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Ben Glover (Word)
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Word Records

Ben Glover is the latest entry into the singer-songwriter club, and if 26 Letters is an indicator, there is much potential here. His music comes across as a more musically interesting, sometimes edgier version of 4Him or Wayne Watson, though at times he also recalls the music of Wes King, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Schultz, Michael W. Smith, and Wayne Kirkpatrick (who helped Ben co-write the title track, easily the album's best-written song). Ben's music is pleasant guitar-driven pop, but it's also got that routine Christian pop air about it (largely because of Brent Milligan's capable but predictable production). Also, the music stays safely in the adult contemporary pop realm, only occasionally approaching rock territory. Consequently, a lot of the album's music is fairly interchangeable stylistically, with only the melody and the lyrics to set the songs apart. Ben grew up listening to Christian music, and it shows—he follows the Christian pop formula perfectly. Let that be praise or criticism depending on your expectations of Christian music.

Thankfully, Ben's got the songwriter factor in his favor. Like Mark Schultz (whom he is touring with this spring), Ben's got a gift for expressing simple beliefs in a heartfelt way. The aforementioned title track is an enjoyable song about not having enough words to express our gratefulness to the Lord. "The Man I Want To Be" is a delightful ode to Ben's dad, and would make a great tribute at a Father's Day church service … if the song weren't so personalized to the author's circumstances. "Dancing With Cactus" is a unique metaphor for temptation and its road paved with good intentions. It's probably Ben's best self-written song because it spells out the temptation mentality ...

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