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Montgomery Gentry

Tattoos & Scars – 1999 (Sony)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Montgomery Gentry

Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry possess enough musical chops on their debut, but not enough personality. Actually that's what is missing - a distinctiveness that crystallizes what the duo is about. The pair, who met in the clubs of Kentucky, sing well enough and harmonize nicely (the aptly titled "Self Made Man" and "I've Loved a Lot More Than I've Hurt"). And they at least put some emotion into their music.

But that doesn't go far enough. "All Night Long" sounds like they're trying to vocally imitate Charlie Daniels on a lively bluesy number. Not a surprise actually given that Daniels co-wrote it and sings backing vocals. Billy Dean would have been comfy singing "Trouble Is."

Travis Tritt is another obvious reference point both musically and vocally. he could have recorded many of the songs ("Daddy Won't Sell the Farm" and "If A Broken Heart Could Kill"), none of which were written by Montgomery or Gentry. Not a bad debut, but the pair needs to forge their own musical identity.