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Billy Ray Cyrus “The Other Side” (Album Review)

About 16 years ago, Billy Ray Cyrus released The Other Side. Immediately, the cover and even the name invoke memories of religion. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. This clean-as-a-whistle recording sounds every bit like the Nashville product it is. However its songs hover just close enough to the Contemporary Christian genre without hitting it too hard. It’s the kind of album you can listen to before and after church on Sunday.

The album starts off with Face of God. It’s a mid-tempo tune about how kindness helps us to see the face of God. Its unmistakable from the beginning that this record has a strong religious meaning. But its not until track 4 titled “Need You Now” that you start to feel it. Before this, the album talks about the every day lives of those who profess Jesus as their savior. All with just enough drive to make you forget this is album is Christian. From the down beat of “Need You Now” however, you know. There’s a synth pad, piano, and cymbal rolls. What more do you need? “Need You Now” talks about the specific life events in the life of Christ. However, it toes the line and never crosses into a full-on gospel tune. I appreciate that.

As soon as the tom flurries and synth pads fade out, you get a nice slap of country rock and roll before you can get up and go to the bathroom. “Love Has No Walls” could get any honky tonk bar picking up their heels dancing. By the time the tasty slide solo kicks in on the bridge, there’s no looking back. The rest of the album keeps in this same vein constantly dancing between Contemporary Christian music and Pop Country. Its an impressive waltz and brings appreciation to an artist who is better known currently as a part of one of the most confusing songs to hit country radio.

Written by Columbia Jones


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