I admit. I liked Phillip Phillips’ Idol audition and I saw some potential, but when live rounds began, other contestants who were clearly the better singers (like Joshua Ledet and of course THE Jessica Sanchez) emerged. On the other hand, Phillips just cruised along the sidelines. I was so tough and very critical on Phillips and when he won Idol I was completely devastatingly disappointed. For me he just got lucky to have Home as his coronation song.
But when he released his album The World from the Side Of The Moon this month and I got a chance to listen to it, I became a fan and turned a complete 180. Let’s get it on with his tracks:
- Man On The Moon – From the opening strings, Phillips surfaces from the background with his signature Ohw ohw oh yeah’s that sounded like this is Dave Matthews Band’s album. This song sets the tone for the whole album, which aligns Phillips to a country-folk, pop-rock category.
- Home – Phillips’ winning piece from Idol. Obviously this song is his first big hit thus far. Some consider this song as the song of the summer! As far as I could remember, Phillips lamented about this track that this song “isn’t him” and wanted to have more creative control towards his debut album. I don’t think he complains now because this song has gone 2x Platinum and has been used in the Olympics and in a movie.
- Gone Gone Gone – This is one of the songs Phillips did not contribute in writing. This easy-listening love song is very uplifting and goes well with the rest of the album. Pretty anthemic as well, I have a feeling this song will be a huge hit as well and will spawn a Glee version.
- Hold On – A song written solely by Phillips. This is so much like a Dave Matthews – Mumford and Sons hybrid song. Strings (guitars and even violins) are heard all over the place, with Phillip’s voice punches through every strum.
- Tell Me A Story – Phillips goes soft and sentimental this time around with this song. A very pretty song, the strings are killing me, in a good way.
- Get Up Get Down – Damn I’m suddenly pumped up! This up-tempo song brings in the goods. Phillips finally gets away from the Dave Matthews similarities and surprises everyone with this head-thumping track. I want to hear this LIVE!
- Where We Came From – Another solid track from Phillip. This is leading more on the funky pop-rock genre. I like it a lot. I like it a whole lot.
- Drive Me – Another song co-written by Phillips, Drive Me is another song leading to the rock genre. It shows his range as a singer, other than that, the song is just ok.
- Wanted Is Love – This is a very beautiful love song sung beautifully by Phillips. I can imagine this song being played in the background of some teeny-bopper shows on TV.
- Can’t Go Wrong – It does sound similar to Home because it’s the same group of writers Greg Holden and Drew Pearson. Phillips also co-wrote this song. This song is so Mumford and Sons, you would think that this is actually theirs. Again another amazing and anthemic track.
- A Fool’s Dance – If the preceding song sounds like Mumford and Sons, this song sounds like Dave Matthews! But I must say, there’s something infectious about Phillips’ songs.
- So Easy – I just love the song from the get-go. Superb way to end a fantastic debut album for an American Idol.
Final Thoughts: Aside from Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts and David Cook’s self-titled album, I think this is one of most brilliant debut albums for an American Idol winner. Having said that, my only criticism (and I may sound like a broken record) is that this album sounds very similar to Mumford and Sons and Dave Matthews, something that poses a great challenge to Phillip Phillips: how to stay RELEVANT. The World from the Side of the Moon is a great jumpstart.
Songs to be put on your Playlist: Home, Gone Gone Gone, Get Up Get Down, So Easy, Where We Came From
Grab this album if you like: Mumford and Sons (duh), Dave Matthews Band (duh), .fun, John Mayer, Jason Mraz
4.0 out of 5