Tom Goss

Back to Love

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On one level, Back to Love, Tom Goss' third album, is, as its title suggests, a collection of love songs feelingly sung and set to open-structured folk/rock arrangements. But it is clear from the urgency with which Goss sings and the terms in which he sets his observations that there is more at stake than romance. Goss, who moved from Kenosha, WI, to Washington, D.C. to attend a Catholic seminary and become a priest, but who ended up instead as an openly gay singer/songwriter, remains concerned with the ways in which his affections touch on larger issues. He is adamant about permanence and fidelity, singing, "You're my only lover" in "Lover" and pledging to stay "Till the End," as another song title puts it. But, he asks in "Break Away," "What is love if not the search for truth?" And truth, particularly in a spiritual sense, is clearly an ongoing interest for a man who may have veered away from a formal religious vocation, but still views the world in the moral terms he embraced in his youth; he just defines them differently now. In a musical context, this results in some impassioned performances of songs that aim higher and strike deeper than your average batch of romantic ditties.

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