The World from the Side of the Moon

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The World from the Side of the Moon Music Poster Image
Mostly clean folk-pop from Idol winner.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Several songs ("Man on the Moon," ""Home," "Tell Me a Story") speak of love that overcomes any history or difficulties the lovers may experience. The message is that real love survives adversity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Before winning the 11th season of American Idol, Phillip Phillips had been a hardworking musician, with a day job helping out in his parents' pawn shop. His example shows aspiring artists that dedication and big dreams can add up to spectacular rewards.


One song uses smashing down walls ("Take it out of these walls with a cannonball") as a metaphor for overcoming past difficulties or emotional boundaries that stand between the people in the song.


There's no graphic sex in any of the songs. In general, the album is much more emotional and reflective than sexual, but a couple of songs have sensual moments. "Get Up Get Down" includes the lines: "Every side inside your body, each and every bone/ Burn baby burn, let's cool it down again." In "Drive Me," he sings about being controlled by a lover's sexual power: "With them hips you drive me wild/ I'm the puppet to your strings." "Wanted Is Love" is a little more explicit with lines like: "Take me in take me out/ Till I'm nothing more than words spoken from your sweet sweet mouth," and "Move your body with the rhythm/ Move your body next to me." The album also includes a cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game," which parents may remember had an extremely suggestive video, but the lyrics go no further than to say, "It's strange what desire will make foolish people do."


"Hold On" has the word "hell" in it.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the debut album from Phillip Phillips, winner of American Idol's 11th season, is a folk-pop album with arrangements full of acoustic strings and a choral approach to backing vocals that are strongly reminiscent of music by new folk groups like the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Phillips' acknowledged hero, Dave Matthews. The song ideas focus on romantic love -- especially love that survives adversity -- and personal reflection. Lyrics are much more emotional and pensive than they are sensual, but a couple songs -- "Get Up Get Down," "Drive Me" -- include some sensual moments. "Wanted Is Love" is a bit more suggestive, but not sexually explicit. There's also one use of "hell."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytolkien geek mi March 13, 2014

Clean and Folksy

Phillip Phillips new album is clean, well composed and generally a very good choice. There's a handful of vague sexual references, but nothing that young t... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Phillip Phillips emerged victorious from the 11th season of American Idol, and it would seem he can quit his day job in his parents' pawn shop. His first album, THE WORLD FROM THE SIDE OF THE MOON, which features several songs that the artist wrote or co-wrote, debuted at Number 4 on Billboard's album chart. Phillips's music has similar arrangements to the massively popular folk-pop groups Mumford & Sons and Avett Brothers, as well as bearing resemblance to recordings by Phillips's hero Dave Matthews. Phillips seems to have connected with the public, and with the right producers, at the perfect time to showcase his talents and tastes.

Is it any good?

The World From the Side of the Moon sounds so strikingly similar to music by indie folk-pop favorites Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers that Phillip Phillips's record can seem somewhat inauthentic. That said, Phillips's music is engaging and strong in the same ways that other artists in this folk-pop genre are, with intricate acoustic strings, plaintive lead vocals, and powerful choral backgrounds. It's a pretty-sounding, emotional album with little to no objectionable content -- a nice way for young listeners to "discover" this generation's folk music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about American Idol. Do you think the show is a great inspiration for aspiring artists, or does it give a false idea that success can be almost instantaneous?

  • Folk-pop is a very popular genre right now. What similarities are there between Phillip Phillips and groups like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers?

  • What is the singer saying to his lover in "Home"?

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