Some People Change

Some People Change

4.3 6
by Montgomery Gentry
     
 

Carnivores, rejoice! Those burly boys Montgomery Gentry are back for a fifth album of meat-and-potatoes country rock. Drums thunder, guitars scream and wail, background choruses shout and shout some more, and Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry declaim their tales about hard partying, fondly remembered old times, and working hard for every material reward. They even get… See more details below

Overview

Carnivores, rejoice! Those burly boys Montgomery Gentry are back for a fifth album of meat-and-potatoes country rock. Drums thunder, guitars scream and wail, background choruses shout and shout some more, and Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry declaim their tales about hard partying, fondly remembered old times, and working hard for every material reward. They even get into some sensitive areas with a booming power ballad, "Lucky Man," that celebrates the simple pleasures of "supper in the oven, and a good woman's lovin'." Evincing a populist bent in the Troy Gentry co-write, "Takes All Kinds," the fellows diss conformity and heap praise on the varieties of characters who make the world go 'round, in a muscular, churning tune that soars on the strength of snarling, coiling guitar lines, a rich burst of organ fills and urgent, insistent harmonizing throughout. The monster party-hearty outing here is "Hey Country," a jittery, guitar-heavy and consciously anthemic celebration of "shotguns, halter tops, six-packs, a Firebird" -- the eternal verities, in other words, and the fellas get into some country rapping in the verses before leading the chorus in boozy shouts. In short, the sum of human experience is condensed into the aforementioned songs as well as irresistible ditties such as the roiling, bluesy "A Man's Job," a bitter screed blistering a woman who left her older, responsible paramour for a lazy stud muffin of tender years; and a driving, spitfire rocker about paying dues, "Free Ride In the Fast Lane." Some People Change, but not these two.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Since the release of Tattoos & Scars in 1999, Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry have been making consistently fine country-rock records and videos (the latter thanks in large part to the wonderful director Trey Fanjoy). While their albums translate to CMT and GAC -- and of course to the Billboard charts -- the duo has never been comfortable making one kind of recording. They dig deep with their producers -- in this case Mark Wright is primary -- to find the best songs and let them rip. Guitars roar, wail, and whisper, and Montgomery Gentry's wonderfully contrasting voices and passionate, down-home delivery tie them to the great traditions of both rock and country. They've consistently sent out a message of tolerance -- but they demanded to be tolerated as well. (Do we ever need that message in a nation as deeply divided as the United States in 2006.) Each successive album has been a hit, and deservedly so. Some People Change, however, is a step above. These two fellas have a way with a song. Kenny Chesney was the first to record the wonderful "Some People Change" by Michael Dulaney/Jason Sellers/Neil Thrasher. Given that it's a great song, nobody could do a bad job with it, and Chesney's was better than decent. But it simply turns to gray in lieu of the treatment given it by Montgomery Gentry, with a blend of acoustic and electric guitars that wind together before Montgomery's deep baritone lays out the contrast in the lyric: "His ole man was a rebel yeller/Bad boy to the bone, he'd say/Can't trust that feller/He'd judge 'em by the tone/Of their skin...." A wah-wah peddle floats atmospherically and a synth slips in gently and Montgomery continues: "He was raised to think like his dad/Narrow mind, fulla hate/On the road to nowhere fast/Until the grace of God got in the way/And he saw the light and hit his knees and cried and said a prayer/Rose up a brand new man and left the old one right there...." The guitars build to an almost unbearable tension and finally break with a B-3 announcing Gentry's arrival on the refrain, which is an anthem: "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...." Simply put, the song addresses race, class, religion, and (later) addiction, as well as hope, tolerance, and the willingness to believe redemption is possible in any situation. When was the last time a country recording addressed topics like this in a single tune that opened an album? When a gospel choir enters near the end to join the pair on the refrain with soloing guitars and tight, clipped drums, it becomes transcendent. It's one of those tunes that defines something that lies at the heart of what is good about Americans. True to form, however, Montgomery Gentry aren't about to have their music co-opted by anybody -- left or right -- and the very next cut, "Hey Country," quotes from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Jr., Marshall Tucker, funk, and hip-hop, and is a true redneck rabble-rouser. Killer metal guitars, banjos, funky basslines, and chanted choruses all war with each other and finally come to an equal level to make this the best tune that's never been on rock & roll radio. "Lucky Man" is a pure country song, and it updates "I Ain't Got It All That Bad" from You Do Your Thing. Its protagonist -- Montgomery in this case -- is older, wiser, and even more grateful. Here again, it's a message tune, but one that is poignant no matter what color collar you wear, whether or not you support the President of the United States, and whatever religion you choose -- including none at all. The steel guitar whines ring above the impeccably recorded vocals while the electric guitars and tom-toms pop and jump to underscore the lyric. That's how the album goes, without a filler cut in the bunch. Other notables include a woolly country-rocker "It Takes All Kinds" -- it would be a great second single -- that also celebrates American difference. These guys know how to use a B-3, electric guitars, and drums as a basic function of carrying song lyrics, not as merely accompaniment. There are broken love songs ("Your Tears Are Comin'") and faithful ones ("If You Wanna Keep an Angel," a rock & roll country song with an amazing chorus of backing vocalists). There are paeans to lost fathers from stubborn -- and newly wizened -- sons ("20 Years Ago"), and a gorgeous ballad written by Montgomery called "Clouds." A piano carries his voice, cracking, breaking, and utterly sincere in its sadness and tenderness. When synths shimmer in the background, they don't intrude, just color. This is an elegy that, one more time, offers a portrait of the sheer diversity and range of this band's ability to deliver songs with conviction, sass, grit, and softness whenever necessary. Some People Change is one of the many things that's right with mainstream country music in the new millennium. It's brave and it looks for commonality, not to define people but to celebrate them. Its tone is balanced and even and wild and raucous, all at the same time. Country taught rock & roll plenty in the past and there is no doubt that rock & roll is influencing modern country presently -- and this album is a showcase of that. Both are the better for it. Some People Change is a new pinnacle for the duo. It feels like it was conceived as an album, not merely as a collection of songs or singles, and to the credit of Montgomery Gentry, they execute it like one. It's a masterpiece; listeners need more records that aspire to this kind of excellence.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969488829
catalogNumber:
94888
Rank:
64398

