By Al Kaufman
As You Tube sensation Susan Boyle demonstrated, you can't judge a singer by his or her looks. On the cover of Back to Love…Tom Goss looks like a slight, New Agey guy with a reed-like voice. What he actually is, is a pop tunesmith with gritty, somewhat nasally vocals that resemble a sharper Dave Matthews.
Goss is also known as a gay songwriter. Yes, he is gay, but so (reportedly) is Joan Jett, so was Freddie Mercury. They wrote songs that everyone could relate to, and so does Goss. Because of his video, depicting both straight and gay couples in bed, Goss's "Til the End" has become a sort of gay anthem in fighting for the rights of gay marriage. The song itself, however, is far more subtle. Over some pretty guitar picking, Goss describes little moments of sleeping in late and noticing a smile. He keeps the pedantics to a minimum. It is easily a song and straight couple would choose as a first dance at their wedding.
The whole CD is about love, both physical and platonic, and its highs and lows. And Goss studies the most cliched sentiment in music with a keen ear and eye, making it sound fresh. Writing a love song is easy. Writing a good one is hard. Tom Goss writes good love songs, for everybody.
Tom Goss plays Smith's Olde Bar on Thursday, May 28, 8 p.m. $8.