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Traveling Circus

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 15, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Over the course of the past decade, phil vassar's unbounded energy and limitless talent have proven him, again and again, as one of nashville's most prolific and versatile stars. His resume boasts six #1 hits for country artists including alan jackson, tim mcgraw, jo dee messina, and collin raye, and three more as an artist in his own right. He's been named the ascap songwriter of the year twice and has taken top honors from the academy of country music, billboard and musicrow. Now releasing his sixth album, 'traveling circus', phil vassar approaches his uniquely piano-based, rhythm and blues-infused, infectiously buoyant brand of country music from the back-to-basics school of thought.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal South
  • ASIN: B002VXECCQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Prime Cuts: She's on the Way, A Year From Now, John Wayne

Vassar is a man of mettle. Rather than donning a Stetson and strumming along a guitar, Vassar has refused to be moulded into the next typical country male artist. On the other hand, Vassar has chosen as his provender the piano, carving for himself a niche as country music's piano man. Though pop music has its share of ivory ticklers including Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Elton John, Vassar joins Ronnie Milsap as one of the few elites who still uses the piano so prominently. Coupled with this is that Vassar has been an established writer before he even secured a recording contract. Thus, the songs that made it into his recording canon have a more matured texture to them relative to most up and coming singer-songwriters. Such a palatine combination enabled Vassar stand out among the crowds which has resulted in hits like "Just Another Day in Paradise," "Love is a Beautiful Thing," and "Last Day of My Life." Unfortunately, of late Vassar has had been having a more challenging time placing a footing on the high stratum of the charts. Thus, this fifth studio album "Traveling Circus" has been delayed a number of times until sophomore single "Everywhere I Go" began to pick up some steam.

So, after such a long bumps, how does "Traveling Circus" fare? Frankly, it's high up on par with Vassar's pristine standards; not that it's perfect but it's still better than the average country CD out there. This time round, Vassar has a more hands on approach to this project whereby he produced all the tracks here himself. Further, he has relied on his road band rather than the paid by the hour session artist creating a more live feel to it.
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How can you not love Phil Vassar? That is, unless you don't like country music, in which case you shouldn't be reading this. One of the most underrated and underappriciated country musicians, Phil loves what he does, and it comes through on every song. My problem with this CD is the same as most reviews I've read: it's misleading. The title, the cover art, the lead song, and especially the inclusion of the fan favorite "Bobbi with an 'I'" builds expectation of a upbeat, fun-loving album. This is not that album.

Possibly because of that fact, this just doesn't feel like a cohesive album. The majority of the songs are not exactly light-hearted. I enjoyed every song, but it just felt... heavy, for lack of a better term. As a result, the more upbeat songs feel out of place, instead of easing the mood. Listening to the songs in a Phil Vassar or country playlist would be fine, but the album itself doesn't work well as a whole.

That being said, I can't wait for the next album. I got really exciting hearing some of Phil's piano rifts on "Where Have All the Pianos Gone." I would love to hear him just let loose, as "Six-Pack Summer," "The Hot Tub Song," and "Good Ol' Days" are some of my favorites of Phil's. He does sentimental well, but he has shown he knows how to have a good time too.
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He isn't just one of the guys
In his pink party dress
You never would guess
He benches 335
You better watch how much you drink
He might look better than you think
If it's the big-boned girl with a platinum curl
Hey then don't be surprised
Yeah that's just Bobbi with an
I I I I I...
I I I I I...
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By Anne H. on December 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I agree with T. Yap, except that I love the song "Everywhere I Go" and still think it's one of the better songs on this CD. So glad it's finally out!
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Phil Vassar is my absolute favorite singer/songwriter. I admit that I liked some of his other albums a little better, but anything by Phil Vassar is always worth a listen. The lyrics can be fun and catchy, or powerful and poignant. He has a way of capturing experiences and emotions in a way that speaks very deeply to me. He is also an incredibly talented piano player, and the music alone is always pleasant, interesting, and often moving. Anything Phil Vassar puts out is worth buying.
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To begin with. I LOVE PHIL VASSAR! PERIOD! He is an absolute wonderful entertainer. He brings the crowd into his shows, he is full of energy. You never really know what he is likely to do. My gripe is with the product. When it arrived,Traveling Circus,one of 3 CD's was broken, an another was cracked. The CD's were OK, so I just kept the product instead of the hassle of returning them. I think you need a better mailing/packaging system. Thanks for letting me vent.....
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I have all of Phil Vassar's CDs and this one is his best yet. Usually when I listen to new music, I am very critical in comparing it to my old favorites but I was pleasantly surprised at how diverse and entertaining the songs are on this CD. "Bobbi with an I" is such a fun song; "She's on Her Way" will make anyone with a daughter cry. "A Year from Now" and "I Will Remember You" are beautiful songs that tell of love lost, while "Where Have All the Pianos Gone" brought me back to my younger years when Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Elton John and Manilow ruled the charts.
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