Billy Ray Cyrus

The Other Side

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Billy Ray Cyrus pleasantly surprises in this ode to gospel -- gospel being defined here as a blending of mainstream pop and traditional country with religious lyrics. Religious faith is put on a pedestal here, sounding thoughtful and inspirational in these 11 stylistic tracks. Cyrus seems to have put his "Achy Breaky Heart" days behind him and takes a step forward with this album. The fervor that was missing from his last two albums turns up here in abundance. The Other Side enriches Cyrus' fading repertoire. This CD shouldn't be labeled because of its religious material, but should be recognized for its unlikely convergence of musical styles. Special guests '80s pop icons Kim Carnes and Richard Marx contribute vocals. Highlights include "Face of God," "Did I Forget to Pray," and an amazing rendition of "Amazing Grace."

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