Sounds like … Christian pop singers Michael W. Smith, Third Day's Mac Powell, Brandon Heath and American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle join an array of country greats including Brooks & Dunn, Josh Turner, Patty Griffin, and Alan Jackson
At a glance … though an enjoyable country-pop soundtrack for the movie that celebrates the life and early ministry of Reverend Billy Graham, it's not quite the event album one would hope for with such big names involved
Billy: The Early Years is a movie with much potential, focused on Reverend Billy Graham's development as a believer, preacher, and husband. Unfortunately, like most Christian film productions, it misses the mark with clumsy storytelling, failing to connect the dots in explaining Reverend Graham's journey from gawky seminary student to the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century.
Still, it's at least impressive to watch Armie Hammer inhabit the role so comfortably, gradually adapting the fames preacher's manner and affectations before our eyes. At the very least, the movie gets its performances right, and that much goes for the music too. Despite the film's shortcomings, the Billy: The Early Years soundtrack brings together an impressive array of performances by big names from both country and Christian pop.
The most memorable songs accompany the movie's opening and closing credits, playing to the image of Reverend Graham slowly walking along a road. The opener is a rendition of Johnny Cash's "Over the Next Hill," performed by Brooks & Dunn with Mac Powell (Third Day)—a well done and charming country number, even if the distinctive voices aren't a perfect blend. Closing the film is "Amazing Love," an effective pop duet between Michael W. Smith and Melinda ...1
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