Sound — 10
Most of you have never heard of Monte, but by god, you should check them out. Monte is from Texas. Monte Montgomery has been named the best acoustic guitar player for 7 years in a row at the austin music awards. Guitar player voted him in the top 50 best guitarists of all time. Also, he is known as one of the best undiscovered artists (Monte=band) in America. But don't be fooled, this album isn't entirely acoustic, and even when it is his guitar playing just stuns you with how excellent it is. It has a very clean tone on everything. The drums are a little simplistic but the guitar is mainly what you're focusing on. I saw these guys in concert for free and the bassist goes pretty wild along with the rest of the guys. Monte just gets so heavily into the guitar in concert and on the record. He fingerpicks the majority of the time which makes it sound like he double tracks a lot of the guitar parts but normally it's just a single one. At some points it does become a little too much, but this is always a good album to put in while in the car or something. Any Monte album would be good for that. If you're interested in more info go to www.montemontgomery.com.
Lyrics — 10
These guys could just make it on their own without any lyrics, that's how good they are, but my goodness, the lyrics are so powerful on all of the songs. One song on the album is titled "Secretly Waiting," and the first time I heard it tears were in my eyes. The chorus goes "I have no boundaries for pain/Sheltered by cold from the rain/Falling on my face hiding tears/Secretly waiting for you here." On all the songs you can tell that when he sings, he's sincere in what he's saying. This is one of those albums though, that you have to be in the mood to listen to. It has the same tone on a lot of parts and some variation, but not too drastic. The lyrics go real well with the music. It sounds almost like he mastered the technique of writing the lyrics first then writing the music. Monte is a wonderful singer; he keeps you in that mood and holds you there. You can tell that when he sings some of the songs he's feeling the pain too. This is like classic rock but with a little more of an upbeat, saddened twist.
Overall Impression — 8
Like I said before: you have to be in the mood to listen to this album. At times the lyrics do seem slightly always on the same subject, but the guitar and other instruments are what change a lot. Also, I said before that I've seen these guys. In concert, Monte made his acoustic (Alvarez) be dazzling and so impressive, they're a very upbeat band. This guy was tapping and using slides on a 12-string as well. Parts of this album does seem a little experimental, but only with instruments. They've seem to found what works best for them. The album starts out with the catching "Come Away." Then, song 3 is the ballad-like beauty of "Secretly Waiting." Then, the Album track is song 5. The upbeat and bad song of "Shock" on track 7. Some more ballads, and then the ending track, "My Mother's Hands." Most likely you can only get their albums in Texas, at their shows and over their site, so I'd strongly suggest to check them out, it's well worth your money. I would no doubt, buy it again!