LSS: The World from the Side of The Moon, Phillip Phillips

Several months after winning the eleventh season of American Idol, Phillip Phillips releases his debut record entitled ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’.

Looking back on his track record during the run of AI, Phillip has consistently showed promise and individuality week after week. He is the anti-thesis of the cookie cutter reality show pop star. Defiant, unique and unexpected. I must admit that I was rooting for him (and Elise Testone) because of the uniqueness they have in their sound. Phillips has had quite a few performances on the show that has made him miles ahead of the competition.

His inevitable win last May was only made sweeter by arguably one of the best coronation Idol song in a long time, ‘Home’. Gone were the seasons when the winner sings a very inspirational song which tells everybody to dream and whatnot. Well, I think Kris Allen was the last Idol winner to have one of those “empowering” songs to accompany his win. I think it’s a wise move, actually, especially now that other than a dream, an internet connection is very important if you want to be famous.

In the past three AI seasons (which nobody really remembers), the winners sing their potential single. Whatever happened to the past few WGWG singles, nobody knows. But with ‘Home’, Idol became relevant again. With it’s hip folk touch and Phillips raspy voice, one can say that Idol is finally back on track.

But strip the competition and comparisons down, how does Phillips’ ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’ stand?

After listening to the whole album on end for a couple of times, it is undeniable that Phillip is really going on to drive his sound as an individual across. Having written and co-written most of the tracks, it gave PP the freedom to express his artistry. But for me, I think he has either hit or miss on some of the tracks. The opening song, “Man on The Moon” for example really sets the mood and shows the sound of Phillips. The songs “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Where We Came From” follow suit on this showcase of diversity. The more upbeat tracks “Get Up Get Down” and “Drive Me” remind me of his more outstanding performances on Idol with their sing-along and groovy qualities. But his more emotional songs “Wanted is Love” and “A Fool’s Dance” feel a bit flat for me. But my favorite track on the album has got to be “So Easy” because, well, it’s just so easy to listen to.

All in all, I think Phillip’s debut record is not bad at all. I like his lyrics because he writes in such a way that it sounds raw, yet poetic. Does he sound better now than when he was competing in Idol? Yes. Because he now has a certain level of comfort that he might not have when he was performing others’ songs. Does he stand out as much as he did on the competition? Probably not as much but still not too bad for a unique sounding guy.

American Idol Season 10: My Rundown

This year’s American Idol, I assume, would be the biggest because it’s the 10th season of the show. It turns out to be just another season. Well, it was big because three judges from season 9 left the show, leaving Randy Jackson and  several vacant seats on the judging panel. Then Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez entered the picture as the new Idol judges.

This is not my favorite AI season mainly because of the judges’ way of delivering their critiques. Jennifer Lopez is so sweet and emotional. She is so  sweet to the point of sugar-coating her critiques way too much. Steven Tyler is a lazy judge. He says what he wants to say but he misses on the things he NEEDS to say. But he is staying for the next couple of seasons together with this season’s biggest annoyance, Randy Jackson. He was not this annoying during the past seasons. His critiques are redundant, sometimes mean and oftentimes pointless. Yes, it’s their job to help America get it right but they tend to make way for their bets too much.

I wasn’t really focused on this season. I can stand not finishing an episode, which I didn’t happen during the past seasons.

Enough of this hate for the judges. It’s time for the contestants.

This season had top 13 contestants. 10 of them were voted by America while the three were wildcard contestants chosen by the judges. Weird arrangement, right?

13.  Ashthon Jones*

Aside from the fact that she has too many H’s in her name, there’s nothing really notable about her. Although she has fire when she performs. I don’t even remember her from Hollywood week. She left the show too soon, yeah right.

12. Karen Rodriguez

She is forgettable. I think she may not have gotten America’s vote if not for her Spanish singing skills during the qualifying round. The judges loved her then, and they say first impressions last. Hers lasted for two weeks.

