By Grady Smith
December 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM EST
Nick Walker
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It’s easy to understand why Phillip Phillips has ridden on the success of his Mumford-y smash “Home” for seven straight months. After becoming the unofficial anthem of the summer Olympics, the strummy coronation single earned a second life on the chart, and over the course the fall, became a commercial powerhouse.

Now, as the year comes to a close, sales for “Home” stand at nearly 3 million, it’s still in the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100, and it has helped to launch the American Idol winner’s debut album The World from the Side of the Moon successfully. (The disc has sold 377,000 copies in its first four weeks.) And yet, the time has come for Phillips to look beyond “Home.”

“The second single will be ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’” Phillips recently told Yahoo! Canada Music. “It’s a good little love song. Todd Clark and Derek Fuhrmann, they wrote [it] and brought it to me and I thought it was a beautiful song. The more I’ve played it live, the more I’ve made it more my own and people seem to really connect with it and really enjoy it so I’m excited to see how that song’s going to do.”

While I’d guess that Phillips may be a bit disappointed that his second single, due in early 2013, is a song he had no hand in writing (he wrote or co-wrote 9 of the 12 songs on his album), this is absolutely the correct decision by Interscope.

“Gone Gone Gone” is the other true standout track on Phillips’ album. Like “Home,” it’s a kick-drum-pounding, acoustic track that builds into a by-the-numbers Americana anthem, complete with hopeful, universal lyrics, a scratchy-voiced vocal, and a whole chorus of “ooooh”s. It’s melodic and memorable and could easily cement Phillips’ status as a relevant 2013 artist — not just an American Idol one-off. (Plus it paves the way for his third single to be a curveball. I think “Get Up Get Down” would be a great choice, in that case.)

Listen to the song below:

Hopefully, the label brains getting ready to create The Voice winner Cassadee Pope‘s new album have watched what Interscope has done with Phillips. If that show wants a legitimate chart star by the time they crown another winner in six months, they need to give her some genuinely great songs to kick off her career — like, the kind that would usually go to Pink (or even Avril Lavigne), first.

Sure, those would cost more money than compositions she may write herself, but that’s a risk they have to be willing to take. It worked for Phillip Phillips, and it could work for Ms. Cassadee, too. Otherwise, she could be gone gone gone faster than you could say, “Hey Monday.”

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