Keith Urban – Get Closer

Keith Urban roared back with 2009′s Defying Gravity and while it’s a little strange to have a new album coming out so soon, it really was time for Get Closer to come out.  How does the short 8 song album stand among his other work?

The lead single “Put You In A Song” leads off the album and the song, written with Sarah Buxton and fellow Australian Jedd Hughes, is all about a guy sharing his happiness for the way a woman makes him feel.  With six string banjos, Keith’s trademark guitars and a driving rhythm, the song feels like a good lead-off to the album yet likely future single “You Gonna Fly” feels even more vibrant and more Golden Road than “Song” does.  Written by the LoCash Cowboys (Preston Brust, Chris Lucas) and Jared Johnson, the song has that inviting up-tempo country/pop melody and rumor has it that Keith wanted to release this one to country radio first. “Long Hot Summer” is another likely potential single and the tempo-filled ode to fresh and beginning love and roadtrips was one of the three preview tracks from the album released during the ‘countdown to’ feature on iTunes before album release. 

The Dave Pahanish and Joe West co-written “Without You” is a song that also joined “You Gonna Fly” and “Long Hot Summer” as the iTunes Countdown to Get Gloser pre-release tracks and among the three, it’s certainly the fan favorite.  Written mostly by Pahanish about his wife Kristin Lee, it wouldn’t have been hard to picture this tender mid-tempo ballad as something that Keith Urban wrote himself.  In fact, Pahanish and Keith Urban have similar vocal and musical styles.  While I loved Dave’s original ‘demo,’ Keith Urban’s production with Dann Huff  has added a bit to the song with the percussion, fiddles and banjos added to the mix.  This is a smash hit in waiting and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the second single from Get Closer.  If Dave Pahanish’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he and Joe West co-wrote Toby Keith’s “American Ride” and Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now” #1 singles. 

Most of Get Closer feels like it is the soundtrack to a good road album and while it’s true that Keith Urban’s not exactly hardcore country music, he does make really good country pop tunes with the drum machine-backed “Georgia Woods” and the album-closer “Shut Out The Lights” showcase, along with the tracks previously mentioned.  It’s very easy for some people to dismiss Keith Urban because of this more mainstream, across-the-board appeal but when he constantly makes satisfying recordings like Get Closer I’m happy to count myself as a fan of his music, mainstream pop-country or not. After all one of Keith Urban’s heroes, Glen Campbell, was guilty of the very same thing back in his hit making days.

You can support Keith Urban by purchasing this album at Amazon | iTunes.

Note: There is an 11 track version of Get Closer available at Target stores.  It also includes some live versions of past hits.