February 28, 1994 12:00 PM

John Michael Montgomery

Montgomery seems to be goosing his career in the general direction of the achy-breaky, turkey-lurkey crowd with an uptempo second album. There are few traces of the romantic Montgomery who made his debut last year. Instead a honky-tonker ambles through tunes that sound like Jerry Reed rejects, minus the trucks. Most of the album’s musicality comes from pedal-steel player Paul Franklin. While Montgomery sounds a lot like the quietly ingratiating Randy Travis, he lacks Travis’s ability to keep the richness and warmth in his voice when he gets out of ballad mode.

The songs too are sterile, though the title track, “Friday at Five,” and “She Don’t Need a Band to Dance” generate honest carousing feelings.

The line-dance crowd may well kick up their heels over this album, but the sit-down-and-listen gang will probably think twice about listening twice. (Atlantic)

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