Ross Bellenoit “Where Does The Light Go” (Independent, 2020)

The latest full length album for Philadelphia singer-songwriter Ross Bellenoit offers a meditation on love, loss, secrets and the ways that our relationships affect our understanding of the world around us. The album is really what Americana is all about and includes Bellenoit’s brilliant guitar playing and his wide-ranging vocals. It starts with the title track, ‘Where Does The Light Go’, which works like an overview for the whole record and he begins his album-long exploration of attempting to reconcile relationships. The song’s theme might be sad, but it has a brilliantly infectious tune and actually makes you feel uplifted and happy rather than miserable.

The infectious tunes continue throughout the album, and this is seen especially in the track ‘For Friends’. This song was written for Bellenoit’s friends, and it is another great song which includes some quick rhyming that works extremely well. The beautiful harmonies of Sonja Sofya also help really make this song a special one.

The track ‘You Don’t Have It In You’ is more perfect Americana. It includes some great slide guitar riffs and some slow and melodic verses, followed by a tight-knit chorus of close harmonies. It goes superbly with the track ‘Let My Love Be Free’ which showcases Bellenoit’s brilliant falsetto. It also includes some horns which help to create a great jazzy feel for the piece.

The album falters over a few slower songs, ‘Credence’, ‘Secret’ and ‘Marigold’, but they are still worth a listen and work nicely as background music and really show-off Bellenoit’s signature guitar style.

Luckily for Bellenoit, and for us, the final song of the album is truly something amazing. ‘The Perfect Parade’ is a powerful track that was written on July 4th, 2016 in the wake of the numerous shootings of unarmed black civilians happening that year. Bellenoit reflects on the two hundred-year-old American Independence Day and what it means in contemporary times. It is the perfect song for where the world is at at the moment and helps to conclude a brilliant album that the industry should take note of.

A brilliant album and an artist we should all be listening to

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