It’s been quite the year Phillip Phillips. The 22-year-old singer/songwriter claimed the American Idol crown this past May and this week he’s releasing his debut record, The World from the Side of the Moon.
Shortly after coming off of the American Idol Live! Tour this past September, Phillips, along with his producer Gregg Wattenberg (Daughtry, Goo Goo Dolls), collaborated on a collection of music that captured a genuine snapshot of the talented singer/songwriter. From Phillips’ signature raspy vocals to his intricate guitar playing and solid songwriting, The World from the Side of the Moon is a legitimate lead in towards long-term success for the Leesburg, Georgia native.
The title of the record is pulled from the first line of the opening track, “Man on the Moon.” Written prior to Idol, the guitar work really sets the overall tone of the song that touches on the theme of staying true to yourself, which is something Phillips personified during his time on the show.
Following up “Man on the Moon” is Phillips’ now-double platinum hit single, “Home.” Initially recorded as his Idol coronation song, “Home” was also featured during this summer’s London Olympics, and has kept Phillips’ presence alive and well on the music charts.
“Gone Gone Gone” is a sweet love song about being there no matter what for your special someone. Being one of the three songs that Phillips didn’t contribute writing credits to, it fits nicely within the track listing. Phillips’ seemingly heartfelt delivery of the lyrics and the lively uplifting music arrangement is sure to make this track a fan favorite.
The tracks on the record that I found myself gravitating towards were the up-tempo “Get Up Get Down” and “Drive Me.”
“Get Up Get Down” really took me by surprise. The song starts out with a mid-tempo melody, which builds into a more aggressive chorus that gets in your face with the addition of horns to the overall arrangement. The breakdown towards the end of the song will no doubt lend itself to an onstage jam when performed live. “Drive Me,” which Phillips co-wrote with his brother-in-law Ben Neil, has a real nice groove to it and is going to make people want to dance. Vocally, Phillips utilizes his range, which enhances the overall tone of the track. Both songs show a lyrically confident and sexy side to Phillips, and shows off a bit of the singer’s southern rock soul.
“Wanted Is Love” is a passionate track from Phillips’ pre-Idol repertoire. The use of strings adds a delicate touch to the song’s arrangement, especially when paired with the vulnerable lyrics. Phillips hits a wonderfully drawn out note that really conveys the emotions he’s singing about.
For those who are looking for a song that sounds similar to “Home,” look no further than the folk-pop tune “Can’t Go Wrong” that Phillips co-wrote with Greg Holden and Drew Pearson, who also wrote “Home.” There’s a bit of an anthemic quality to the song’s chorus and I can already picture Phillips leading a fun sing-a-long to this one at his live shows.
Phillips’ debut record reflects every bit of the gravelly voiced pop rock artist, with jazz leanings that he portrayed during his Idol run. His songwriting gives the listening audience a glimpse into quite the introspective young man. To put it simply, The World from the Side of the Moon delivers.
Phillip Phillips’ debut record, The World from the Side of the Moon is available now.
For more information on Phillip Phillips, check out his official website.
Photos: Interscope Records