Review Summary: Each song is crafted with musical precision and when you listen to this album, the cohesion is evident and natural.
The performer so nice, they named him twice. Phillip Phillips from Leesburg, Georgia is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter and musician. Most notable for his season 11 victory of American Idol, Phillip’s performances have left critics and fans in admiration. Phillips is often compared to his hero Dave Matthews. With a comparable voice and acoustic bravado, his November 20th debut album The World from the Side of the Moon, will surely satisfy the music community.
Phillips knew that winning American Idol came with the glory of debuting an album under Interscope Records. However, like some of his predecessors, Phillips refused to be another disposable musician in the pop-music machine. Instead, Interscope producer Jimmy Iovine gave Phillips free rein during the creation of The World from the Side of the Moon. “He had a lot of trust in me,” Phillips said. “I felt really good about that. He wanted me to make the album I wanted to which I thought was really awesome of him”.
In between Phillip’s inspiring lyrics and catchy melodies, he intentionally left space for future improvisations. Phillips said, “I didn’t want to overproduce anything. I wanted to keep it the way I could do it live and have fun and have some solos in there and everything. I mean, every artist has a little bit of something they make a little spicy, but I wanted to keep it as raw as possible”; yet another reinforcement to the Dave Matthews comparison. When Dave himself was asked about Phillips, he stated, “Oh I don’t feel threatened. I am what I am. Maybe I paved the way for him. I wish him the best of luck! He should kick my ass. Maybe I can retire and he can take over my band”.
Not to be mistaken with DMB’s Away From the World, Phillip’s The World from the Side of the Moon is an unbelievable milestone. For a 22-year-old, his lyrics and perspective on life surely convey maturity. On the memorable “Tell Me a Story”; Phillips sings, “Hope is just a ray of what everyone should see. Alone is the street, where you found me, scared of what’s behind, you are scared of what’s in front, live in what you are now and make the best of what’s to come.” On “Where We Came From”, Phillip's bluesy guitar sounds akin to Gary Clark Jr. He managed to compose grooves that were almost disobedient. By writing these defiant grooves, perfectly represented on “Drive Me”, the listener will be left entertained and the songs will play out effortlessly.
On The World from the Side of the Moon, listeners also receive a glimpse of Phillip’s intimate side. “Gone, Gone, Gone" is that song that breathes revival. For 3 minutes and 30 seconds, you will feel as if you’re on a road to happiness with the person that matters most. Conversely, a song like “A Fool’s Dance” is scripted like the denouement of a novel. During this song you’ve left your climatic road to happiness and have made a wrong turn down a road to perdition. Yet the album (not including the deluxe edition) ends eloquent and hopeful with “So Easy”. Each song is crafted with musical precision and when you listen to this album, the cohesion is evident and natural.
It is true that Dave Matthews will one day have to pass his torch down to someone else. However, we must ask ourselves, does Phillips distinguish himself enough to be categorized separately from the legendary Dave Matthews? Will The World from the Side of the Moon circulate throughout the United States with unparalleled momentum? And finally, will Phillips be able to fight his way to stardom or will he vanish alongside American Idol’s countless departed?
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