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John Michael Montgomery

Home to You – 1999 (Atlantic)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by John Michael Montgomery

John Michael Montgomery may have enlisted a new ace producer, Garth Fundis, but there seems to be precious little new on JMM's seventh disc where the focus is on love. There's no doubt about that given the song titles - "Love Made Me Do It" and "Hello L-O-V-E," the two lead-off and best songs, "Your Love Lingers On," "Holding an Amazing Love." Well, you get the idea.

Despite a voice of limited vocal range, Montgomery certainly knows his way around a ballad ("When Your Arms Were Around" and Waylon Jennings' "Nothing Catches Jesus by Surprise"), but they seem no different than sappy ballads from previous efforts. Unlike his contemporaries, JMM at least does keep it country instrumentally thanks in part to folks like Paul Franklin on steel, Larry Franklin on fiddle and Jerry Douglas on dobro (the catchy, uptempo "Love is Our Business"), generally eschewing a country pop sound.

JMM may not be cutting much new ground here, but at least what he does, he does well.