There are 11 tracks on Mirror, reflecting a wide range of styles and melody, each with its own charms and hooks. All of the songs were written by Monte Montgomery, proving that he is not only one of Texas' finest guitarists, he is also a top-notch songwriter.
From the catchy pop of "Hopin' That You'd Slow Down" to the beautiful "Magnolia," and at all points in between, "Mirror" stands as one fine album. There are hints of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and, of course, Mark Knopfler, but Monte is far and away his own man when it comes to his music. There are subtle hints at influences, but he doesn't really sound like anyone you've ever heard before, and that is the primary draw here. That's what sucks you in, like a hyperactive Hoover.
"I Know You By Heart" is a radio-ready pop tune if ever there was one, featuring a guest appearance from Arista recording artist and Grammy nominee Abra Moore; and "Tear Down the Wall" rocks with a Springsteen-meets-Joel vibe that will have you clamoring for a pen to join the Monte Montgomery fan club.
One of the album's best tunes is a live version of Montgomery's borderline-reggae "When Will I," with Montgomery using his voice both to carry the melody and as a percussive instrument, spouting off words that often times sound like raps on a drum. The song was recorded live on the PBS stage of Austin City Limits, and the CD even features a video of the performance tailor made for your iMac or PC.
Along with Phil Bass on drums and Chris Maresh on bass guitar, Monte Montgomery, who was voted best acoustic guitarist at the Austin Music Awards during 1998, 1999, and 2000, delivers an album that will continually find its way to the top of your stack of CDs. This is jaw-dropping guitar magic from a man who can get more different sounds out of his beaten-up 1989 Alvarez acoustic box than most players could get with five guitars and a rack full of effects. This is the cream, folks. Look for it to rise to the top soon.