Star By Moon
(Let The Change Be)
While visiting Dubai's Let the Change Be studio earlier this year, Yusuf Islam (previously known as Cat Stevens) was so enamoured by Idris Phillips's debut collection of songs – many of which he had carried around for nearly 40 years – that he encouraged its immediate release. Listening to Phillips's poignant album Star By Moon, you can see what excited the rock 'n' roll hall of famer. It is an honest collection of songs that speaks of the good stuff: life, love, beginnings and endings. Witness the majestic chorus in the opener, Content, that swells into a sweet mix of percussion, acoustic guitars and strings. The ornate For You recalls the best of James Taylor, as Phillips longingly croons over a complex finger-picked guitar. The rolling title track exhibits a delicious bass groove, while the highlight, I Still See You There, is sublimely constructed with the song gently fading out like a sweet dream. It may have taken Phillips a wee while, but Star By Moon is a stirring release and one of the best to come from this region.