A vibrant electric guitar comes bursting to life with the intensity of a lightning bolt as Ben Cesare lays into the stunning new single “Rebound Baby,” one of three tracks that the country crooner has released in 2019 as a solo artist. Having established his sound with the eponymous Ben Cesare Band, Cesare comes into “Rebound Baby” with a tried and true blueprint for transforming sweet country balladry into larger than life stadium fodder fit for a generation of Nashville fans that have been hungry for someone of his caliber to come around for a while now. Driven by a smashing six-string assault that harmonizes with an adjacent organ and a gilded lead vocal from our leading man, this track is structured around a colorful melody that just keeps growing until the stereo can hardly handle its girth any longer, and if old school, American physicality is what’s topping your Christmas list this year, you can’t go wrong with this juggernaut of a country anthem from a singer/songwriter on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream.
Cesare is very meticulous with his delivery of the lyrics here, but this isn’t to suggest my detection of any hesitance on his part – quite the contrary, in fact. His execution is spot-on from start to finish, and while his swagger is curbed by a humble lyrical narrative (to which he offers a lot of organic emotionality), there’s scarcely a moment in this song where it isn’t obvious just how talented the man behind the microphone truly is. Through his commanding performance at the forefront of the mix, everything on the backend is essentially tied together in a neat, radio-friendly package that doesn’t prioritize virtuosic vocal showmanship over instrumental catharsis for a second – despite the fact that it would have been remarkably easy to do so. It’s a rather conservative means of making a homerun harmony from Ben Cesare the most engaging component of a multilayered single, but to be frank, I would actually expect this kind of a move from him at this stage of his career. After all, he’s really got nothing to prove in “Rebound Baby;” if anything, he’s establishing himself as a consistent player in this track, and reaffirming a genuine commitment to his craft as he prepares for 2020.
“Rebound Baby” does everything that a good country jam should – it provides us with a relatable story told through both instrumental and vocal poeticisms, it gets us grooving to a big beat right out of the gate, and perhaps most important of all, it reminds us of a vintage tonality we’ve come to know and love without wholly borrowing from country music’s stylistic forerunners (a concept that has evaded the grasp of too many chart-toppers in the genre these past few years). While Ben Cesare has still got some room for growth as a songwriter and a performer, there’s no disputing that he’s got the moxie, the muscle and the melodies to do some really great things with this sound, and of everything that I took away from “Rebound Baby,” this was probably the most significant article. Cesare has quite a future ahead of him, and I highly doubt that I’m the only critic saying so this December.