Phillip Phillips Ė The World From the Side of the Moon Release Date: November 19, 2012
Record Label: Interscope Records, 19 Recordings
Something has either gone incredibly wrong or something has gone right for the first time in its history, because it's a rare occurrence that American Idol alumni let alone winners release albums worth putting on repeat. Phillip Phillips - yes that is his real name - had a bumpy road after Idol finished; he had to get surgery to remove kidney stones, but has bounced back by going on tour and releasing Babel 2.0. What I mean by ĎBabel 2.0í is that he's giving Mumford and Sons a run for their money. I could also refer to the album as ĎAway From the World 2.0í because it's the same deal with Dave Matthews Band. Watch out guys, heís coming!
Phillip Phillips wrote or co-wrote all but 3 of the songs on the album. One song he didn't write, which is probably the song he's most famous for, is his coronation song "Home". The folksy, Mumford and Sons-esque track was featured in this yearís London Olympics and has also made it into the trailer for Clint Eastwood's new movie, Trouble with the Curve. This track is number two on the track listing and it sets the tone for the whole album. Not that the first one doesn't, but this one, because it's so popular (and been heard by almost everyone I know), leaves a sense of familiarity throughout the whole album.
One track that really stands out for me is "Hold On" this uplifting melodic wonder leaves just one massive smile on my face. Itís one of those songs you know will go down and be relevant right through the ages. Starts off with a strumming guitar, moves into a slowing down to let the vocals in and off it goes, itís also a toe tapper, it has a beat that youíd clap along to. Itís just a great song. The lyrics written by the man himself, and solely himself, and being one of the standouts on the album for me is a big plus.
ĎDrive Meí, the song Phillip originally wanted as his coronation song, is probably the next main standout. Itís a rock track. Turn up the radio, scroll down the windows, drive down the highway 6 miles over the limit, goes with the experience perfectly. Iím not suggesting you get pulled over and fined for speeding, Iím sure you can enjoy the song without the speeding, but thatís just the kind of song it is; catchy, driving and filled with a lot of energy. You can tell the 22 year old from Georgia will have no problem pitching his next album to another label, if Interscope isnít interested.
Letís go back to the start of the album before we mention the closer. Track Number one; written by him, and only him and the song title is ĎMan on the Mooní and Itís my personal favourite on the album, it has been on repeat since 8am this morning in fact. The songís a jam, literally, it makes you want to grab your acoustic guitar and play along with him, even though you may not know the words!
The last track on the album is one of the best closerís on an album I have heard this year, itís a song youíd expect to be in the midst between Track 5 and 9 but if you went looking youíd find other tracks, no filler, but other tracks. This track leaves me without a word to say honestly, itís one of those songs that when youíre listening you just know itís great. Itís playing right now while Iím writing this, and Iím trying to hold off a smile. This whole album makes me want to smile. Iíd probably strain a muscle in my face if I didnít.