Mississippi Moonlight – “Where I Belong” – Single Review
“Some folks chase their dreams, but me I’m stuck here in this town.”
Alright…chances are many of you read the last review on Mississippi Moonlight that just posted up with my thoughts on “Stickin’ Around” – the five-piece band put out a cut that packed in a lot of crossover sound into one seriously catchy tune. The new single goes for the opposite end of the sound spectrum; dialing-back the energy and turning up the emotion for “Where I Belong,” the band heads further into the gentle, quaint, and comforting confines of Country/Pop. While I know a sound that comes closer to the Country style is always going to be in their wheelhouse – Mississippi Moonlight should be extremely proud of their performance on “Where I Belong” – they’re nothing short of completely spellbinding.
Look…we’ve all heard the ‘busted-ass band-or-artist that made it out of their hometown and found everlasting international success’ stories that have been a part of music’s history and written into songs in all kinds of genres – and while the heroes of those tales tend to find what they’re looking for…I can’t help but feel like Mississippi Moonlight has described what real success is far better than any of the rest ever have or ever will in the words of “Where I Belong.” We can all envision a scene where a musician drives off with the top down on the freeway on their way to stardom – because sure, some of those stories are certainly true and inspiring to this very day. But what if none of the fame and fortune ever mattered at all? What if being ‘stuck’ wasn’t a bad thing at all? What if where you called home was just that and nothing more, plain and simple, as beautiful as that concept can be, and it never wavered from its task of providing you with the feeling of comfort? This song is about acceptance & about celebrating what ‘enough’ truly is. It’s not about some poor Johnny Rock shmoe that makes big bank from the suits & ties signing his soul away to a lifetime of music – “Where I Belong” is the story of understanding the best things about life are always within reach, and how everything we really need is right where we are.
It’s not about wanting more – it’s about appreciating just how much we already have. Or how much he already has…the dude in the storyline of the song…you get the idea. The point is that the words of wisdom in this song run extremely deep, but are fully accessible to anyone listening with an open heart. Sure you could make an argument that the guy could have made an effort to go for stardom and there’s still a valid existence to potentially be found there – but hearing the logical & practical, humble & sweet approach to life come into focus for the main character through the imagery of the lyrics is far more rewarding to experience than any rags to riches story would be. It feels like…almost as if what Sam from Mississippi Moonlight is singing about could apply to any one of us if we were all somehow able to see life through the same beautiful lens that this band peers out through. “Where I Belong” isn’t preachy at all – it’s a highlight example of turning experience & wisdom into entertainment that makes an impact far beyond that of a typical song, changing four-plus minutes of music into words of advice that we should all be living by. That’s alchemy right there is what that is…that’s the magic…that’s the ability to create music that authentically connects to the heart & soul…the levity of their perspective on life as it’s written into the character of this tale is a perfect fit with the gentle melody of this tune. It’s quite the remarkable combination of strengths in the material; everything from the music to the vocals to the storyline feels like it knows that a down-trodden shadow of self-loathing could appear at any moment – yet the unbreakable spirit of hope, appreciation, love, togetherness, and respect, never surrenders. By the end you’ll wish you were every bit as ‘stuck’ as Mississippi Moonlight is here – it celebrates the real joy of making music and what it means to be an artist, no matter what level of fame or success you achieve. It’s about doing something because you love it, no more, no less. “I play songs to make folks happy, ‘cause that’s what it does for me” is such an understated and powerfully moving line on “Where I Belong,” that every time it came around it felt like it bounced around the thoughts in my head like a high-speed ping-pong match…it’s just such a simplified, direct, and completely perfect way to describe what being a musician is like, that I couldn’t ignore just how effective the feeling is communicated here. There have been exceptional tunes coming out from Mississippi Moonlight all throughout 2019 – it’s awesome to hear them ending on two more highlights with “Where I Belong” and “Stickin’ Around” – they’re a band that sincerely makes you believe they have the magic it takes to make it. I dig these guys – they might keep on trying to Countrify me with their music, and they might be winning that war; but with how good they continually make their music sound, the impressive ideas they have, the pure heart they put in, and the passion they bring into everything they do, can you blame me for loving these guys?
Find out more about Mississippi Moonlight at their official homepage at: http://msmoonlight.com
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