Randy Montana

Randy Montana

On his self-titled debut album, Randy Montana serves up a hearty brand of modern country free from cheap sentiment and faux-rebel posing. Following in the footsteps of his songwriting father Billy, Randy is more thoughtful and nuanced in his music than most artists coming out of Nashville these days. There’s plenty of guitar grit and solid backbeat in these tracks, making Montana sound like a cross between John Mellencamp and Travis Tritt on the upbeat tunes. Especially strong along these lines is the hard-charging “It Ain’t Hit Me Yet’ and the jangling, minor-key “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You.” Montana’s unaffected vocal style delivers the upbeat “1,000 Faces” with genuine longing and infuses the regretful “Last Horse” (featuring Emmylou Harris on background vocals) with a quiet sense of desperation. Lyrically, the most impressive track is “Burn These Matches,” a tale of sexual temptation that treats its risky theme with sensitivity. Montana steps into Merle Haggard territory with “Assembly Line,” giving his own spin on the workingman’s blues.

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