Album review: Montgomery Ricky by Ricky Montgomery

Zain Beverly, Radio Intern

Ricky Montgomery’s Montgomery Ricky (trying saying that ten times) is the first full-length album by the formerly moderately-successful Vine.. person. The L.A. based indie-pop artist has produced music before and after this album, some of the latter being made with his band the Honeysticks. Montgomery Ricky still stands as the only full-length solo album Montgomery has produced. It’s a somewhat tonally consistent project ranging from passionate, sad-boy anthems to more upbeat, yet still undercut with a current of grief or depression, tunes.


Album cover art for Montgomery Ricky by Ricky Montgomery


Track-by-track Review:

  • This December – The album kicks off with This December, a track with an excellent sense of progression. It starts out in a less pronounced manner, with just vocals and piano, but builds over it’s runtime into a pulsing, driving tune crescendoing into a cathartic release at the end. It’s tight drum fills, Montgomery’s vocals, and a great sense of pace make it a star on the album.


  • Line Without a Hook – This track is an emotionally resonant piece with themes of love and how someone can make you feel. The way the vocals lightly dance on the beat during the verses contrasts well with the staccato chorus backed by the instruments. It’s another knockout track.


  • Cabo – This is probably the most upbeat track of the entire album. It’s got an infectious energy from moment one. The warbling synths and electronica vibes make this tune pop in a great way. Give it a listen and I swear you’ll be parroting it’s chorus before it’s relatively short runtime is over.


  • Don’t Know How – It feels like this track draws influences from darker 80’s pop with it’s moody soundscape of reverberant guitars and its general sense of driving through a neon-lit city at maybe not a dangerous time like 3 a.m., but possibly more in the ballpark of It’s decently catchy, not bad at all.


  • Last Night – This track reminds me of the pop-rock of the 2000’s, something like the All-American Rejects with Montgomery’s distinctive style over the top. It’s got that distinctive chorus that drop’s out right at the beginning into slow-melodic guitar shredding with anthemic vocals to yell right along with.


  • California – This tune rival’s Cabo for the most upbeat tune with it’s semi-ironic, bouncing beat that harkens back to a simpler time of cool kids catching waves and listening to their favorite bands on boom-boxes on the beach. It’s a catchy track with an interesting style about self-empowerment. It’s pretty good.


  • My Heart is Buried in Venice – The slow and nearly spoken-word quality of this track’s vocals are hypnotic and touching. It’s a singer-songwriter’s ballad through-and-through. Full of lost lovers, grief, and a whole lotta sad vibes man.


  • Loverman – Much like the last track on the album, Mr. Loverman is a ballad about a lost love. Unlike the last track, Mr. Loverman fronts an extremely “Yell-out-in-shared-lost-love-induced-agony-able” chorus that just cuts to the bone of the subject at hand. It’s got a great atmosphere with light violins, ethereal voices echoing the main thesis, and a general sense of loss. It’s a fantastic song, give it a listen if you’re going through your own break-up at your own risk.


  • Get Used to It – The last upbeat tune of the bunch, Get Used to It is a fun track with more of that mid-2000’s energy from Last Night. It’s got a nice swing to it, which I didn’t expect, but it’s appreciated.


  • Snow – We end the album with another rock-pop, sad-boy ballad about, you guessed it, lost love. Man, I don’t know what happened to Montgomery before this album, but hope writing all these helped him through it. Jokes aside, it’s another good track, Montgomery’s vocals standing out like they do on most of his tracks, in a good way.


Summary: Montgomery Ricky is a moody and depressed mix of a lot of pop-’s. Pop-rock, indie-pop, and some just straight up pop dots each track and Montgomery shows in this album that he’s extremely comfortable in the genre and its off-shoots and fusions. The album has a good cohesion and a great sound throughout. My personal must-listen tracks would be This December, Mr. Loverman, and Cabo, in that order. Go give it a try, and maybe have a good cry.


4/5 Sails