Ben Rector album review: ‘The Walking In Between’


Ben Rector will be performing at the Fillmore in Silver Spring with Tyrone Wells. (Big Hassle Publicity)
BEN RECTOR
“The Walking In Between”

Kindred spirits: Amos Lee, Keith Urban, Tears for Fears

Show: With Tyrone Wells on Saturday at the Fillmore. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. 301-960-9999. www.fillmoresilverspring.com. $20.

Nashville has long called itself “Music City,” but that actually referred to just one style of music. Nashville’s Ben Rector can do country, as he shows on his new album, “The Walking In Between.” It includes “Forever Like That,” a ballad that features weepy steel guitar.

But the singer-songwriter opens the set with a synth-pop ditty, “Ordinary Love.”

A hook is a hook to the musically easygoing Rector, who also draws on soul, arena rock and a jazzy sort of folk. What holds it all together is Rector’s mid-American voice — he’s originally from Oklahoma — as well as his mainstream sensibility. He celebrates not just ordinary love, but also everyday life — “the walking in between” that the song “I Like You” claims is the best part of romance.

“There are way too many love songs,” Rector sings in that same tune, but that didn’t dissuade him from filling this album with even more.

Most of them seem to be inspired by his own marriage, and they’re appealingly warm and direct.

Rector is no innovator, and “The Walking In Between” won’t figure in musical history as an album that changed anything. But such anthems as “When I’m With You” — that is, with the woman who makes him “know who I am and who I want to be” — may well survive as wedding standards.

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