5to4 (also known as Phil Goss) is a songwriter/singer based in the United Kingdom with a progressive taste in electronic #Music. The focus of his music is about discovering the mysteries of life, and he makes use of different genres of music to do so. Besides being a musician and a writer, Phil works as a psychotherapist, and his profession inspires his music, as he aims to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. His 2006 album release of Dream Diary strongly encompasses that desire. Phil has released a very dreamy and fanciful EP titled Tip It complete with three songs consisting of sounds in which 80s pop meets electronica.

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With its release on January 12th, 5to4 has gained greater courage to share his innovative music and talent with the world. He's hoping that the world appreciates his creativity as much as he does.           

Vocal Display

My favorite song for vocal display is “Tip It.” Phil has a nostalgic and pleasant-sounding voice. His singing has vintage qualities that take me back to the 1980s. The mild inclusion of his British accent adds swagger to the song. He sounds somewhat raspy and sometimes whispers in the song, which gives off a mysterious and edgy appeal. His overall vocal production reminds me a little of Paul McCartney. Its savory sound allows for a nice contrast to exist with the loud, thumping piano playing. Phil sings with consistency in movement, with regard to high and low notes.

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In general, his vocal abilities showcase real talent.       

Instrumentation

My favorite song for instrumentation is “Walk.” The song includes no singing, as it is just instrumentals. The instrumentation is rather simple, lucid, and dynamic, with a number of unusual sounds combined together. I consider this song to be a version of ambient music. It sounds relaxing enough to listen to during deep meditation since there is not any dramatic movement of the instrumentals. I really enjoy the moments of various isolated sounds, such as the string instrument (possibly using a keyboard) played towards the end of the song. The overall structure of the instrumentation has a futuristic attraction, but this electronic music is not on the level of Daft Punk, for example.        

Lyrical Essence

My favorite song for lyrical essence is “It’s Not That It’s Not.” There seems to be a theme present throughout the song about pursuing self-acceptance despite unfavorable changes in life circumstances. Furthermore, the song appears to suggest that we accept our imperfect state as human beings, as in not deny it.

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Yet our potential to do valuable things in life or live out our dreams does not completely diminish because of life’s transitioning situations - whether good or bad. “It’s not that it’s not there anymore...it's just that the rules have changed” are chorus lyrics that suggest life or the essence of being human does not lose its beauty or magic simply because time flies by and we get older and possibly closer to grimmer days. We can still possess the wisdom that makes life rich as we progress into the future.        

Final Thoughts

I give Phil’s EP an 8 out of 10 rating. Some of the song lyrics are quite odd, yet they leave me interested in trying to decipher their meaning, such as in the song “Tip It.” Also, this collection of songs is not as electronic in sound as I was hoping before listening to any of the music. I think 5to4 should turn things up a notch with more of that genre of music.

  

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