Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Cyrus falters by following trends

Billy Ray Cyrus chose the title of his new album “Back To Tennessee” purposefully – and he may have followed its message too literally.

On 2007′s comeback album, “Home At Last,” the father of Miley Cyrus presented a schizophrenic combination of classic-rock covers and contemporary country originals. “Back To Tennessee” arrives with a clearer focus: Build on the momentum Cyrus has regained recently with country music fans.

A few songs mime current country trends too explicitly: The first single, “Somebody Said A Prayer,” treads overly familiar ground in tying a spiritual message to everyday life, while the corny “Like Nothing Else” strings together over-the-top platitudes about a woman. A duet with his daughter on “Butterfly, Fly Away” – from the soundtrack of “Hannah Montana: the Movie” – underscores that ballads are neither’s strong suit.

Cyrus fares best, as always, when bringing something fresh to the contemporary Nashville sound. The title song and “Love Is The Lesson” bridge breezy California pop with down-to-earth Nashville themes. Just as good, “I Could Be The One” and a Sheryl Crow cover, “Real Gone,” allow Cyrus to flash that amiable Kentucky cockiness that made him a country star in the first place.

Cyrus never followed Nashville’s formulas in the past; two decades on, he’s still best when ignoring what’s fashionable and instead giving the music a down-home kick.


Billy Ray Cyrus

Back To Tennessee” (Lyric Street/Walt Disney)

Genre: country

Grade: C+

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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