The hardest thing for a star to do is to remain relevant in any sort of mainstream capacity yet that’s exactly what Billy Ray Cyrus has done with his career over the years, first as a singer and later as an actor on TV and Film. His latest TV show, Still The King, is a certified hit on CMT and in many ways parallels his own career. On Thin Line, Billy Ray works with a stable of producers like Stewart Cararas, Brandon Friesen, Andrew Rollins, Noah Gordon, Jason Charles Miller and Shooter Jennings to create a record which is diverse in its use of covers and originals.
Those covers showcase Cyrus’ soulful style on “Tulsa Time” “Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” “Killing The Blues” and “Help Me Make It Through The Night.” Standouts include the covers “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” a song (like “Killing The Blues”) produced with Shooter Jennings and “Going Where The Lonely Go,” a song which features his son Brinson Cyrus. Songs like “Stop Picking On Willie” and “Thin Line” work very well from Cyrus’ songwriter pen. They blend nicely with “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.”
If you’re wondering why there are so many covers here, it’s because Billy Ray Cyrus originally intended to release a cover’s record before he recorded his new songs (which includes closer “Angels Protect This House,” a spiritual earthly hymn which includes pop star daughter Miley Cyrus). Billy Ray Cyrus may not sell millions of records anymore but for people who take the time to listen to Thin Line, they’ll find a strong offering, a record worthy of our time and attention and his best recording in at least a decade.