Keith Urban “Defying Gravity” Capitol Records

Keith Urban’s latest and greatest, “Defying Gravity,” is a worthy continuation of his stream of successful tunage. Urban has really locked down his style, allowing his authentic stamp to be placed on each song of this latest album. Fans of his previous work should be well-pleased with “Defying Gravity” as it presents a lineup of original and enveloping songs with the same smooth, pleasant tone. While it’s similar to previous albums and “Golden Road” in particular, it doesn’t play out stale or tired.

As far as this album’s winners, you’ve no doubt heard “Sweet Thing” and “Kiss a Girl” splattered about the airwaves, and rightly so. They’re great “hook” songs, upbeat and catchy, but there’s even more to latch onto after you’ve savored the initial singles. “My Heart is Open” is a pretty and powerful ballad, and “If I Could Ever Love” is a hearty good-mood song. If there is a better album to enjoy while winding down a dirt road on a bright sunny day, I have yet to hear it.

Perhaps Urban’s best quality is his mass appeal. Twangier, more traditionally country sounding vocalists have a tendency to turn off some listeners, as it’s too harsh a contrast with their mainstream comfort zones. Urban is among a select few country artists with the ability to appeal to more than just the traditional crowd, though I haven’t observed his songs crossing the stational divide the way Underwood and Swift have so masterfully done. Though it’s unmistakably country, this album and this artist have the potential to win and keep many listeners that wouldn’t even consider themselves country fans.
I must also take a second to plug his 2009 concert series “Escape Together” with appearances by Taylor Swift. Last year I had the privilege of seeing him live at Kenny Chesney’s Poet’s and Pirates Tour, and many in attendance believed Urban actually stole the show. He really is phenomenal both live and while “Defying Gravity.” Get on out there and check him out.


Lisa Kiser

Woodhaven, MI My love affair with country music began when I started horseback riding, as country is inevitably played at any and every respectable horsekeeping establishment. The more time I spent around horses, the more I grew to love this cowboy-talking, fried chicken eating, lying and cheating storytelling art. By day, I work in the advertising biz, and by night, I enjoy listening to my country while running, writing or taking care of my two horses, Cruise and Prom. I’d like to think I live by the Clay Walker philosophy of doing my “Dreaming with my Eyes Wide Open,” though this mentality no doubt leaves me with some “Teardrops on My Guitar” from time to time. My favorite annual event is the Downtown Hoedown, three days of country music magicalness held every May in Detroit’s Hart Plaza. Favorite Band/Artist: This changes all the time! I love Lady Antebellum, though.

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