Sarantos Melogia – Not Where I Want To Be


Sarantos Melogia – Not Where I Want To Be


You have to take things as they are and leave your agendas at the door. Some might listen to Sarantos Melogia’s new album Not Where I Want to Be and wish it sounded different. More rock, less pop or vice versa. Less genre hopping and, instead, increased focus on what he does well. Perhaps some might want less autobiography and more imagination. It’s clear listening to the album that, despite his loudly proclaimed desire to connect with as many people as possible, Sarantos Melogia doesn’t particularly care about other’s agendas. Instead, his hands are busy writing, producing, and performing work that means more to him than words can describe. His sense of urgency adds a lot to Not Where I Want to Be and, in particular, keeps its weaker moments from falling into complete disaster.

“Not Where I Want to Be” opens the album as a statement of self, but the clearly autobiographical nature of the material does very little to redeem it. Like a good movie or novel, the best music casts a spell over the listener, a semi-hypnotic state, when our concentration narrows to a fine point and the rest of the world falls away. The imaginative musical backing has a chance of creating that state, but the song’s histrionic vocal quickly shatters it. “Back and Forth” stands out as one of the album’s best tunes because it plays things straight and shows real musical sophistication. Melogia goes all out dance club with “I Love to Love You Too”, a celebratory and thoroughly modern track with ceaseless energy and an irresistible tempo.

Melogia ventures into hard rock territory for “Are You Sure You Can Last?” and it’s the album’s best song in that area. His impassioned vocal meshes well with the guitars and speaker-rattling rhythm section play. The two songs following it, “A Country Song” and “Believe”, share certain key traits that make them ideal for the album’s second half. There is a much more reflective quality in both tracks and a sense of artistic control that felt weaker on the album’s earlier songs. The former uses technology to invoke the lonesome wail of a steel guitar and approximates it with surprising accuracy while the second track’s strongly autobiographical slant will genuinely touch some listeners with its understated honesty and sensitivity

Sarantos Melogia, anyway you look at it, has a long way to go. He would likely agree. Not Where I Want to Be is an important mile marker on his journey, but it covers miles full of false starts and pratfalls that will make him a better songwriter and performer.


William Elgin