A Review Of Ben Rector's Magic

Rediscovering Ben Rector's 'Magic'

For my first Odyssey article, I wrote about Ben Rector and how he was my first love. I wanted to revisit the topic of my favorite musician with a review of his latest creation.

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On June 22nd, Ben Rector released his new album "Magic." It had been a while since he had made some new music because he was busy having a baby among other things. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I was beyond excited to hear the influence his little baby, Jane, had on his songwriting.

For my first Odyssey article, I wrote about Ben Rector and how he was my first love. I wanted to revisit the topic of my favorite musician with a review of his latest creation.

1. Extraordinary Magic

My family always joke that I have my whole wedding planned to the T (minus the groom of course) but they aren't wrong. When I heard this song, I imagined it playing during my first dance. At the very least, it has to be on the playlist.

2. I Will Always Be Yours

I'm not going to lie, I have no idea who or what this song is about but I love it. It was one of the first songs he released on the album and it's great. The catchy chorus and clever background instruments make it hard not to love this song both for its sentiment and composition.

3. Drive

Whether he meant to or not, Ben made the song "Drive" the PERFECT driving song. It has an uplifting chorus, a catchy beat, with just enough base not to blow out your speakers. Summer road trip playlist sorted.

4. Old Friends

Ben talks about how it isn't possible to "make old friends." It makes me think about the past and the future and all the people that have made an impact on my life thus far. His music video is by far one of my favorites.

5. Duo

Happy. It is as simple as that. When I first heard this song, I immediately thought of my twin sister and how we are definitely an iconic duo. She is the Joey to my Chandler, and the Lennon to my McCartney. Despite living halfway across the world, she is always there. I'm so lucky.

6. Kids

The number of times I have turned the volume up way too loud and danced my way down the highway to this song is impossible to count. It reminds me of everything I loved about a child while still being insanely catchy. Good work, Ben, this one is a winner.

7. Green

I wasn't sure what I thought about this song at first. It is beautiful and soothing but I didn't completely understand what story he was trying to tell. Several listens later, the dual meaning of "green" became apparent. I discovered that this song describes one of his purest memories of being young and in love.

8. Sometimes

"Sometimes" is Ben looking back on a past relationship and how despite his current happiness, it is okay to wonder about what life would have been like if they were still together. I've learned that it's okay to think about how different your life could be if you had made some different decisions. I have lain awake at night thinking about my college choice many times but just because I wonder about that, it doesn't mean I'm not happy where I am now.

9. Wherever You Are

When I first heard this song, it made me think of my dad. While I don't know for sure what Ben wrote this song about, I love that I was able to find meaning in his lyrics that related to my life. My dad has shown me over and over again as I have grown up that he will always be there. He may not say it exactly using words but he has never failed to show up for me when I needed him the most. I have no doubt that as I grow further into adulthood, he will be by my side.

10. Over and Over

You would think after seven albums you would have nothing cute left to say about your wife. But he does it again, with a song we all wish someone had written for us.

11. Boxes

Ben discusses his struggle with getting caught up in his career openly and honestly. He comments that he has "forgotten how it feels to chase a dream." This box of first CDs that he found in his house reminded him that although it is hard to be away from home on tour, he is living the dream he worked so hard to achieve.

12. Peace

"I used to want people to love me so I learned how to sing, then I thought I wanted money so I could buy nice things, and when I found it, it was as empty as could be… I want peace, it's where I am now." This song speaks for itself.

13. Love Like This

This may be the next "Isn't She Lovely" because this incredibly adorable song about fatherhood is honest and real. My favorite lyric is: "I love the way you've changed me from a boy into a man."


I did my best to encourage you to go listen to Ben's latest masterpiece. He truly does just keep getting better. I found out recently that Ben Rector is coming to Atlanta in November. After exchanging some excited texts with my friend, Daniel, we looked online for ticket sales. We found general admission seats, spent some dog-sitting money, and bought tickets for a concert I have been dying to see for months. Rest assured, I'll write an article about it.

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

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I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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