Montgomery Gentry

Country: Montgomery Gentry

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It seems that Sony BMG's Country series is designed to provide a well-rounded introduction to noteworthy artists from the genre who've had successful careers, and to showcase deeper tracks than merely the hits -- though some of those appear on each volume as well. Montgomery Gentry have more compilations than they do actual albums. There is a reason for that: they were, at least on the surface, primarily a singles act. That said, though they do little to none of their own writing, together they are able to bring a unique persona to everything they sing. Associated since the beginning with bringing Southern rock back into mainstream country circles -- something not attempted since Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, Jr. tried it in the '70s -- during their relatively brief chart run, they helped to revolutionize contemporary country. While their Sony Playlist set highlighted more of the big singles, the Country volume goes deeper into the catalog and showcases the other side of the band. Sure there are some rowdy jams here, such as "Hell Yeah," "One in Every Crowd" (which cops its riff directly from John Mellencamp's "Small Town" and revs it up), and the twin guitar bite of "All Night Long." That said, there are more introspective tunes as well, including the slow-burning anthem that is "My Town," the brooding, almost menacing warning that is "You Do Your Thing," and the tender, "Lucky Man," which is brimming with gratitude. This volume doesn't replace Playlist, but it certainly does make an excellent companion -- only three tracks overlap -- especially given the price tag.

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