July 14, 2011
After being in the automatic add club for a good four years, Montgomery Gentry seems to have fallen off country radio’s map lately. Their last big hit was two years ago, and their three most recent singles all missed the Top 20. They’re back now for another attempt at getting back on the radio. “Where I Come From” is the duo’s first single release under their new label home Average Joe’s Entertainment. But it sounds like their new single “Where I Come From” is primarily trying to sound like all the Montgomery Gentry hits that came before it.
To that end, it succeeds. You could almost call it “My Town, Part 2.” But that makes for a single that is of limited interest from an artistic standpoint. You will no doubt pick up on the titular similarity to a classic Alan Jackson hit, but beyond that, the similarities run shallow. Montgomery Gentry’s “Where I Come From” lacks the character, personality, and genuine down-home charm that characterized the Alan Jackson song, and made it a radio recurrent for a whole decade.
The slick, slightly cluttered, and non-country production is the least of the problems. For one thing, I don’t like how the song sets the tone for “us versus them” hostility right from the get-go with the opening line: ”Don’t you dare go runnin’ down my little town where I grew up, and I won’t cuss your city lights.” From there on out, “Where I Come From” relies on all the usual rural imagery, and chest-pounding declarations of hometown pride.
They’re mainly just looking for a hit. That much is pretty obvious. But by relying so heavily on overused formulas, it’s like they’re running around in circles in terms of creativity. There’s no demonstration of a “What’s next” artistic vision.
It’s not really good. It’s not really bad. It’s just another product of the Nashville hitmaking machine.
Written by Dallas Davidson and Rodney Clawson
Listen: Where I Come From