GA5– Tomato (Track Review)

Written by Pat Moran

The art that accompanies “Tomato,” GA5’s follow up to his chillwave incantation “Trust,” seems to reference the occasional competition and mostly ersatz feuds that can engage pop and hip hop musicians. Ensconced on a sumptuous throne, GA5 looks every bit the young ambitious artist eager to claim the throne of commercial acceptance or whatever yardstick is used to gauge who’s big dog on the music scene. A closer look, however, reveals that GA5 is holding and surrounded by the titular tomatoes. The artist is taking the piss, as the Brits say.

The track itself, however, is no joke, despite lyrics praising GA5’s “baby tomato,” with the cooing cadences of baby talk. Otherwise, the artist’s vocals eschew the smoky, purr prevalent on “Trust” for an approach best described as “all over the map.” 

Over a snaking spine of bubbling bass, dissonant and percussive dancehall piano and nose-diving needling scrawls of jazz guitar, GA5’s voice indulges in onomatopoeic musicality, filtered inner monologues and humming interspersed with nonsense syllables.

It suggests that lyrical approach of Brian Eno’s early 1970s solo albums, where words were chosen for their sounds rather than their meanings, coupled with the “maelstrom of voices crowding my head” gambit favored by alternative Latin legend Manu Chao. Either way, GA5 clearly contains multitudes. 

In the onrush of the track’s exhilarating vibe and ebullient experimentation, it might be hard to divine the tune’s meaning, but in this case, puzzling over the playful mystery is half the fun.

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