no sophomore slump

Storm In The Heartland (Mercury)
Billy Ray Cyrus

By Michael W. Stout

Have you ever listened to an album and thought one song was definitely a number one hit while the next song didn't stand a chance? Well that's the case with Billy Ray Cyrus' third Mercury release, Storm In The Heartland.

You may have thought "Achy Breaky Heart" didn't stand a chance when you first heard it, but look how it made such a huge impact on the planet. Cyrus will always try to have a follow-up song that will enjoy the same success, but that song is not on this album.

Cyrus' unique "my-own-way" brand is stamped all over this album. It's admirable that he is brave enough to do things the way he wants to and he gets away with it. A true Billy Ray Cyrus fan will love this album because it's pure Billy Ray, all fourteen cuts.

If a few songs were weeded out to make a standard ten-cut album, this would be a near-flawless CD. The first release, which happens to be the title track, would definitely be one of the lucky ten to remain. This tune is a tender ballad comparing loss of his love to a storm in the heartland.

"One Last Thrill" is a tender plea for one more drive to lovers hill, one more look at the stars, one last kiss and one last thrill before saying goodbye forever.

"Only God Could Stop Me Loving You" is a rare love song in these times of heartache. As the words of the song say, "... And there ain't no man who could steal your hand and tear us apart, but there is one God in heaven above who gave me love strong enough to call my own, only God could stop me lovin' you ..."