Keith Urban: 'Defying Gravity' – Album Review
Keith Urban’s last release of original music: Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing, was in November 2006. That same year Urban checked himself into rehab to deal with alcoholism less than six months after marrying wife Nicole Kidman. Urban spent the next three months in rehab before embarking on a world tour to promote his new music.
Fast forward to 2009. Urban is substance free, still married to Kidman and the father to nine month old Sunday Rose. Urban’s life has come full circle since the release of his 2006 record and the peace and
love that he has found is evident on his new release, Defying Gravity –– an album that perhaps reveals more of who the real Keith Urban is than any other previous release.
Defying Gravity kicks off with Urban‘s current single, “Kiss A Girl.” The upbeat, pop-tinged track is all about moving past an old relationship and finding the strength to move on. After only nine weeks on the country charts, the song is currently poised at number 5. “Sweet Thing” was the album’s lead single and with a catchy chorus, it gets stuck in the listeners head. It became Urban’s tenth number one.
Urban fans equate him not only with his songs but with his guitar skills which industry members claim to be among the best in the business. Those guitar skills are on full display in “Hit The Ground Runnin‘,” a rocking song about how he would chase his woman down if she ever left him. A unique addition to this track is the ganjo - a six string banjo with the neck of a guitar riff.
There is a theme throughout the album dealing with letting go of the past and opening up to let another in. “If Ever I Could Love” opens with a rhythm and guitar intro and the lyrics reveal where the album’s title came from: “your heart and mine tonight are defying gravity.” “I’m In” continues the letting go and opening up theme with Urban admitting he does not know what he’s doing but if she’s willing to try, he’s in. “My Heart Is Open” is yet another song along these lines yet each song is different enough from the other to prevent repetition.
Urban has spent a lot of time with pal Kenny Chesney and after listening to “’Til Summer Comes Around” it seems like Chesney’s love of summer has rubbed off on Urban. This is a track about summertime love and of one man’s waiting summer in and summer out for his summer fling to return while working at the amusement park they spent time at. The track even opens with carnival sounds.
Defying Gravity ends with the very personal “Thank You,” –– an ode to Urban’s wife, Nicole Kidman. His love and adoration for her is very evident throughout the song as he thanks her for sticking by him during the dark days and saving him from himself. It is the album’s piano track and has a simple arrangement and a powerful message.
Urban has released a number of albums at this point in his career, including a Greatest Hits collection. This album far surpasses his previous material and is good enough to possibly garner Album of the Year awards. Urban wrote or co-wrote all but two of the eleven tracks. Even the liner notes are worth a read, particularly the note penned to Kidman on it’s own page in the booklet. If you don’t already own a copy of Defying Gravity, go pick one up. It is a must for any country music fan’s collection.