ROUGHSTOCK.COM – Randy Montana CD Review
Randy Montana - Randy Montana
By: Matt Bjorke
As the son of Billy Montana, a well-known songwriter ("Bring On The Rain") who was once a recording artist himself, Randy Montana certainly knows what to expect as a recording artist and songwriter himself. The summer of 2010 saw "Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You" released and the song may not have been a barn-burnin’ chart hit but it did scrape the Top 40, setting Randy up for "1,000 Faces," a track I believed in more than perhaps any early 2011 single. That tune should’ve been his break-through but when a similar sounding song from Ronnie Dunn called "Bleed Red" came out, that really sank Randy’s chances of getting higher than the Top 40 with "1,000 Faces." Still, both marginal hits were enough for Randy to see his self-titled album to get released.
Produced by Jay Joyce, Randy Montana is as strong a
debut album you’re likely to hear in 2011. The two lead singles showcase his songwriting ability but every song on the record is well-crafted. "Last Horse" impressed Emmylou Harris enough for her to lend some help on the song while "Assembly Line" feels like a long lost Tom Petty classic.
With a voice that certainly recalls UMG Nashville label mate Gary Allan, Randy rocks the mike on "Burn These Matches," a song about a dude who realizes that the temptation of a hot little thing – who left her number on a match book – and what bringing that matchbook home or calling the number could mean to the relationship he has with his woman at home. It’s a strong story arc and features a strong guitar solo from Jedd Hughes.
"Goodbye Rain" is one two tracks on this record not from Randy’s own pen("Like A Cowboy" is the other) but what strikes me most about the song (a Jonathan Singleton/Melissa Pierce/Dennis Matkosky co-write) is how well it fits in with Montana’s own compositions. It’s as strong lyrically as it is melodically and Randy really sells it. "Ain’t Hit Me Yet" may be the most ‘rocking’ song on the album but it once again draws parallels to the heartland rock of Tom Petty and Gary Allan.
Perhaps the best song on the record, "Back of My Heart" takes the old phrase "I had it in the back of my head" and turns it into the feeling surrounding the one that got away and how those memories are always gonna be there. The guy has moved on and is OK but those feelings will never leave.
With other artists releasing new albums that feature one to three good songs surrounded by filler tracks, Randy Montana bucks that trend with a supremely comprehensive album full of impressive songs. With Jay Joyce guiding Randy along, the record is also one of the most innovative sonically sounding records you’re likely to hear this year.
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