John Michael Montgomery’s first album, 1992’s Life’s a Dance, immediately separated the singer from all the other hunky young hat acts through a golden- jukebox mix of romantic ballads, Western swing, and catchy honky-tonk laments. Montgomery delivered all of it with the confident exuberance he honed over years of working bars in his native Kentucky. The album quickly went platinum. So, in typical Nashville thinking, Atlantic fixed what wasn’t broke, picking a new producer-hit maker Scott Hendricks, known for his work with Brooks & Dunn-to guide Montgomery’s second effort, Kickin’ It Up (Atlantic), to multi-platinum heights. In doing so, however, Hendricks moved Montgomery out of the gritty beer joints and into the suburban line-dance clubs, substituting formula for freshness. While he gives the singer plenty of ballads (”I Swear,” ”Rope the Moon”) to help woo the ladies, too many of the songs bland out into cookie- cutter dance filler (”She Don’t Need a Band to Dance”) and tepid soft rock better suited to generic groups like Restless Heart. Montgomery does a good job selling the product, but that’s just what this album is. Kickin’ It Up? More like playing it safe. B -
Kickin' It Up John Michael Montgomery's first album, 1992's Life's a Dance, immediately separated the singer from all the other hunky young hat acts through a golden-...Kickin' It UpCountry John Michael Montgomery's first album, 1992's Life's a Dance, immediately separated the singer from all the other hunky young hat acts through a golden-...1994-01-28
Genre: Country; Lead Performer: John Michael Montgomery
Posted January 28 1994 — 12:00 AM EST
- Meet Denise, Kermit the Frog's new love interest
- And the Oscar producing gig goes to...
- 'SYTYCD' mentor blog: tWitch on Team Street's best exit
- 'Daily Show with Trevor Noah' promo previews a few changes with new host
- See T-Pain sing the national anthem at a Dodgers game
- Sam Smith loves Hozier's cover of 'Lay Me Down'
- David Tennant helps remix Shakespeare with hip-hop in app
- All the VMAs 2015 performances graded
- VMAs 2015 Red Carpet: See All the Looks!
- 16 TV characters who stuck around longer than expected
- Behind Lady Gaga's killer look in 'American Horror Story: Hotel'
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- Victoria Justice, Andrew & Laura, Rihanna and More!