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CD REVIEW: Tom Goss - Wait
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/05/2014 - 12:35 AM EDT

Artist: Tom Goss
Album: Wait
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Sounds Like: Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Todd Rundgren, Michael Buble
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Breath and Sound, Wait, Worst of Me, In Time
Weakness: No Barcode, visual marketing approach
CD Review:

Tom Goss is a guitar toting, power-pop prodigy hailing from Washington, DC. While his radio-ready music is often compared to acoustic-pop peers such as Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, it is Goss’ earnest and thoughtful lyrics that have propelled him to serious singer/songwriter status. It is no wonder then that Goss’ reputation and following has grown so fast. His latest CD is entitled Wait and was released in 2014.

The CD quickly takes flight with “It Only Takes One” a dynamic guitar driven groove that serves up steady rock groove against catchy vocal melodies and hooky chorus from Goss. Track 2 “Take a Chance” keeps things rocking with its steady flowing rhythm section, impressive guitar ambiance with heartfelt vocal melody line from Goss. The first 2 tracks are upbeat and solid rock openers with clever lyrical content and impressive vocal accents to boot – a good start any way you slice it. Track 3 the title track serves up a jumpy blues base rock groove with dynamic rhythm, against slamming saloon style piano accents along the ways that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Todd Rundgren, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Michael Buble, and perhaps a splash of Jack Johnson. This CD makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, variety and strong melodic structure. I would classify this music as catchy pop rock, with a slight aftertaste of singer/songwriter and hooky alternative folk that’s defiantly rock based. The songs themselves are addictive and upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write and play there parts extremely well song for song. Make no bones about it – these are top flight players. Along the way you will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere. Besides the 4 piece standard you will notice impressive things like well-placed guitar solos, Cello, strings, acoustic guitar, Keyboards, Electric Pianos, impressive rhythm section and well placed vocal harmonies. Goss’ voice works well across the board as he fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. It will at times remind you of a cross between Michael Buble, Sugar Ray and Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes).I might add Goss takes many vocal risks indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. All songs are short and sweet musical experiences. From heartfelt “Worst of Me” and Breath and Sound” to rocking “I Think I” and “Deeper Shade of Blue” to melodic “In Time” and “This is Real” to smooth as silk “Illuminate the Dark” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “You And Me” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

There is no barcode anywhere on the CD packaging indicating retail non-compatibility. This is not typical of industry standard CD releases. This singer/songwriter genre requires an up close and personal vocal and songwriting approach. Goss has got that down however there needs to be more visuals on the package to go along with this approach. The three visuals of Goss especially the one with him sipping coffee with the cup blocking his face is to say the least a marketing miss-step. All of the above is a huge missed marketing opportunity. The flyer even has a camera blocking his face. To go with this last comment the CD cover ironically lacks creativity and warmth.

Wait is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is consistent; the messages are upbeat, carefree and sung from a positive perspective. It’s strong suit – the wide musical variety and musical warmth of Goss and company. He possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The musicianship is first rate. Once again the vocals, vocal harmonies and melodic accents are brilliantly placed and extremely well crafted. The messages are packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom offering hope and compassion along the way. As a listener I remained entertained the entire time. Wait will not only make you want to dance, but will also lift your spirits in the process.

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