Montgomery Gentry, “Back When I Knew it All”

Coming off the heels of their single “What Do You Think About That”, Montgomery Gentry supplies their listeners with another up-tempo song that is bound to be successful on country music radio. This song, with its Mellencamp feel, sounds good until the lyrics kick in.

The duo swaps lines to create a rollicking portrait of people who acknowledge that they just may not have known everything when they were young. They reminisce about their youthful indiscretions and defiant disregard of their parents with what seems to be fond amusement. While there doesn’t seem to be much regret of the past, the duo concedes that they have gained wisdom with age. They have learned “so much more than back when {they} knew it all.” They, no doubt, have softened over time, but one can’t help but wonder if they may still have some more growing up to do.

To put it succinctly, Eddie and Troy deliver another fun sounding single that attempts to include substance. Unfortunately, their effort falls short of sincerity and, instead, exudes the macho bravado that threatens to define their career.

Written by Trent Willmon, Phil O’Donnell and Gary Hannan

Grade: B-

Listen: Back When I Knew it All


  1. I’d give it a B. Not a bad song, but still doesn’t really add anything new to their image. Still its not as annoying and What Do Ya Think About That and it’s nice to hear something new from MG.

  2. remember when we could just listen to a song and the lyrics didn’t matter because we were having fun? maybe some people should go back to that instead of basing their life on what makes sense, because life doesn’t make sense why should our music…

  3. Everyone needs to check out the new CD that comes out tomorrow! I was able to listen to a preview online and its fantastic! Even though they were good, I was a little disappointed with Some People Change and even parts of You Do Your Thing. My Town has been their best record, but Back When I Knew It All has given it a run for its money! They’ve gone back to their rock sound and every song has the potential to be a hit single. My favorites are Roll With Me and Look Some More. Give it a shot!

  4. It’s amazing how in a world of American Idol, bubble-gum country, a reviewer gives a B- to this single for too much macho-brivado! To put it succinctly, this type of country music is a welcome change to much of the drivel that climbs the charts. Country needs a bit more macho brivado – this song and the upcoming album will provide it. Artists like Tracy Byrd, Trace Adkins, and MG harken back to the days when country with attitude was appreciated. When the industry and media think Sugarland is the best duo when compared to MG, Brooks & Dunn, Big and Rich, and Halfway to Hazard shows the level of estrogen that propels today’s bubble-gum country. As an artist, Mr. Willmon should know better than most that it takes a loyal fan base to propel an artist to sustained stardom. I know MG know and like their brand. Like Toby Keith, Jimmy Buffett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Hank Jr. Eddie and Troy understand how to manage their brand and will have legions of fans for a long time to come. Finally, I would rather have my teen listening to this single than “…Don’t Even Know His Last Name” – which some might argue provides a more sincere attempt to deliver substance in a song. Please just don’t get me started on “Check you for ticks”. Let’s all just lighten up and enjoy the brivado!

  5. The levels of estrogen in country music have rarely been lower than they are right now. Perhaps you think no female artists should be played at all?

  6. I love Montgomery Gentry & this song did not disappoint me. Then again, I’m only a 17 year old girl, what can I say?

  7. George,

    Bravado isn’t exactly a compliment. It means, “a pretentious, swaggering display of courage.” So, you may root for “macho” songs, but there are way too many songs, especially from MG, that posture as macho. Radio certainly isn’t lacking in that department.

  8. Great Song #1, I love it! It has a little of the Byrds sound at the begining and I love the lyric’s. The reviewer needs to lighten up a little. There new song Roll with me is awesome!! I moved to country from rock because rock is not being played or represtened any more. I guess I am mellowing out in my old age.
    Cheers Glen

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