Back in August, when American Idol winner Phillip Phillips told 95.5 WPLJ that his debut album wouldn’t come out until “January or February,” some Idol experts were surprised. Was Interscope going to let its newest star – whose smash single “Home” is approaching double platinum status – skip the lucrative holiday season? “They really want to give me some time to make an album that represents me,” he said at the time.
Either Phillips realized he needed much less time to make a self-representative album, or he lost a behind-the-scenes battle with Jimmy Iovine. Either way, the freshly minted Idol winner has just announced via Twitter that his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, will hit stores on November 19 – a week ahead of Black Friday, and the same week as Nicki Minaj’s and Rihanna’s latest.
Phillips also tweeted the album’s cover, a sun-soaked shot of the gravelly-voiced Georgia native with an acoustic guitar in tow. Much to the chagrin of the Idol stylist that wasn’t, Tommy Hilfiger, Phillips is still wearing his trademark grey T-shirt.
To me, the most encouraging part of this announcement is the album’s winding title.
Interscope proved their savvy by skipping pop schmaltz and giving Phillip a fresh coronation single that fit right into the Americana movement that’s sweeping the music industry right now (see: Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, the Avett Brothers, et al).
Perhaps the label is taking even more chances on the actual album and letting Phillips release music outside of Idol’s typical debut wheelhouse. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how much artistic input Phillips really has on the disc (According to a release, Phillips wrote or co-wrote most of the songs, though nothing about the cover suggests this will be a sax-heavy jazz/rock album, which Phillips said he’d like to make). But for now, I’m cautiously optimistic. Plus, I really, really like “Home.” And this cover of it, too.
Will you be picking up Phillips’ album? What do you think of the title? And will Phillips be able to outsell Idol’s last champ Scotty McCreery, who moved 1.2 million copies of his debut Clear As Day? Sound off in the comments below.
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