Phillip Phillips did neither with his debut album, "The World from the Side of the Moon." To be fair, he didn't need to make his mark -- his single "Home," which he performed as a final plea to the judges and voters, has ridden the radio waves since the final results show. And, while no one doubts his gratitude, he's made his appreciation clear, he didn't feel the need to dedicate each song "to the fans."
This change may be Phillips' best strategy for longevity in an increasingly turbulent industry. "The World from the Side of the Moon" is an album a seasoned musician would release, and it comes from a man who has the likes of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez to thank for his success.
From the beginning of his musical journey on "Idol," Phillips has been linked to Dave Matthews. Certainly they share a similar vocal timbre, but this is no insult to Phillips. The smooth style of Dave Matthews comes through in songs such as "Man on the Moon" and "Get Up Get Down."
Other musical styles shine through as well. "Home," his debut single that will seemingly live forever, carries a flair significantly coined by Britain's Mumford and Sons.
What makes "Home" so brilliant, it is important to note, is that it does not carry the cookie-cutter pop-sugar that other "Idol" winners were subjected to produce. The single alone is a great deal more accomplished than Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" or David Cook's "The Time of My Life."
Phillips has a sound so reminiscent of great, successful bands, Mumford and Dave Matthews included, though his sound is his alone. Regardless of who he sounds like, there is no mistaking him for another musician.
A positive attribute to any successful "Idol" contestant is their voice holds its integrity whether on stage or in the studio. I feel, after hearing "The World from the Side of the Moon," that seeing Phillips live would be an enlightening experience.