Matt Goss: Life You Imagine

Posted May 9, 2014 by in Pop



2.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Genre: Vocal jazz, pop
Producer: Ron Fair
Label: Virgin
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 42:59
Release Date: 29 April 2014
Spin This: "I Do," "Mustang"


Smooth jazz and easy-listening sounds


Songs hardly soar; lacks the lyrical structure of pop classics

UK boy band singer turns into crooner convert on solo LP

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

UK boy band singer turns into crooner convert on solo LP

On Matt Goss’s debut LP, Life You Imagine, the South East London singer hopes to join the short list league of 21st century jazz pop crooners like Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Bublé and Josh Groban. At first listen, it’s a bit bewildering to imagine his type of vocal snuggled up around big band arrangements and a flurry of violas encompassing the throwback traditional pop sound selected on his first venture. At times, Goss executes his notes like a younger George Michael. But every once and awhile he slips into a Bublé comfort zone on tracks like “I Do” and “Mustang.” All of this seems a bit baffling when considering his former life in the UK band Bros, where he and twin brother Luke Goss rose as teen pop stars and wooing fans with their dashing modelesque looks. Goss is still a looker, strikingly handsome and shows off David Beckham swagger. He’s also in very good voice, although more matured and slicker around the edges. It’s not exactly sure if Goss is feeling comfy with being absorbed inside Nat Cole serendipity, but it’s a delicate sound for his musing. On the other hand, the Ron Fair-produced tracks have a hard time soaring to the pinnacles of pop standard excellence. The Bros. smash hit, “When Will I Be Famous” is revisited and is delicately arranged using remnants of Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet,” but not everything manufactured in Great Britain is great. That point is proven in this export. He does hammer away at Louis Armstrong jazz and showcase a few melodic samples of “When the Saints Go Marching In” on “Face My Fears.” There’s also some Vegas decorum on “Evil” where he creates an entertaining hypothetical: “If I’m blackjack, she’s Russian roulette.” The only instance where he detours from the Sinatra conventions is when the soulful pseudo-Marvin Gaye vibes of “There’s Nothing Like This” plays. There’s also “The Day We Met” where Goss dips into Nashvilian singer-songwriter pop ala Gabe Dixon. But all of this is merely standard easy listening. As a first pitch, it’s a decent ride, pointing towards better things to come. If George Michael could kick off his stateside success with flickers of Motown magic and irritating doowop chants (“jitterbug”), then Matt Goss’s US debut using pop jazz crooner tactics in the new millennium doesn’t seem like a bad investment.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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