A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
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."
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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