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|John Michael Montgomery||Primary Artist|
|Scott Hendricks||Producer, Engineering|
|John Michael Montgomery||Producer|
|Frank J. Myers||Composer|
|Mark D. Sanders||Composer|
|John Scott Sherrill||Composer|
|Robert K. Oermann||Liner Notes|
|Beverly Parker||Cover Photo|
|Steve Woolard||Discographical Annotation|
|Valerie Valera||Art Direction|
|Ed "G.E." Hill||Composer|
Posted October 1, 2010
The son of a Kentucky musician whose own Nashville dreams never came true, John Michael Montgomery kept a bit of his daddy's hometown grit, even as he put together an impressive string of Nashville-produced hit albums and singles. This generous compilation offers twenty tracks, and collects nearly every significant hit single that Montgomery's had in his twelve year recording career. ¶ Montgomery's first hits, the ballads "Life's a Dance" and "I Love the Way You Love Me," had a middle-of-the-road sweetness that hit an emotional chord with both record buyers and award givers -- the second single was the ACM song-of-the-year for 1993. The love songs continued in 1994 with, "I Swear," as did the awards (ACM song-of-the-year and single-of-the-year). As with most of Montgomery's ballads, the country flavor is to be found almost entirely in his vocals. There's a hint of steel, but the drums-guitars-bass-keyboard backing could just as easily host a pop vocalist (in fact, the song was covered by the R&B group All-4-One and netted a grammy). It's the slight edge in Montgomery's voice, the phrasings, and the down-home sentimentality of the lyrics that brings his slow songs into the country arena. ¶ Later in 1994 his singles began to capitalize on Montgomery's uptempo numbers, charting with the rowdy country-rocker "Be My Baby Tonight" and the mid-tempo "If You've Got Love." Both tracks kick up the twangy guitars and fiddle of a honky-tonk bred backing. His releases continued mix ballads and up-tempo tunes, including the lightning-quick auctioneer's cadence of "Sold (The Grundy Country Auction Incident)" and the contemplation of his father's death, "I Miss You a Little." The latter, unfortunately, is missing from this collection. ¶ By 1996 Montgomery was mostly charting ballads, variously edging more towards the center and bringing a bigger dose of his country sound down-tempo. "Angel in My Eyes" is more contemporary pop than country, but 1998's "Cover You in Kisses" has a superb melody anchored by a strong underline of steel and fiddle. Montgomery's last #1 single, 2000's "The Little Girl" features Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski on harmony vocals. ¶ In addition to seven #1s (seventeen top-5s!), this collection adds "'Til Nothing Comes Between Us" from the "Pictures" album, and a pair of newly recorded tracks: the waltz-time generation gap tale "Cool," and the romantic "One Less Day." This is a terrific overview and introduction to Montgomery's hitmaking career. Though it's missing the top-5 "Cowboy Love" and top-10 "I Miss You a Little," it's probably the more complete pick over his 1997 "Greatest Hits" LP.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2010
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