Pop Rock, 2012
The jury is still out whether Phillip Phillips will go the way of the other white guys with guitar that won American Idol and subsequently lost their career fifteen minutes after their follow-up album dropped… and dropped… and dropped. I think we can all agree, though, that he made Greg Holden, the writer of Home, a very wealthy man.
I still can’t forgive him for turning Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game into a mournful dirge wrung dry of any hint of sexiness, so it is only begrudgingly that I give World from the Side of the Moon a spin, and that’s only after cackling at how they concealed his homely face with a burst of sunlight on the cheap-looking CD cover art.
Mr Phillips himself stated that he didn’t feel that Home is his preferred type of music. Well, too bad for him, because this album is full of tunes patterned after the sounds of the Dave Matthews Band and Mumford and Sons. It’s album with Home and songs that want to be Home but don’t quite succeed, in other words. Don’t ask me why you would want to purchase this album over those of the more established artists, unless for some reason you really like Home and you can’t get the single for some reason.
Home is a fabulous song, there’s no denying it. The simple melody, brought to life when accompanied by infectious “oh-oh-oh” bits, is one of those songs that only take one listen to stick to the mind. The words are sweet if rather corny, what with how he’d make any place a home for his sweetheart and all that sweet nonsense. Alas, there is no song here that is as good as that one.
Gone, Gone, Gone isn’t bad, and neither is Where We Came From. Come to think of it, the rest of the songs here that aren’t called Home aren’t bad at all. It’s just that they aren’t very exciting and, often, they highlight how limited Mr Phillips’ husky baritone is. He sings in pretty much the same lazy manner all the time, and, coupled to how safe and predictable these songs are, creates a musical experience akin to sitting in the back seat and lazily watching the world pass by. At the end of the day, it’s way too easy to just shrug and say, “So what?”