Tracks

  1. Some People Change  -  Montgomery Gentry
  2. Hey Country  -  Montgomery Gentry
  3. Lucky Man  -  Montgomery Gentry
  4. Takes All Kinds  -  Montgomery Gentry
  5. Your Tears Are Comin'  -  Montgomery Gentry
  6. Clouds  -  Montgomery Gentry
  7. Twenty Years Ago  -  Montgomery Gentry
  8. What Do Ya Think About That  -  Montgomery Gentry
  9. Redder Than That  -  Montgomery Gentry
  10. A Man's Job  -  Montgomery Gentry
  11. If You Wanna Keep an Angel  -  Montgomery Gentry
  12. Free Ride in the Fast Lane  -  Montgomery Gentry

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Montgomery Gentry   Primary Artist
Eric Darken   Percussion
Scott Baggett   Bagpipes
Robert Bailey   Background Vocals
Bekka Bramlett   Background Vocals
Pat Buchanan   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica
Everett Drake   Background Vocals
Dan Dugmore   Acoustic Guitar,Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Larry Franklin   Fiddle
Kenny Greenberg   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Tony Harrell   Piano,Hammond Organ
B. James Lowry   Acoustic Guitar
Greg Morrow   Percussion,Drums
Wendy Moten   Background Vocals
Nashville String Machine   Strings
Russ Pahl   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Billy Panda   Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Shandra Penix   Background Vocals
Michael Rhodes   Bass Guitar
Brent Rowan   Electric Guitar
Crystal Taliefero   Background Vocals
Reese Wynans   Piano,Hammond Organ
Neil Thrasher   Background Vocals
Emily Harris   Background Vocals
Jeffrey Steele   Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Stephen Mackey   Bass Guitar
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Perry Coleman   Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Janice Corder   Background Vocals
Danny Myrick   Background Vocals
Jenkins Edward   Background Vocals
Angela Bennett Shelton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jeff Balding   Engineer
Steve Beers   Audio Production
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Greg Droman   Engineer,Audio Production
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
Gary Nicholson   Composer
George Teren   Composer
Mark Wright   Producer
Tom Hambridge   Composer
Neil Thrasher   Composer
Tom Shapiro   Composer
Jeffrey Steele   Composer,Producer
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner   Art Direction
Matt Anderson   Engineer
Mellissa Schleicher   grooming
Rivers Rutherford   Composer,Producer
Jason Sellers   Composer
Michael Dulaney   Composer
Joey Turner   Engineer
Danny Myrick   Composer
J.C. Monterrosa   Engineer
Troy Gentry   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Eddie Montgomery   Composer,Producer
Anthony Smith   Composer
Leslie Richter   Engineer
Chip Matthews   Engineer
Steve Blackmon   Engineer,Audio Production
Tony Mullins   Composer
David Beano Hall   Engineer
Judy Forde Blair   Liner Notes
Bart Allmand   Composer
David Cory Lee   Composer
Dave Turnbull   Composer
Brett Jones   Composer
Gary Hannan   Composer
Houston Robert   Composer
Phil O'Donnell   Composer
Hank Williams   Mastering
Matt Andersen   Audio Production

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