There's one song on the new Montgomery Gentry album that Eddie Montgomery is really uncomfortable talking about. He'll shift, he'll moan, he'll sigh. "All Hell Broke Loose" is unlike anything he's ever done before.

"Oh God," he says, sighing and fidgeting in his chair. "That's my first love song I've ever sang."

Of course, Jennifer — Montgomery's wife of nearly four years — loves the ballad. It's the final song on Here's to You, the new Montgomery Gentry album available on Friday (Feb. 2). The title is a clever play on words, and the lyrics are surprisingly tender. Montgomery may say it's a "tough guy love song," but there's no denying he just cut his first unrelenting romantic ballad.

"God knows I'm no beginner / When it comes to being a sinner / I never cared about where I went or where it was that I was bound / Til the devil in me fell in love with the angel in you / That's the day all hell broke loose," he sings at the chorus.

That doesn't mean he likes it!

"I almost didn't do it. I come that close," he admits. "Didn't wanna cut it. I was like 'Man, I don't wanna sing a love song, man.'"

While Montgomery Gentry have a history of songs of the heart, Montgomery has avoided this kind of vulnerability, instead choosing to voice the duo's rowdiest country rockers. That's the formula on Here's to You, their first album in nearly three years and the first since Troy Gentry's death in September. The album was completed two days before the helicopter crash, so yes, Gentry got to see his best friend open up like this. One gets the sense that might have ticked Eddie off.

"I just can't sing that, 'Oh I just can't wait to get home to you and drop a rose at the bottom of your feet,'" he says, raising his voice to Prince-like octaves. "I just can't sing that stuff, man."

No, Montgomery didn't write it. Keith Dozier, Adam Fears took care of that, because, in his words: "I've tried to write love songs. You talk about sucking!"

"Better Man" is another love song (arguably) on Here's to You, but Gentry takes lead there. Montgomery spoke with Taste of Country about their new album, Gentry's death and getting back to work in the months that followed.

 

Watch Eddie Montgomery Talk About Troy Gentry's Crash