The Reintroduction of Phillip Phillips

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ debut CD has finally come out. Titled “The World from the Side of the Moon,” this CD doesn't sound as manufactured as the other Idol winners’ debut CDs. In fact, it feels very raw, very Phillip Phillips and very good for a debut CD.  I'd like to call this the Reintroduction of Phillip Phillips because he shows with this collection of songs that he is not just an American Idol winner, he is also an artist in his own right.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one since most post-Idol CDs do not necessarily have the record of being as non-pop as this one. Not to say that pop music isn't good, but I just feel they should really let these singers come out with the sound that is best for them and not just songs that they feel would sound good on the radio.

Guitar-driven and packed with music that Phillips has collaborated on with the producers, the songs are well-written and feature that husky, gravelly voice that this Idol winner is known for. With the exception of the pop-sounding Where We Came From and the country-sounding Man on the Moon, everything else has that signature sound that PP was known for on American Idol.

Some songs, like the first track Hazel, have a sound similar to John Mayer. Some songs like So Easy (a favorite), Gone Gone Gone (love the guitars on this one) and Get Up Get Down may have an upbeat/feel-good tone, but the CD also has songs that sound a little heavier and sometimes darker than the others. If heavy and a bit darker feel is more your thing, you should listen to Wanted is Love and A Fool’s Dance.

Although all of his songs were consistently good and had a similar sound to his other tracks, some of them just weren't favorites for me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad, they just weren't my thing. Listen to Can’t Go Wrong, Hold On and tell me what you think.

The CD is good enough to put the whole thing on my playlist but there’s probably only a handful that I can count as songs that I would consider putting on repeat. Apart from the feel-good song So Easy, I also liked Wicked Game, a song about not wanting to fall in love but falling anyway, is such a good track. I could close my eyes, sway along to it and just get lost in that song. It sounds sexy too.

Drive Me has that feel good, bob-your-head-to-this kind of sound. Funny enough, I can imagine being on a drive and listening to this track. It just had that kind of sound. On the other hand, Tell Me a Story is what I’d call my “music video mode” kind of song. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to sit in the car and watch the world go by while you’re on the road and act melancholy and all that.

Of course, this CD would not be complete without his song from American Idol, Home. I’m impressed that this has become part of the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood-Justin Timberlake movie Trouble with the Curve. There are two versions of the song on the CD, the live and studio version. Personally I like the live version more because it feels rawer and less manufactured than the studio one.

If you liked Phillip Phillips and the sound that he had on American Idol, I’d recommend this CD. It’s a good collection of tracks and the sound doesn't go all over the place. It’s got a consistent sound that fans of guitar-based music would love. I think it’s worth the buy.

Photo Source: Ryan Seacrest

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