Behind the Light

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Behind the Light
Phillip Phillips Behind the Light album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 16, 2014 (2014-05-16)
RecordedQuad Studios
(New York, New York)
GenrePop rock[1]
Phillip Phillips chronology
The World from the Side of the Moon
Behind the Light
Singles from Behind the Light
  1. "Raging Fire"
    Released: March 3, 2014
  2. "Unpack Your Heart"
    Released: August 12, 2014

Behind the Light is the second studio album by American recording artist Phillip Phillips. It was released on May 16, 2014, by Interscope Records.[2]


The album was produced by Gregg Wattenberg, Dereck Fuhrmann and Phillip Phillips, and was recorded in New York City.[3] Upon the development of the album, Phillips discussed the concept of the album at the Billboard Music Awards red carpet:

"It' so much more mature," I got to spend some more time on it. It's a little more on the rock side, which is me and how I represent it when I play live." "I wanted to keep it the same because they know how I like to write," the 23-year-old says. "We worked so well together. It's very organic and it's not getting all these writers to come in (and say), 'We need a big pop song.' That's not how it is. It's an album as a whole, not just singles." - Phillip Phillips [4]

Release and promotion[edit]

Both Standard and Deluxe Editions became available on May 19, 2014.[5] Universal Music South Africa released a South African Special Tour Edition to celebrate Phillips touring South Africa with The Script in February 2015.[citation needed]


"Raging Fire", the lead single was released on March 3, 2014. The song speaks about "the power of love" and as described by Phillips "it's just a song wanting to feel those butterflies, you know you love and you know the first time you kissed that person" he says in an interview with Access Hollywood. The song was later solicited to Adult Album Alternative radio on March 17, 2014.[6] The song received critical acclaim by most music critics who praised Phillips vocals. He performed the song live on various TV shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, American Idol and on Conan.[7][8][9] The music video for "Raging Fire" premiered on Vevo on April 10.[10] Before its release, Phillips stated that he and his writers just wrote the song a week prior to the release.[11]

On April 22, "Fly" was released as a promotional single.[12]

The second single from the album is "Unpack Your Heart".[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[14]
Knoxville News Sentinel3.5/5 stars[15]
The Oakland Press2.5/4 stars[17]
USA Today2.5/4 stars[18]

Behind the Light received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. At AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album three stars out of five, saying that "Perhaps Phillips has yet to find his distinctive voice, but there's no question he can color within the lines exceedingly well."[14] Brian Mansfield of USA Today rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that "Phillips may not have a Home-style hit here, but does have the consistency and confidence that come with steady performing."[18] At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, stating that Phillips' deserved some "Props, then, for incremental growth, and respect for a more genuinely organic grounding than most of his 'Idol' brethren."[17] Glenn Gamboa of Newsday graded the album a B, saying that "Phillip Phillips takes a giant leap forward on his sophomore album".[16] At Billboard, Shirley Halprin gave the album a positive review, writing how "'Behind the Light,' feels more like a collection of big singles as opposed to a coherent album, with ebbs and flows" on which Phillips "mostly adheres to a strict formula: acoustic-based melodies accented by strings, building up to a huge hook and back again."[19] Chuck Campbell of Knoxville News Sentinel rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, stating that "His lyrics may be tortured at times, but sometimes he nails it".[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 7 with sales of 41,000 units in the U.S.[20] The album has sold 123,000 copies in the U.S. as of December 2014.[21]

Track listing[edit]

  • The track listing was announced April 22, 2014.[22]
Behind the Light — Standard edition
1."Searchlight" 4:12
2."Raging Fire"
3."Trigger"Phillips 3:59
4."Lead On"
  • Phillips
  • Clark
  • Fuhrmann
5."Alive Again" 3:07
6."Open Your Eyes"Phillips 4:11
7."Fool for You"
  • Phillips
  • Fuhrmann
  • Wattenberg
8."Thicket"Phillips 5:02
  • Phillips
  • Clark
10."Unpack Your Heart"
  • Phillips
  • Clark
  • Fuhrmann
  • Wattenberg
11."Face"Phillips 3:55
12."Midnight Sun"
  • Phillips
  • Furhmann
  • Wattenberg


Credits adapted from AllMusic.[23]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[24] 7
US Billboard 200[25] 7

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing region, label, format and edition(s)
Region Date Format(s) Label Edition(s)
Australia May 16, 2014 CD, digital download Universal Music Group Standard, Deluxe[26]
Netherlands[27][28] Interscope Records
Poland Universal Music Group
Canada May 19, 2014
United Kingdom Polydor UK
United States Interscope Records, 19
Germany May 20, 2014 Universal Music Group
Ireland July 25, 2014


  1. ^ "Behind the Light - Phillip Phillips - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Brian Mansfield (March 28, 2014). "Phillip Phillips releasing sophomore album in May". USA TODAY.
  3. ^ "Phillip Phillips Announces Sophomore Album 'Behind The Light'". Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Phillip Phillips Talks 'Mature' New Album at Billboard Music Awards (Video)". 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "iTunes - Music - Behind the Light (Deluxe Version) by Phillip Phillips". iTunes. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Future Releases on Triple A (AAA) Radio Stations, Independent Artist Song Releases - ..." All Access. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Phillip Phillips Announces New Single "Raging Fire," Readies Sophomore Album". Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  8. ^ Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY (28 March 2014). "Phillip Phillips releasing sophomore album in May". USA TODAY. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  10. ^ Phillip Phillips - Raging Fire. YouTube. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  11. ^ Fred Bronson. "Phillip Phillips Talks New Single, Return to 'American Idol' Stage (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  12. ^ "New Music: Phillip Phillips - 'Fly' Review". Directlyrics. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  13. ^ "PHILLIP PHILLIPS: "Unpack Your Heart"". Archived from the original on 2014-08-13.
  14. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (May 19, 2014). "Behind the Light - Phillip Phillips | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Campbell, Chuck (May 20, 2014). "'Tuned In' review: Something burns behind Phillip Phillips' 'Light'". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn (May 16, 2014). "Phillip Phillips' 'Behind the Light' review: 'American Idol' alum shines". Newsday. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Graff, Gary (May 9, 2014). "The Listening Room: The Black Keys, Phillip Phillips and more..." The Oakland Press. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (May 19, 2014). "Listen Up: Other notable releases". USA Today. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  19. ^ Halprin, Shirley (May 12, 2014). "Phillip Phillips Expands His Sound on 'Behind The Light': Album Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  20. ^ Keith Caulfield (May 28, 2014). "Coldplay Collects Fourth No. 1 Album with Biggest Debut of 2014". Billboard.
  21. ^ Lynch, Joe (December 9, 2014). "9 Albums That Flopped in 2014 (Or Did They?)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  22. ^ "Phillip Phillips on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  23. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Behind the Light [Deluxe Edition] - Phillip Phillips - Release Information, Reviews and Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Phillip Phillips Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Phillip Phillips Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Yahoo". Yahoo. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  27. ^ " - Behind The Light (Del.Ed), Phillip Phillips - Muziek". Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  28. ^ "iTunes - Muziek - 'Behind the Light' van Phillip Phillips". iTunes. Retrieved 19 June 2015.