Review: Billy Ray Cyrus, “Somebody Said a Prayer”

Now, Billy Ray Cyrus may not necessarily be known for his understated vocals. In fact, he’s got some pretty effective pipes when he needs them. On this song, however, he takes the belting to a new level. Likewise, the production tries to match him. Unfortunately, the two together sound like a battle between singer and production, wherein neither comes out the victor.

As most inspirational leaning songs go, the verses tell us stories about people who overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. How do they do it? They pray. As someone who inherently believes in prayer, I do not have an objection to the message of the song. My problem is in its delivery. Cyrus’ melodramatic performance, coupled with its Disney score sounding production, overshadows whatever message this song may be rightly trying to convey.

Grade: C

Listen: Somebody Said a Prayer

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37 Comments

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37 Responses to Review: Billy Ray Cyrus, “Somebody Said a Prayer”

  1. Recent scientific studies have shown that intercessory prayer actually does more harm than good if the subject knows he/she is being prayed for.

    Just saying.

  2. I played it for the first time this morning. Too overblown, too “Diane Warren” for me.

  3. Oh, my. I pray that BRC’s next single is better than this one.

  4. LJNo Gravatar

    I came across it without knowing who it was and at moments I swear it sounds like a really bad Neil Diamond impersonator.
    Just no.

  5. I’m sure his “next single” will be this one, redone as a duet with his daughter.

  6. PeterNo Gravatar

    ROTFLMAO @ Kevin – so true!

  7. PJ in NHNo Gravatar

    I don’t know what your problem is, this is a wonderfully moving song. I give it two thumbs up!

  8. Raev1No Gravatar

    I LOVE THE SONG! I think he does a great job. I just wish they would release more songs off his last album, Home At Last before moving on to another one. Songs like, Don’t Give Up On Me and You Are My Everything should get airplay, they are too good to just sit there. Neil Diamond is one of Billy Rays’ heroes so that might be while he sounds like him sometimes. I’ve noticed that on other things but don’t consider it a bad thing since most singers usually sound like somebody else sometimes. Except for Willie Nelson, haven’t heard anybody sound like him, ever.

  9. KyleNo Gravatar

    I’m really not to crazy about this song. The music is very, very cheesy. His voice is too deep to sing a real slow ballad like this. It’s a good song, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely not my favorite Billy Ray song.

  10. DeeNo Gravatar

    This a beautifully sung song. Just wonderful in its message. Billy Ray is singling this song with his heart, in saying, in other words, It’s About Time some says a prayer……it works. Hooray for him. This is a hit. Too bad the listener doesn’t see what the heart is trying to say. Go BRC!!!!!

  11. RickNo Gravatar

    Because of Billy Ray’s part on Hannah Montana his new fan base consists mostly of the tweens (and younger) who are Hannah fanatics. His new songs will likely wind up as hits on Radio Disney and his music videos can also be seen on the Disney Channel more than CMT or GAC. Billy’s last single only did well when Miley was mixed in, so his solo stuff isn’t likely to get very far. Everything about this song is just okay, although Billy’s female fans that miss his mullet and Billy doing the Achy Braek dance are likely to disagree…..

  12. Diana R.No Gravatar

    I LOVE this song,& after playing it over & over a few times,I like it even more.As far as “Ready,Set,Don’t Go” is concerned,that song was in the top 20 or higher, & was still doing very well BEFORE the duet version was added.Of course,the duet with Miley pushed the song up to peak@ # 4 on Billboard.Some of the tween voters on CMT&GAC probabaly didn’t even know that BR could sing with such strong vocals.I think I will play” SSAP” right now.

  13. SusanNo Gravatar

    You can only really appreciate this song if you’ve been there. How deep this song is. Thank you for bringing that special feeling when the “Peace” came in. When you truly figure out to really release to God-everything. Especially with the world the way it is today. Maybe some feel the presentation is harsh or belted out-but that’s the way it is if you’ve been there. Since the fans consist of a lot of younger people, the message needs to be strong. There is too many killings and suicides, especially the young, because of the magnitude of hopelessness there seems to be in this world today. If it can get the point across to just one person that there is a “Peace” it would be truly wonderful. There is power in prayer.

    Amen:)

  14. RobNo Gravatar

    This is a great song. You cant get any better. You can feel the emotion in this song.

  15. RosemarieNo Gravatar

    I thought this was a beautiful song and Billy Ray’s delivery is phenomenal. I’ve never heard him sing like this and I was extremely moved by it.

  16. PG

    Powerful tune. Looks like Cyrus has a hit here.

  17. LinneaNo Gravatar

    I think it’s great. I like songs that you can dance to also,but every so often you need to slow it down and listen to a song that goes straight to the heart. This is one of them. I hope it goes to the top of the charts.

  18. DKNo Gravatar

    BRC just a Hannah Montana sidekick! The words and emotion in this song are worth listening to – over and over – and think about the number of times “somebody said a prayer” for YOU, maybe without you knowing it.

  19. Gail B.No Gravatar

    Oh WOW! I have never heard his voice sound any stronger or more powerful. This is an inspirational message song and I have it on now. I have been playing it over and over since I got it. Billy Ray, this is the song I always knew you had in you and I LOVE it!

