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Back To Tennessee
Artist: : Billy Ray Cyrus
Label: Walt Disney/Lyric Street
 Anyone appreciative of the lead actress of Hannah Montana or Metro Station's guitarist owe Billy Ray Cyrus gratitude for siring Miley and Trey. 
That doesn't mean the kids' fans have to like the father's artistry. At least that daughter of his does; recent Miley tracks such as "Hoedown Throwdown" and "Ice Cream Freeze" can be heard as continuations of the line dance cheesiness on which daddy made his name via "Achy Breaky Heart." And though the elder Cyrus' radio play fortunes have been more miss than hit in recent years, co-starring in his kid's TV show has upped his profile considerably.

Billy Ray's second longplayer since commencing his Hannah MT gig as th e star's parent proves that his imitation is the most commercial form of flattery. It sounds as if he and his handlers have been listening to the Southern boogie rock-influenced country of prominent chart presences like Montgomery Gentry and Jason Aldean and decided from there how Back To Tennessee should proceed. 

And for a guy whose image appears predicated on a plainspoken everyman persona, all his staunch bravado about being an uber-country redneck doesn't come off with much inspiration nor sincerity. When revisiting the devotional themes of his cCm debut album from a few years ago, as on recent top 40 country radio single "Somebody Said A Prayer," he exudes ham enough for a week's worth of sandwiches--and breakfasts. 

As viewers of the Hannah Montana movie have already heard, he and Miley make a prequel for their '08 top ten duet (which Pops originally recorded solo), "Ready, Set Don't Go." La Miley rolls a ways from the masculine half of the family tree in terms of vocal dexterity as she bests the man who brought her into the world on "Butterfly Fly Away, " the set's tenderest moment. 

Apart from what might be somewhat lax parenting skills (re:some of Miley's shenanigans and career moves), Cyrus seems like a personable enough guy, the kind you want to root for. The only cheering, however, this prompts from me is to urge him to record the one at least pretty good-to-great album he must have in him. Or stick to the soundtage instead of the recording studio.
Jamie Rake

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