STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9312-9028 LABEL: Word Curb 8862742 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2003-12-05 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
So often when mainstream country stars get to make a gospel album the result is an unimaginative visit to the old hymnal (how many versions of “I’ll Fly Away” do we need?) and/or an idea inspired as much by crafty marketing as any personal devotion to Jesus of Nazareth. Hearteningly, neither instance is true for Billy Ray Cyrus. The “Achy Breaky Heart” hitmaker assembles excellent contemporary songs from people like Kelly Shiver, Bebo Norman (the haunting “Tip Of My Heart”) and Marty Dodson and Brett Jones. Billy Joe Walker Jr weighs in with slick production. And most important of all, the songs surge with husky-voiced conviction rather than Bible belt sentimentality. Also, if you’re a mug for story songs, you’ve got a tear-jerking tale of faith in action in “Wouldn’t You Do This For Me?” while Austin Cunningham and Neil Trasher’s images of the cross on “I Love You This Much” have every bit as much power to move the listener as those transcendent hymns of yesteryear. This album has already proven to be a major seller in the US Christian charts. Of its type it’s one of the finest you’ll hear.
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