Billy Ray Cyrus

Love Songs

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Isn't it awesome to have a Billy Ray Cyrus compilation without "Achy Breaky Heart" on it? Yes, and no. Yes, because some listeners need to hear that song again and again as long as they live, and no, because this collection of love songs doesn't really do much for the re-born Cyrus' reputation as a singer. There are good single titles here, like "She's Not Cryin' Anymore," which was actually the very best song on Some Gave All, the album that contained the aforementioned abomination. Other tracks such as "I Am Here Now," from Trail of Tears, and the title cut off It Won't Be the Last, also work quite well. The reason? Cyrus co-wrote these songs; he wasn't interpreting them. There's real heart in his performances. Some of the others included here, "Only God Could Stop Me Loving You," from Storm in the Heartland, and "Missing You," from "Shot Full of Love," are saccharine and flat. Lifeless. This may indeed be a production problem because Cyrus is capable of belting them when he wants to, with real soul as well as power. But three excellent songs a love song collection does not make.

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