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Phillip Phillips turns ideas into melodic gold on debut album

Ask and you shall receive. Phillip Phillips asked for a lot of freedom to create his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, and that’s exactly what he got.

Phillips, the most recent winner of “American Idol,” has proven he is more than a guy with a guitar. But when Phillips beat out contestant Jessica Sanchez, critics wondered what would become of the show’s new winner. Of course, other winners of seasons past haven’t been too successful. The only notable “Idol” winner is Kelly Clarkson, who continues to top charts, most recently with “Catch My Breath,” released in October.

The World from the Side of the Moon is essentially Phillips’ follow-up for his single “Home,” which made “American Idol” history. The song debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard Top 100 and sold more than 278,000 downloads. No other artist from the show has been able to do this, thus making Phillips a true musician.

The album sounds like a combination of Matt Nathanson, Mumford & Sons and the Dave Matthews Band. Evidence of this can be found in the tracks “Where We Came From,” “Tell Me a Story” and “Home.”

Though Phillips had a handful of co-writers for the album, his album works. From track to track, the album has smooth transitions and makes for an easy listen as it elaborates on the idea of home. Let’s not forget to mention his raspy voice is to die for.

The World from the Side of the Moon wouldn’t be a typical album without a few surprises along the way. The album’s first track, “Man on the Moon,” has a slight country twang that separates it from other tracks on the album — in a good way. It is one of the songs on the album that features a violin and a saxophone, but what makes “Man on the Moon” more addictive is its chorus: “Hold on, it won’t take long / You can find yourself if you decide to finally start / But don’t look to me when you fall / 'Cause the steps get bigger, so go ahead and walk them off / And you know how I feel / So don’t let your life start to slowly waste away.”

Another track that breaks the Phillips’ mold is “Get Up Get Down.” This track uses one-line chants such as, “Get up, get down, just a little bit,” to create a song that makes listeners want to, well, get up and dance. It’s reminiscent of early jazz clubs. This track is another example of a well-placed saxophone in Phillips’ songs.

The bottom line? The World from the Side of the Moon is a must-listen.

Phillips doesn’t sound like other “Idol” winners from past seasons, and that’s a good thing.

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