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John Michael Montgomery

Pictures – 2002 (Warner)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by John Michael Montgomery

John Michael Montgomery's music is generally appealing and un-offensive, but his "Pictures" here are more along the lines of family photo album snaps, rather than artistic photographs. This CD's songs cover the kinds of topics you might hear talked about at a backyard barbecue, instead of those deeper things discussed in, say, an art gallery. And nothing here will stop traffic in the same way his "The Little Girl" hit did a few years back, as these unobtrusive songs easily flow by like a gentle summer breeze.

One finds songs of devotion ("I Wanna Be There" "Believe In Me"), a little beery humor ("Love And Alcohol") and a song about Southern pride ("Country Thang"). At times, such as with the travelogue "'Til Nothing Comes Between Us," Montgomery's singing mirrors the pleasant charm of George Strait. And for the most part, he keeps his engine running smooth throughout, except for when things get revved up a little on his track with Sixwire, called "It Goes Like This."

The big drawback of this Montgomery release is how darn forgettable it ultimately is. He has nothing new to say here, nor does he come up with any novel ways to say the old things. He may have an album's worth of pictures, but his results don't reveal any kind of a photographer's eye.