Album Review | Rock

Phillip Phillips, ‘The World from the Side of the Moon’

Perhaps no “American Idol” winner has been more transparent about his or her musical intentions than Phillip Phillips. Week after week, the grumpy-voiced reigning champion stayed so unwaveringly true to his vision that anyone who watched already knows exactly what “The World From the Side of the Moon” sounds like. It’s essentially a magnet with two poles — Dave Matthews (his true north) and Mumford & Sons — and it’s just a matter of how far each song swings the needle from side to side. With its drum clop, Phillips’s adenoidal syllable-gnawing, and wide-ranging, across-the-neck acoustic funk, “Where We Came From” is indistinguishable from Matthews, while the Mumfordish “Home” glides on warm, oaky strums, a cut-time stomp, and a liberated, wordless chant. The latter also showcases a theme he uses song after song, the comfort of home as beacon. Phillips may be an artist of just a few ideas, but he believes in them. And he’s not afraid to use them over and over. (Out now)

Marc Hirsh