While watching American Idol last year one singer immediately grabbed me. Phil Stacey was the singer and I immediately felt that he was a candidate to get signed to a recording contract by one of Nashville’s many labels. Phil managed to make it pretty far into the competition. On the show he sang songs ‘country’ to the point that he, like fellow bald AI alum Chris Daughtry, was pegged as a guy who knew who he was. Thus, he probably wasn’t going to need to win to get the record deal. Those thoughts were right and Lyric Street records, home to former AI contestants Josh Gracin and Bucky Covington, quickly agreed to a deal with Stacey. He entered the studio with Wayne Kirkpatrick and recorded a song that was co-written by Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox. “If You Didn’t Love Me” is the song and it is the kind of song I expected to from Phil. A ‘tempo’ ballad that is unsurprisingly similar to some of Rascal Flatts’ songs, given the co-write by Levox, I don’t see how this song won’t be ‘loved’ by radio. People who’ve liked the songs from Rascal Flatts will probably enjoy this song more due to Stacey’s more appealing vocals. He has a voice that is husky and rich and at times recalls Heath Wright from Ricochet. As far as debut singles go, this one’s a keeper. In fact, it might be the best debut country single from a male American Idol participant.
Listen here: If You Didn’t Love Me (requires real player)