Billy Ray Cyrus

The SnakeDoctor Circus

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Billy Ray Cyrus delivered The SnakeDoctor Circus, his 16th studio album, hot on the heels of his unexpected return to the top of the charts via his guest appearance on the remix of "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. "Old Town Road (Remix)" blew up in April 2019 and The SnakeDoctor Circus arrived in May, so the album was set in stone, untouched by the pop culture phenomenon of 2019. Instead, the album bears all the hallmarks of the 1960s, specifically the sociopolitical folk-rock of Bob Dylan. All through its long 39 minutes, The SnakeDoctor Circus alternates between grumbly romantic dirges ("The Reckoning") and ponderous political statements ("Goddess of Democracy," "Guns, Gold & Guitars"), stopping for the occasional shuffle ("I Think Your Time's Come") or jangle ("The Reckoning"). Cyrus occasionally cracks a joke, but they're hard to discern among the mumbles and murk that make the record feel like a portentous slog even when the tempos threaten to cut loose.

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