Poor Billy Ray Cyrus. Seventeen years after the fact, "Achy Breaky Heart" overshadows the rest of his career, and nothing he releases seems to totally eliminate that image of the goofy hillbilly with the big hair and even bigger muscles.
With or without "Achy Breaky Heart", the mullet, or the annoying daughter who practically owns the Disney Channel, Cyrus is an interesting artist. He seems to have two vocal deliveries that he employs most often: a swaggering growl for the up-tempos, and an earthy falsetto for the ballads. Both deliveries work very well, and his writing and song selection skills really aren't bad. So there's no doubt that the man really does have talent.
Unfortunately, most of that talent doesn't surface on Cyrus' latest single. "A Good Day" recalls a past summertime love who is somehow no longer accessible. Yawn. The protagonist is a football player who asks the girl out and they somehow end up barefoot (but not crazy) down by the water, and that was a good day. Well, how will we know that it was a good day if all you're telling us is that you got your feet muddy?
The second verse fails to add anything except for some vague mumbling about how all of his best memories are about her. Then we get the cliché of´fírewórks flying just because they're kissing on the 4th of July. "Look back" gets shoehorned into the final verse twice, and of course, there's the "together"/"forever" rhyme that's only slightly less overused than "girl"/"world". Given its theme and its vague, shallow lyrics, the whole song feels like a clone of Brooks & Dunn's "Indian Summer".
Amidst a generic wall of guitars courtesy of (over)producer Mark Bright, Cyrus starts off in that soft yet gritty tone that has worked so well on many of his other ballads. Somewhere along the way, though, he loses interest and fades into a lifeless monotone. Even more unusual is that half of the words in the chorus come out forced and clipped — listen to how he sings "honey" in the first chorus.
Radio might like this song just because it's bland, compared to the far more interesting "Somebody Said a Prayer" and "Back to Tennessee". But Cyrus proved right from the get-go that he is not your average musician, so it's very disappointing to see him pandering to the masses with a song as unoriginal as this.