Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ [Listen]
'Hope Is Just Ahead,' the new single from Billy Ray Cyrus, takes a big picture look at the world we live in while offering some consolation to those buried in a depressing news cycle. While it's not clear if the singer penned this song about any specific event, fans will no doubt recall horrible tragedies from the past 12 months every time they hear it.
Previous singles from Cyrus' 2012 album 'Change My Mind' were rowdier, relying on riffs instead of deep lyrical content. 'Hope Is Just Ahead' reminds fans that the singer is capable of providing perspective..
"I wondered why I had the blues / So I turned on the evening news / Children runnin' from their school, because of some damn fool, who had no morals he must prove," Cyrus sings to open this ballad. It's a softer and more sincere approach that isn't new to his longtime fans.
The understated delivery allows one appreciate the grit in his voice. It's not a true vocal showcase. Instead, it's a performance that leaves plenty of space for the singer to add the emotional garnish he finds necessary.
"Hope is just ahead / Sorrows just behind us / From what the good book says / The truth will never bind us / Who's to say what we shall find / I guess the proof was sure in time / To them let's keep the dreamers fed / Surely hope is just ahead."
In one sense, 'Hope Is Just Ahead' feels like a response to the Newtown, Conn. shootings, but it was released on 'Change My Mind' two months before the Sandy Hook tragedy. Cyrus' message isn't new, but familiarity is often what one relies on after an extremely trying time.
Why Fans Will Love It: Country music's response to tragic shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn. has been slow. 'Hope Is Just Ahead' joins George Strait's 'I Believe' as a rare effort to encourage the healing process.
Key Lyrics: "Another kid laid in the blood / Another town drowned in the flood / Just a tragic trail of tears, lessons not learned through the years, heaven save us from our fears."
Did You Know?: A songwriter named Don Von Tress helped write 'Hope Is Just Ahead.' He's not a well-known songwriter, but he has one other familiar Cyrus cut to his credit: 'Achy Breaky Heart' from 1992.
Listen to Billy Ray Cyrus, 'Hope Is Just Ahead'