Fresh American Idol face offers alternative to radio pop, rap

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Evocative of ’90s jam band superstars, Phillips pulls off solo-guitarist sound[/pullquote1]

BY CHARLOTTE HUGHES ’16
Staff Writer

American Idol has done it again with its newest winner, Phillip Phillips, who won Season 11 in May.

Phillips’ first single “Home,” from his new album The World From the Side of the Moon, shot up to number four on the iTunes chart, a promising start for any up-and-coming artist. Phillips’ sound is almost identical to that of Dave Matthews; his songs have that same Dave-Matthews-funky feeling to them that makes heads bob.

If Dave Matthews is for moms, then Phillip Phillips is for teens. The young singer is the whole package with good looks and a great voice, and he writes his own songs, making him a triple threat.

His infectious debut single “Home” has already sold more than 2.5 million copies and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart this week. Phillips’ album, The World From the Side of the Moon has sold 169,000 copies after only being out for a week — not too shabby a start for a young Idol winner.

The twenty-one-year-old Georgia native began making music when he was only 14 years old, when he learned guitar from his older sister’s husband and fell in love with music. Phillips’ music is authentic, his Southern roots ever present with foot-stomping beats and the occasional appearance of a banjo. One of his biggest musical inspirations is Eric Clapton.

Authenticity is key to him and he’s stated in his online bio, “The most important thing to me is making music that comes from my heart and really connects with people on a gut level.” He definitely achieves this with the tracks on the album. Each track has its own personal feel, offering something new to listeners.

The single “Home” is a great representation of the tone and sound of the rest of the album. It showcases Phillips’ raspy, full vocal abilities, as well as his skill with the guitar. The overall theme of the album is about relationships: break ups, the beginning, surviving through the difficulties, and the highs that come with them. At least once in our lives we have felt the pain of rejection or pining for that one person who is out of our reach, and Phillips vocalizes all of these through the use of thoughtful lyrics and a guitar.

There is no bad track on the album — it’s full of potential hits. First off is the aforementioned single “Home,” but another one that stands out is “Tell Me A Story,” which, despite sounding eerily close to “Where Are You Going?” by Dave Matthews, is still a pretty decent track with simple yet intricate guitar riffs.

[three_fourth]Phillip Phillips is exactly what is becoming popular in the music industry right now. He is a breath of fresh air and the kind of music he is making is a nice break from the overly pop or rap music that is out on the charts right now. There is no stopping this young guitarist; his genuine earnestness and talent will take him far. He’s already thinking ahead regarding headlining his own tour sometime in February 2013. Phillip Phillips is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.[/three_fourth]
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Review Rating:
A-
Phillips provides a Dave Matthews sound for the new generation.

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Questions? Email Charlotte at chughes1@fandm.edu.

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