American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips talks to the Hollywood Reporter about his upcoming album, The World from the Side of the Moon, due out on November 19. He also reflects back on his Idol experience and where he sees himself in the future. Read more at The Hollywood Reporter
Phillip wrote or co-wrote all but two of the songs on the album, which was produced by Gregg Wattenberg (Daughtry, David Cook, Train). His collaborators included “Home” songwriters Greg Holden and Drew Pearson, who helped pen the “rollicking” tune, “Can’t Go Wrong” and his girlfriend Hannah Blackwell.
“She helped me with a song called ‘Take Me Away,’” says Phillips. “It’s not on the core album but a bonus for the Target album.” Phillips says the pining track — which includes the lines “You’re all I wanna see / All I wanna touch and feel in every way” — came from a poem Blackwell wrote about him.
Phillips favorite lyrics come from a song titled “Tell Me A Story,” which he wrote with David Ryan Harris:
“I had all the music written,” he says of the melodic track accentuated by a scratchy vocal, strings and a Mumford-meets-Dave Matthews vibe. “The first verse and the chorus were written, I just didn’t have a second verse. So David Ryan, who plays with John Mayer a lot, came in there, we got to know each other a bit, and I showed him what I had. He started pushing me to write more and after a couple of days, this came to me one night: ‘Hope is just a ray of what everyone should see / Alone is the street where you found me / Scared of what’s behind you / Scared of what’s in front / Live with what you have now / Make the best of what’s to come.’ “
Strings abound on the forthcoming album. In fact, Dave Edgar played cello on almost every song on the album which include songs that will “tug at the heartstrings”:
“Wanted is Love,” “A Fool’s Dance” and “Man on the Moon,” [are] all accentuated by the sounds of strings — violins, cellos, banjos and many acoustic guitars — sometimes horns (saxophone, trumpet) and Phillips’ distinctive breathy vocal style.
Once the songs were written, it took 3 weeks to cut the album in New York City:
Yes. We just finished it [the album]. From first cutting acoustic guitars to last week, it was exactly three weeks. Like I said, I was pressured on time, but it kind of helped the sound. We didn’t overanalyze things or overproduce anything, we kept it raw.
On writing with “Home” writers, Greg Holden and Drew Pearson:
We all got in a room and I showed them an idea of the guitar part, started singing the verses and we just wrote the lyrics together. It’s called “Can’t Go Wrong,” and I really like that song. It’s similar to “Home.” We all had a good time getting to know each other. This is all new for all three of us. … They understood where I was in my situation, and I understood where they were.