life"
By: Bobby Peacock
I remember being a big fan of Phil Vassar when he first came out. His songs were clever, stylistic and fun to listen to. "Carlene" was an interesting story about meeting an old female friend; "Just Another Day in Paradise" was an entertaining look at domestic life; and "Rose Bouquet" was a beautiful look at a failed relationship. Even before then, the songs he wrote for others were in that same mold. But somewhere after American Child, Phil gradually started to decline. For every good song he was putting out ("The Hot Tub Song," "In a Real Love"), he was countering with just as many underwhelming songs, such as "Good Ole Days," "The Woman in My Life" or "I Would."
When I reviewed "Everywhere I Go," I felt that Phil was starting to move back into his original sound. However, the song went nowhere, and he ended up leaving Show Dog. His first release for Rodeowave, "Let's Get Together," was a major step backward with its formulaic party tropes, but now, Phil is back stronger than ever on "Don't Miss Your Life."
The song starts out with a vivid image of a harried businessman on an airplane, laptop and papers scattered about. He is confronted by an old man who relates all of the childhood milestones he missed becaue he was so busy working, and sums up his point with "Don't miss your life." The narrator then gets pictures of his daughter on his phone and realizes that he has missed many important events with his daughter. Ultimately, he heeds the man's advice and gets a ticket back home so he won't miss her birthday. Phil sings convincingly and emotionally, the song's flowing melody and gentle piano never getting in his way. I actually started to cry a little the first three times I heard this song.
"Don't Miss Your Life" is faced with the challenge of being on a small indie label, but every now and then, there's that one underdog song that manages to sneak its way onto radio playlists. This is the kind of song that anyone should be able to identify with, but most especially parents. Welcome back, Phil Vassar. I've missed you.