Just a little over a year ago Phillip Phillips was nothing more than a down-home boy and local musician working at his pop’s pawn shop in Albany. Flash forward some months later and suddenly he’s a household name around the world, known for his individual charm as a relatable, yet unique and incredibly talented musician. “Home” was just the start of things for him, and so far, the Olympics-featured American Idol coronation single has amassed more than $4 million in sales. It took very little time for his raving rock/jazz/soul/folk/pop-fusion masterpiece of a debut album, “The World From the Side of the Moon,” to catch on with the public with its release this last November, and from there it’s arguable that Phillips has even transcended the general idea of what an American Idol winner can be, having become, more or less, one of the most likable and truly humbled international superstars there is.
Following a crazy good set at this year’s Rock in Rio, Phil-Phil jammed out a live session just for iTunes in the footsteps of such acts as Kelly Clarkson, Colbie Caillat, Fun., and countless others. The result of this session’s having been recorded is now available on iTunes, and the result is nothing less than remarkable. As a live singer, it can be argued that Phillips’ vocals and just about everything else about his musicality have drastically improved since his “Idol” days — and he wasn’t even bad on the show one bit, with winning the whole shindig under his belt to prove that much. The whole iTunes affair starts with current “Side of the Moon” single “Where We Came From,” in which Phillips effectively puts the “Session” in “iTunes Session” with a jazzy acoustic guitar jam placed at the end of the song’s run as it transitions into “Man On the Moon.”
From there, it becomes obvious that Phillips is one to never play the exact piece twice, adding in some well-placed growls, strums, and solos where they may not have been on each songs’ original studio recording. The brooding rhythmic section added around both the middle and end of “Man On the Moon,” for instance, can attest to that. The song that made good ol’ PP is up next on the album, followed by a brand spanking new cover of “Crazy,” originally by Gnarls Barkley, done up in a style that only Phillips is capable of successfully evoking through his classy arrangements. For those without the deluxe version of “TWFTSOTM,” you’ll be pleased to know that deluxe track “Take Me Away” also makes an appearance on the album, as well as best-selling second single “Gone, Gone, Gone” and fan favorite “Hold On.” The session closes with two songs that aren’t played during live broadcasts as often: “Tell Me a Story” and “A Fool’s Dance,” and they’re done up even more effectively ambient than ever before.
All in all, if you’re a Phillip Phillips fan, than there’s not one reason in the world why you shouldn’t find a means of giving these sessions a listen — and a purchase, too, at that, as it offers up the perfect add-on to the already immaculate “The World From the Side of the Moon.” For those not yet familiar with the jazzy rocker, make sure to give both albums a listen to support his rising career, and maybe give a few of his live performances a look on YouTube as well.
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