  20. ShirleyNo Gravatar

    I heard Billy Ray sing this song in concert last Sat. The reception to it was wonderful. Lots of people who were not BR fans were there as it was in a casino and catered to high rollers and they really seemed to enjoy the song very much. Some even had tears in their eyes. I love the song and the wonderful way that Billy Ray delivers it. He sang it with so much heart. You could just feel it. I have the song saved on my computer and play it as often as I can.

  21. Why do people seem to trash artists who release songs with positive messages? Because when someone is sincere they become an easy target, that’s why. In the world we’re living in now we need more uplifting healing songs. Billy ray may be over the top in his delivery but his heart is in the right place. That is for sure.

    I can tell you first hand that over the years this guy is one of the most giving artists in Nashville. It seems like every time there’s a benefit for a kid in a horrible car crash or bad medical situation Billy Ray is often one of the first (along with Vince Gill) to give his time to help raise money. IMHO We need more artists like that. Go ahead, bash him all you want..but one day your kid may be the one he gives his time to help.
    Peace

  22. LeeannNo Gravatar

    I don’t think anyone would dispute that Billy Ray is a nice, caring guy. However, being a nice and caring guy does not automatically give someone a free pass from criticism regarding a song. Just because this song receives a negative review, it in no way takes away from Cyrus’ congeniality. Likewise, his kindness does not negate a poorly executed song.

  23. marymary770No Gravatar

    Some people are going to love Billy Ray and some people aren’t. Some people are going to love this song, some not. And everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I happen to love him. And I happen to love this song too. Great job Billy Ray! :)

  24. Angie

    What a great song man I love it and it fits my life to a T

  25. Angie

    How can anyone trash this song or the man that sings it? It rocks and I listen to it all the time

  26. Angie

    Billy Ray you rock and so does your song as all your songs rock

  27. SJW

    I might have toned the production music down to hear how good Billy Ray really sounds, but this is good stuff! What kind of reviewer gives a song like this a C? I’ve lived with Country music in my house since I was born and I’ve heard bad, better and great! Billy Ray is pushing great on this! The message is very real and timely. Why isn’t it an A to hear a faith based song with a big production? You were expecting ‘hillbilly’?

  28. MJBNo Gravatar

    This song made me almost stop my car. It hit me with a message that people need to hear. God is going to work through this song.

  29. GAILINNASHVILLENo Gravatar

    Wow! Billy Ray truly showcases his amazing voice on this song! He definitely has the pipes for it. The first time I heard it, it truly brought me to tears. Some of the negative commenters need to let go of “Achy Breaky” and go to a live concert. He absolutely rocks and you will not be disappointed! Billy Ray has had several number one songs in his career along with Male Artist of the Year
    Album of the Year “Cover To Cover”
    Single of the Year “It’s All The Same To Me”
    Video of the Year “Three Little Words”
    Song of The Year “It’s All the Same to Me”
    Single of the Year “Trail of Tears”
    If radio gives him the airplay that he deserves on “Someone Said a Prayer”, it will be a hit. Have a great day everybody!
    It’s not all about Achy Breaky even though that was a huge hit.

  30. LeeannNo Gravatar

    While I don’t really like this song, I agree that Billy Ray has some amazing pipes and some great songs. I really like his debut album, even though “Achy Breaky” overshadowed it’s worthy content. I wish he’d go back to some of the stuff that sounded authentic on his first album and stay away from the over production and over singing that ruins this song for me.

  31. MMMNo Gravatar

    What a moving song! It really hit home – just when I needed it.

    Heard it for the first time on the radio yesterday and searched for it tonight so I could hear it again. I’ve played it four or five times in a row now.

    Love this song!

  32. Pingback: Billy Ray Cyrus- “Somebody Said A Prayer” « Matt F.’s Country Music Weblog

  33. BRC we love him

    This man is amazing.He is humble, hard working, and talented!My kids worked with him and I can tell you he is a great person.God is #1 and it’s great to see this highly successful man utilizing his message, it’s empowering!Like the song or not it’s going to touch many people who have lived this scenario in their lives!!

  34. RobynNo Gravatar

    I heard this song while waiting in line at the drive up teller. I was completely moved by this song and did not know who sang it until it was over and announced by the radio.

    I Loved It!

  35. heatherNo Gravatar

    Love this song. Would probably not be here if it wasn’t for my mother saying alot of prayers for me. This song reminds me of that.

  36. ReneeNo Gravatar

    I can’t believe that a scientific study can prove such, don’t you think that the power of prayer should be left up to God. This song is wonderful and moving. It does not have to be a perfect song to get the point across. God doesn’t care what you sound like when you sing, only that you sing of his name. Thank you Billy Ray for a touching song. I have been there and it was pray that lifted me up!

  37. “Somebody Said a Prayer” was an admirable attempt at writing a worthwhile song, but the result fizzled. My problem with this song is the lyrics. They do not paint a clear picture of the scenarios described. What does it mean when it says that a woman almost let everything “go up in smoke,” and then fixed everything by saying a prayer? Besides that, it often sounds like the writers are groping for rhymes. “Somebody had some faith/ Somebody hit their knees and asked for help for heaven’s sake” – that just sounds too awkward.