Chicago native Josh Phillips went to school for music and like many other young musicians went to Nashville to establish his career. The pop/Americana singer/songwriter is influenced from everyone from Bob Dylan to James Taylor to John Mayer.
His debut New Beginnings establishes a foundation that he can build upon. The songs feel warm and soft while also containing a lot of mainstream viability.
He gets going with “Completely out of You” which jumps out of the gate with a full band. The songs spew the essence of soft rock. It’s a song that could be played on the “feel good all day at work” radio station that contains no surprises and sounds similar like too many songs to mention.
“Steal Me Away” has a bit of country flair and could fit under the category of country/pop. You quickly realize that Phillips has done his homework and knows what people who want a simple, easily digestible pop song are looking for.
“A New Tomorrow” moves along at a steady pace while “Leave in Love” further establishes the sound Phillips is going for. “Leave in Love” was a highlight amongst the batch and is a heartbreaking song that is quite optimistic. The one deviation and personal favorite was “No Sleep Tonight.” You can hear his influence from Mayer on this song as it drips with a bit more soul and contains elements of blues.
I’m sure Phillips is making the music he wants but it also felt safe. I would have liked to hear a bit more experimentation but Phillips seemed happy with following the basic criteria of pop. This is a straightforward debut and you will know fairly quickly if you will be a fan.
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