“Idol” winner delivers impressive debut

By Jair Fuentes

Reigning “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips bursts into the music scene with his highly impressive debut album, “The World from The Side of the Moon.”

After scoring an immediate hit with “Home,” his winning song from Idol, fans were eager to see what Phillips would bring on a full-length album. The result is a mix of blues, country, folk and indie rock.

The album starts with the hard-hitting, “Man on The Moon.” It is an engaging song and a great way to start the album. A banjo-driven tune, it has  hints of bluegrass and its rhythmic chorus makes for a catchy intro.

It continues with songs like “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Where We Came From.”  While impressive, these songs do not scream authenticity. Both just sound “radio-ready” and would most likely be selected as singles.

The heart and soul of this album lies within tracks that do not sound like typical radio hits. For example, “Get Up, Get Down” use of  trumpets and acoustic guitar feels like a mix of big band and honky tonk music.

Another song is “Drive Me,” which has a similar feel. Both are upbeat tracks and fans will quickly notice the unique melody twisting and phrasing that Phillips was famous for on Idol.

The album also showcases Phillips’ sensitive side. Songs like “Tell Me A Story,” “Can’t Go Wrong” and “Hazel” all have meaningful lyrics that are reminiscent of the well-written country songs. The vibe is also a bit of the country, but they do not stray away from Phillips’ indie style.

A definite stand out track is “Wanted is Love.”  While Phillips is not a full-on rock artist, this song has hints of  major rock hits from the 80’s. It sounds as something Bon Jovi might have recorded, yet still has a modern feel.

Often compared to Dave Matthews of The Dave Matthews Band by viewers, it is easy to hear their influence from them.  However, Phillips stands on his own, creating a unique sound.

As a treat to fans, the album also includes a live version of “Home.”  Hearing the cheers and interaction of the audience adds to the vibe of the song.

Phillips has proved his musical roots on this debut album.  Despite lacking a wide vocal range, his tone was front and center and his choice of musical styles stands out.  “The World from The Side of the Moon” is now available in stores and on iTunes.

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