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Music Review: Keith Urban-Defying Gravity

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I don’t know about you, but it feels like I’ve been waiting for a new studio album from Keith Urban for ages. Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t been busy since Love, Pain and The Whole Crazy Thing (2006). He has been touring like crazy and in between then and now, there was  his CD Greatest Hits: 18 Kids in 2007 with two new tracks combined with a DVD featuring twelve music videos to help tide me over.

The wait is over. It’s here, finally here. Keith Urban’s Defying Gravity CD, all in a complete package. I’d been checking out iTunes and iLike as they’ve released one song a week and videos from Keith on the making of the CD which have kept the flame afire. And while that’s been cool, for me, there’s nothing like getting the whole shebang, liner notes and all, to have and to hold. Yeah, sounds like commitment vows, but when I connect with an artist it’s a relationship, hopefully one that never ends.

Sweet Thing

“Kiss A Girl” is the opening track and even before the vocals kicked in, the beat and guitar did their magic to hook me in. Once Keith started singing, the line and sinker solidified the catch. And didn’t let go of me throughout the whole record. Still hasn’t, frankly. This morning I thought I’d put it on while I was having coffee, reading emails, twittering and what-not. Hours later, I’ve lost count of how many times it’s played through, the volume at eleven most of the time.

Yea, I’ve got it and got it bad. At this point, I’d be hard pressed to say what my fave song is. “Sweet Thing” was the first single released and like “Kiss A Girl” (the second one sent to radio) has cool pop-ish licks and a toe-tapping rhythm. "Til Summer Comes Around" is a ballad with a dreamy quality. It highlights Keith's vocal abilities with a harmonic guitar sound that wraps around the words. Another one of the songs, "Why's It Take So Long" does the same thing, this with bit of a calypso touch.

While technically he is considered a country artist, Defying Gravity, just like his earlier releases, fits in well with my rock music collection.  “Hit The Ground Running” opens with the banjo that is becoming a bit of a trademark for Keith’s music. The song takes off from there to rock with solid guitar licks and solo, bashing drums and all. 

There’s one cover track on Defying Gravity, “I’m In” written by Radney Foster. In a recent press release, Mr. Urban talked about choosing the song: “Radney Foster recorded an album called See What You Want to See that I heard and loved when I was recording Golden Road. It’s full of great songs. “I’m In” is on that album, but so is “Raining On Sunday” which I cut back then, and so is “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” that the Dixie Chicks cut, and “The Lucky Ones” that Pat Green did too. I said to Radney that my goal is to eventually cover every song on that album.” A great choice, the song fits right in with Defying Gravity’s celebration of life and love.

Keith’s fans get to join in the fun beginning in May with his Escape Together Tour. You can visit his MySpace profile for a list of the dates available so far. You can also check out the tunes on this new album there and hear for yourself what it is I’ve been saying. Defying Gravity is an upbeat, dance-around-the-house, ain’t-life-grand record from beginning to end. I can't help but feel sunny and bright listening to it, even late into the night… just like being in love. You know, when you have a relationship that feels this right, it can last forever.

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