Monday, November 19, 2012

Phillips Goes Deep With "Side Of The Moon"


First off, let me just take a moment to console all those teenage "Beliebers", "Twilighters" and "Directioners" who still held out hope they'd get to be squealing away to some cheesy, auto-tuned, formula dance-pop from this year's American Idol winner.

Not happening here, kiddies.

Same goes for all you douchebag posers, with your spiky hair, waxed-abtastic gym-bods, spray tans, faux-diamond studs and thick gold chains.  Better look to score some synthed club-beats someplace else, "bro", because, uh, yeah, Phillip Phillips ain't for you, either.

However, for those of you (like me) who dig a substantive yet catchy rock album laden with musical and lyrical depth, well, Phillip Phillips' debut LP "The World From The Side Of The Moon" kicks some serious fucking ass.

Phillips melded a unique combination of diverse styles to somehow form a very cohesive and original album with a sound all his own. Imagine a mix of Dave Mathews' alt-rock with Mumford & Sons neo-folk, plus the gospel blues-rock of Johnny Lang, some rhythms and phrasing of Oasis, and a sprinkle of Jim Morrison's hauntingly poetic classic rock and you get this eclectic combination that forms one hell of a powerful album.

In short, it's authentic, it works, and it will probably become a GIGANTIC seller that successfully carries the momentum from his double-platinum hit coronation song "Home". It's a very precocious, serious effort by Phillip, and I suspect will be even more popular outside the Idol bubble than within it.

With that, here's my track-by-track review of the iTunes Deluxe version.

1. Man On The Moon:  Think Oasis' Wonderwall with a bit of Mumford banjo, Mathews snarl and a whiff of sweet sax. Very skillful acoustic guitar work by Phillip (a theme that runs throughout the album), and the catchy chorus nicely brings together the song's complex lyrics and instrumentation. Definitely one of my my faves.

2. Home (Studio): Home is Phillip's monster hit coronation song, and if you haven't heard it yet you've been living under a rock. It's simply EVERYWHERE. With an irresistible rockabilly jamboree beat and very inspirational lyrics, Home has gone double platinum for good reason.

3. Gone Gone Gone: Like Home, this has a rockabilly vibe, inspirational lyrics and a catchy hook. Also like Home, it's the only other song on the album not written by Phillip. Thoroughly enjoyable to listen to over-and-over, Gone Gone Gone is bound to be a very popular track.

4. Hold On: A bit of Irish folk beat and instrumentation, Hold On is a sweet, sensitive song that's very uplifting. Not really a ballad, but with the strings it's definitely a softer and gentler track.

5. Tell Me A Story: Much like Hold On, Tell Me a Story is a tender, dreamy, slightly haunting folk "ballad" with inspirational messaging.

6. Get Up Get Down: A funky, swampy rock'n roll song that'll get you up on your feet dancing. Get Up Get Down is pure fun, and bound to be a hit in his live shows.

7. Where We Came From: The artsy guitar and lyrics of the opening melody are followed by a catchy pop chorus replete with "whoa-whoa-whoas". You can feel the tug of war in this song between the label wanting a commercial hit and the artist wanting to stay true. Kinda wish the artist won out more on this one.

8. Drive Me: Another funky rock song with lots of horns and growl. Absolutely love it. Catchy, authentic and fun to rock out to. Like Get Up Get Down, this one is gonna be A LOT of fun live.

9. Wanted Is Love: Can definitely hear the Dave Mathews influences on this one. Haunting, dark, growling with a hint of grunge, Wanted Is Love is definitely one of my favorites on the album.

10. Can't go Wrong: Wonderful guitar work by Phillip at the beginning, followed by a very catchy melody, beat and lyrics. Can't Go Wrong is a MEGA hit waiting to happen a la Home. Absolutely loved it from the first listen. So earwormy. Interscope: This song absolutely NEEDS to be the next single. Can't Go Wrong with Can't Go Wrong.

11. A Fool's Dance: Fool's Dance is a dark, anxty, soul searching song that questions what's the purpose of it all.

12. So Easy: A real sweet folk song about love. So Easy is the joyous counter to the despair of Fool's Dance. Perfect album placement for this track.

13. Hazel: This is all about the long, painful road to recovery from heartbreak. Very emotional song with just Phillip on guitar sharing his struggles to overcome heartache.

14. Wicked Game: Haunting cover of the haunting original. Like Hazel, this is all about heartache. A little echo added to give an even deeper sense of suffering and despair.

15. Home (LIVE): Live version of his original, this is the perfect song to end the album. Uplifting, jamming anthem that when delivered live is an even bigger warm hug than the studio version.

Kenny Poo Rating of "The World From The Side Of The Moon": A FIVE STAR DOUBLE-FUCK YEAH!!


~Kenny Poo

2 comments:

  1. I'm planning to buy the album after reading your most comprehensive review. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a fantastic album.

    -Joel

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm so getting it

    ReplyDelete