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Montgomery Gentry - Some People Change  
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

One of country musicís favored duos and the 2000 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year, Montgomery Gentry, has released a new album. Some People Change is an apt title. And while it suggests a new direction, MG has proven to be reliable with a hot blend of what they deliver best Ėcountry with gritty attitude. And across this, their fifth album, attitude, loyalty, introspection, blue-collar pride and family values are the musical touchstones.

"People recognize the realism in our music," tells Troy Gentry in their publicity flier. "Weíre not trying to candy coat anything. Who we are is who we are. Itís all about being real, being yourself, and playing real music to the people."

And playing real music to the people is the delivered promise on this album from CMTís Most Played Duo of 2005. From the title track, to the hurt and pain of loss, to the revitalized spirit of opportunity, to the mellow reflections that twenty years isnít a long-time, these guys from Kentucky show how 10-plus years of sharing the road and the load pays off.

With some of Nashvilleís elite including Jeffrey Steele (NSAI Songwriter of the Year for 2005/6) and respected producer Mark Wright, the 12 tracks move beyond the duoís brand of hard-core familiarity, to arrive with a new-found sense of purpose.

The title cut proves the point. People do and more importantly, can change. The song skirts the social ills of racism and alcohol dependence, but in the tune written by Michael Dulaney, Neil Thrasher and Jason Sellers, the seed of hope comes firmly planted. Attitude and a willing mind can bring real and lasting results.

"Here's to the strong; thanks to the brave.
Don't give up hope... some people change.
Against all odds, against the grain,
Love finds a way... some people change."

The track is a musical signpost to other nuggets exploring the human condition. A tune mapping the shift in family and attitude is the poignant "Twenty Years Ago". It rings with a familiar knowing, namely: time explains everything. The older we become, the wiser we become. A rebel son has family fallout with his dad and after a fist fight, he leaves home. Anger and annoyance at the firm rules of a hard-nosed dad "built with blue-collar sweat and blood, a squared jaw and a crew cut" keep the son away. That is until he hears Dad is dying. He hops a plane and in a moment of meeting and remembrance, the years and the issues of separation disappear. If youíve every wandered from home, left because of rules and expectations from your parents, reconnection is a powerful energy Ė this song proves that.

Other emotion probing tracks include the celebratory "Lucky Man". The need not to look at our losses, but, rather, value what we have left is a tool for modern living and a self-serving cure for torment removal. With a keen and clear melding of the voices, MG nails the lyrical when the tune is reflective or calls for more than toe-tapping accompaniment. "Clouds" is such a tune Ė melodic, honest, sad and heartfelt. Eddie Montgomery sings with conviction, when he looks to the clouds above and wonders if the rain means tears, or the sun happiness, from departed loved ones.

"Redder Than That" cranks the volume a notch or two. Itís a high school reunion song. The songís message is simple: people donít really change much, despite the years. They really are who they really were. Marital merriment comes with "A Manís Job". Watching a romantic dalliance from the losing husbandís perspective, the tune is comical; but you canít help grasp the truth of familiar suburban secrets of older women and keen, younger men.

ďHey Country" is a rebel yell rocker, while "If You Wanna Keep An Angel" is positive advice for relationship stability, and the closing guitar-fuelled kicker, "Free Ride In The Fast Lane", is something Saturday night karaoke revelers will sing until closing time.

Over all, this is a keeper. But then this is Montgomery Gentry and thatís enough said. Some people do change, but thankfully not too much.

If youíre looking for a Christmas stocking stuffer, youíve found it; the albumís out now on Sony BMG.


Click on the CD cover to order yours!
1. Some People Change 
2. Hey Country 
3. Lucky Man 
4. Takes All Kinds
5. Your Tears Are Comin' 
6. Clouds 
7. Twenty Years Ago 
8. What Do Ya Think About That
9. Redder Than That
10. A Man's Job 
11. If You Wanna Keep An Angel 
12. Free Ride In The Fast Lane

Related Links:
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With exception of "redder than that", MG is turning too mainstream mush!!!! What's next, a "Jesus take the wheel" cover?
~ Randy

 

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