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Ben Rector’s Album “Brand New” Throws it Back to Days Gone By

Ben Rector began his music career at the University of Arkansas. From a college student strumming along to heartfelt melodies to a top iTunes artist with over 2 million downloads, Rector reflects on his early 20s and the emotions that went with those years. 

emilymorton-menthatdrivemeplacesPhoto courtesy of Google

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Genuine Lyrics and Raw Emotions Summarize Rector’s Newest Release

By BRITTANY GAMMON

Ben Rector has reshaped the definition of pop music.

His lyrics have a purpose and the notes accompany the emotion of each song.

The soft piano and violin lilt along with Rector throughout “Brand New.”

Ben Rector’s website describes the feel of the new album, “Brand New” best. “Filled with rich string arrangements, percussion, pounding piano chords and effortless melodies, ‘Brand New’ sounds anthemic. At the same time, its message is both sincere and humble, anchored by songs that are honest and meaningful. It’s pop music with a purpose.”

With his honest and upbeat songs, Rector grasped the hearts of late teens and 20-somethings when he released his self-titled EP in 2006.

He writes love songs to his wife about how day-to-day life happens and he loves her more every day. They aren’t over-romanticized and he doesn’t paint a fairy tail picture of life.

Even though he is a celebrity, Rector is relatable. His genuine lyrics and raw emotions seep through the musicality and expose a human standing underneath the lights with a guitar and heart to share his feelings.

His new album and title track, “Brand New,” breaks down feeling 17 with new sunglasses and the freedom of feeling like a kid. He feels this way when he’s with you and that feeling can only be described as brand new.

“Favorite Song” – Rector sneaks subtle hints of classic songs to describe his love, all of which leads to the main point, “You feel like my favorite song.”

The guitar series alludes to “Ring of Fire” by the most recent shoutout in the song, Johnny Cash. Rector explains that this love is classic, fresh and upbeat just like his favorite song.

“The Men That Drive Me Places” – Rector gets personal with this song. He talks about the different stories and lives that everyone has. Maybe you’re a performer for a sold-out show or maybe you drive people around for a living. Either way, sometimes you have to iron a shirt or help your kids with homework. Each person is dealing with something and it doesn’t matter if you’re a top 100 singer or a limo driver, each person has a meaning in this crazy thing called life.

“Note To Self” – Don’t let yourself worry quite as much, work out and think about others a little more. We all know these common and yet so-easy-to-forget notes to self. Rector steps into the world of 20-somethings. It’s a messy, noisy world filled with unanswered questions and life-changing decisions. However, through the fog don’t forget to call your mom, do your laundry and remember your notes to self.

“30,000 Feet”– Rector describes the things he learned from the guy next to him in the window seat at 30,000 feet. This mental image goes far beyond a location of a conversation. One common message flows throughout the whole album and this song sums it up: Life is good when you can see the full picture and sometimes you get that from 30,000 feet. “Sometimes it takes the sky to see what’s on the ground.”

Rector summarizes the feelings, struggles and joys of being a young adult.

Sometimes it feels refreshing to step back and reminisce about the days of fewer responsibilities and “Brand New” brings you back to those good old days.

Letting the Flashing Lights Fade

By EMILY MORTON

In an industry that idolizes glitz, glamour and flashing lights, Ben Rector changes the game completely.

In his song, “The Men that Drive Me Places,” Rector sings of the men who drive him to his concerts where adoring fans are awaiting, and questions why he is the one people are coming to see.

Rector uses the song to show his respect for the men who were not easily given chances at success in this life to begin with but are working hard toward their goals.

This contemporary pop ballad displays the humble and down-to-earth attitude of the young musician as he contrasts his success with that of the men who are doing all they can to catch a break or simply provide for their families.

The drivers he is contrasting himself with are Howard and Danny. Howard is a father in New York who drives in hopes of sending his daughter to college. Danny is a man with a dream of working with computers who is putting himself through night class to learn English.

In Rector’s eyes, these are the men who should be celebrated and respected.

Howard and Danny’s hard work and dedication to a dream sets them apart from others who acquired success more easily.

Rector comes to a conclusion in the song with the lines, “Maybe you got dealt a good hand. Maybe you play it the best that you can. But, I don’t know how far you’d walk without those cards in Howard or Danny’s working shoes.”

Rector questions where he would be if he were born into positions similar to the men he employs as drivers.

The song evokes strong emotions accompanied by beautiful piano melodies that are simple yet powerful.

“The Men that Drive Me Places,” is a song from Rector’s latest album, “Brand New,” released in 2015.

In this album, his sixth overall and second under his own label, Aptly Named Recordings, Rector takes a journey back to his younger years to harness the carefree love of music that grew in him as a teen-ager.

Each song on the album is packed with meaningful truths and deep insights on life communicated in beautiful melodies and fun, upbeat rhythms.

With each song, Ben Rector is changing the heart of his listeners and bringing a fresh and new style to the pop music industry.

 

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