Montgomery Gentry, a duo known for their hard-partying music is back with their first album in three years. "Rebels On The Run", the groups seventh studio album, is the first to be released on Average Joe's Entertainment (co-owned by Colt Ford). The duo has never had a #1 album to date, maybe this will be their first:
Damn Right I Am - The lead-off track to the album is a rocking anthem about being proud of who you are and where you are from. The song has political undertones, but does a good job of avoiding overdoing it. The real highlight of the song is the guitar near the end.
Ain't No Law Against That - This is the type of song the Montgomery Gentry is known for. A hard-rocking party tune. Following in the footsteps of "One In Every Crowd" and "Hell Yeah", the song reminds me a lot of "Nobody Feelin' No Pain" off of the recently released Jake Owen album. It is definitely a great drinking song that, knowing these guys, will end up as a future single.
Damn Baby - The third song on the album slows it down, but only a bit and leads off with the question every couple asks: "Damn baby/ Are we crazy?/ Crazy enough to think that maybe/ We might make it". The pace of the song is just the right speed to serve as a solid transition between the second and fourth tracks.
Empty - One of the great things about Montgomery Gentry is that they do not focus a lot on heartbreak. "Empty" is one of only two songs on the album with that theme. The problem with this track though, is that the contrast in feeling is too great between the verses and the chorus. The former feels genuine, but something about the way the latter is sung feels a bit forced.
Where I Come From - The first single from the album returns to the mood set by "Damn Right I Am", being proud of where you are from. The song could almost serve as a sequel to "My Town", a song off of their album of the same name. The music video tells a pretty emotional story:
Note: I would like to thank Montgomery Gentry for this video. As a Soldier, it is nice to see a music video in which a Soldier is in combat AND survives. There are music videos of Soldiers coming home but do not have them in combat (Trace Adkins' "All I Ask For Anymore") and videos of them in combat, but not coming home (Jason Aldean's "Tattoos On This Town"), but it is nice to see a video show combat and have a happy ending.
I Like Those People - A tribute to people who are real, and true to themselves and each other. Musically, it sounds like it fits more to a barroom ballad, but the bluesy beat fits the mood of the song. The song does not necessarily fit where it is on the album, but it still ended up being one of my favorites.
Rebels On The Run - The album's title track takes the duo back to their younger days: partying, loving, and making the most of their lives. "We snuck in all the hometown games/ And played chicken with midnight trains/ Old timers swore/ We were insane/ Rebels on the run/ We made a beer bottle pact/ Behind Bernie's store that/ We would always be one for all/ And all for one/ Rebels on the run." My money is on this being the next single from the album, and deservedly so.
Simple Things - MG cranks up the guitar on this track celebrating the "Simple Things" in life, like 4th of July parades, fishing, and driving down a dirt road with a girl. Inevitably, the duo longs for days without cell phones as well. Other than that personal disagreement (about things being simpler without the cell phones), I absolutely love this track.
Missing You - The other heartbreak song on the album, this one feels a lot more natural than "Empty" did. The violin and keyboard provide a beautiful background to the tune, and the guitar solo about the 1:30 mark only adds to it.
So Called Life - The duo goes back to the rock, celebrating the ups and downs in life and adding a bit of funk in the process: "This ain't no rodeo/ No dog and pony show/ Ain't no roller coaster ride/ Ain't no highway/ Sure ain't no river baby/ It's just my so called/ Just my so called life". The song is a great pedal-to-the-metal cruising tune.
Work Hard, Play Harder - Closing the album is another party rock tune, this one as a tribute to those who work hard, sometimes for what feels like almost nothing. The song is timely, especially the first verse in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests currently taking place: "I put my forty in plus overtime/ Oughta be proud of this check of mine/ Open it up and I'll be damned/ I worked half the week for Uncle Sam/ He's up there having him a spending spree/ A big ole party and its all on me". The song is a great way to end the album, starting and ending with the type of songs the duo is known for.
"Rebels On The Run", while not the strongest album the duo has put out, continues to build upon the foundation the band has laid in the past. The album is full of potential hits, and hopefully will debut as their first #1 country album. 7.5/10