Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Montgomery Gentry

  • Carryin' On [Columbia, 2001] B-
  • You Do Your Thing [Columbia, 2004] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Carryin' On [Columbia, 2001]
A tuneful, hard-hitting case study in the conservatism of the "rock" claimed by studio hotshots wherever popular music is manufactured in our once-great land. It's possible to imagine the identical beats and licks vitalized by, say, a younger John Anderson. But mixing them with male chauvinist reaction makes more sense, and turns them rancid. At a time when female spunk has become a Nashville cliché, these two putative roadhouse rats, one the brother of cowboy-hat millionaire John Michael Montgomery, inhabit a world where women are either saintly or compliant. They "rock" because they're "rebels," only what they rebel against is the present, in male-specific terms: "They say this way of life is done/But not for my father's son." Like their antecedent Charlie Daniels, they beg the question of whether they're also that kind of rebel. But attention ought be paid another high-profile couplet: "It ain't nobody's business what kind of flag I fly/'Cause that's my right." Uh-uh, stupid. The way flags work is that they're the business of everybody who sees them. That's why you fly them high--and why the other side tears them down. B-

You Do Your Thing [Columbia, 2004] Dud