Music Review: Randy Montana shows promise in debut
Randy Montana, “Randy Montana” (Mercury)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Randy Montana has introduced himself to music fans with one of 2011’s most engaging new singles, “1,000 Faces,” which revealed a warm, expressive voice and an interesting message folded into a catchy pop-country arrangement.
Montana’s self-titled new album shows his opening shot was no fluke. Over 11 songs, the singer-songwriter establishes that he has a strong, rough-edged voice and a distinct sound that comes across as experienced and confident for a 25-year-old newcomer.
Working with producer Jay Joyce, Montana creates melodic, roots-based rock that separates him from other young country singers. Instead of drawing on southern rock or hard rock, like most current country rockers, Montana infuses an organ and chiming guitars in a way that recalls Tom Petty or John Mellencamp more than Lynyrd Skynyrd or Nickelback.
When Montana matches those arrangements with an interesting lyric, as he does in the mid-tempo “Ain’t Much Left Of Lovin’ You” and the speedy stomper “It Ain’t Hit Me Yet,” he makes the most of his preternaturally mature voice and bright arrangements.
Unfortunately, the son of Nashville singer-songwriter Billy Montana occasionally slips into songwriting clichis, as in the hokey wordplay at the core of the songs “Last Horse” and “Burn Those Matches.” There’s plenty of promise on Montana’s debut, just not quite enough consistency to suggest his songwriting is as evolved as his voice and his musical settings.
CHECK THIS SONG OUT: “It’s Gone” kicks off like a classic Brooks & Dunn tune, with an opening guitar that grabs your attention and an infectious chorus that will have listeners singing along by the second chorus.