11. Naima Adedapo*

The jazzy, reggae singer who sang pop at some point of the competition. She was told that she was off-key during her earlier performances, and she didn’t understand why. She also showed her dancing skills on the Idol stage. One thing good about her is that she stayed true to herself, America thought it wasn’t good enough. She was the first casualty of the double elimination due to the judges using the season’s save the week before her elimination.

10. Thia Megia

The judges loved her because she has such a matured voice for her age. She sings songs way too old for her. She was so young that she had a hard time understanding what the judges said to  her. When she tweaked her performance, the judges didn’t dig it. When she stayed true to herself, the judges didn’t like it. She was the other casualty of the double elimination. But I still think she’s better than Charice.

09. Pia Toscano

Her elimination made the headlines for days. She was one of the early favorites due to her smooth voice and wide range. She loves ballads. And when the judges asked her to step out of her comfort zone, she did a Whitney Houston song, made an upbeat arrangement but sang the song a la Whitney. The judges actually believed her. She was eliminated way too early, yes. Amazing looks plus smooth vocals and all but she lacked stage presence. And did I say that she looked amazing all throughout her stay? She looked like a star even before America decided not to vote for her.

08. Paul McDonald

The first guy to be officially eliminated. He sounded like a screeching something and his moves onstage were awkward. He has a distinct sound that is only his. He has a distinct screeching sound. But among the rockers this season, he has the vibe of a true-blue 80’s rock star. No gimmicks, no grand stage setups – just the awkward moves and the flashy clothes. And the flashy smile.

07. Stefano Langone*

This guy is the last wildcard contestant standing. He makes fairly good choices with songs. He chose, during most parts of the show, songs that are known by the majority. He would make a good cover singer. Although there’s nothing very exceptional with his singing. He tried to pull-off a Ne-yo song and he got eliminated. He tried to dance and he got eliminated. Maybe he could be a part of Glee. No.

06. Casey Abrams

The guy the judges chose to save. He was a mad singer. I mean, he comes off mad when he sings during the earlier part of the competition. It was later on revealed that it was really his style. He and his magical beard (aka his personality) have such a strong commanding power on stage. He can do rock and he can do jazz. He can kiss JLo because Jennifer doesn’t want him breathing on her face. He can do a good growling duet with Haley. He can crack jokes. He was eliminated.

05. Jacob Lusk

The second most annoying person this season next to Randy. The diva. He sings with his sky rocketing vocals. He moves his hips in such a way that you’d feel uneasy watching. He chooses weird clothes during shows. And at some point, he preached about looking at the mirror. He was worthy to be on the show. But not as long as he stayed. America finally got it right only after he murdered ‘No Air’.

04. James Durbin

One of the judges’ favorites. He was good. He knows what he wants to do on the show. He is a showman.  He wants to introduce heavily produced heavy metal numbers on the show. His story won him the hearts of many. The judges praised him even though he was off-key and his falsetto’s not doing any good for his number. He sang ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ at some point and the judges praised the level of difficulty of his song choice. He was set to be on the finale, but America said otherwise.

03. Haley Reinhart

The judges thought she has some kind of identity crisis during the earlier part of the show. She did country, pop, jazz, rock and all but she has consistently joined the bottom group. It took her some time before she gained the ‘best performance of the night’ trophy. I have to admit that she’s good. And she growls a lot, too. She’s tough on stage. She’s not fazed by the judges’ bashing and constant questioning about her song choices. Then the judges and Jimmy Iovine gave her the hardest song during her last week. They said she did good. It was reverse psychology according to America.

THE TOP 2

Lauren Alaina

She’s as young as Thia, but her edge against little miss Megia is her youthful vibe on stage. Her voice sounds sweet and perfect. She sounds better when she sings upbeat songs a la Carrie Underwood. She’s everybody sweetheart. She managed to save herself from elimination during weeks of not-so flattering song choices.

Scotty McCreery

He’s almost as young as Lauren, but he sounds like a real country guy. He stayed true to his talent all throughout the competition that he sometimes sounds boring. It was only during the latter part of the competition when he tweaked his performances a bit. It was a good strategy for him to pull surprises during the home stretch of the season.

*wildcard contestants

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