Album Review: “Defying Gravity”

Artist:  Keith Urban
Album:  Defying Gravity
Year:  2009


Grade:  C+

Keith Urban is one of Country music’s powerhouses.  Displaying his excellent guitar skills, sensational writing ability, and a voice to make fans crumble, heck Keith Urban has it all.  But there’s something missing in his fifth and latest album, Defying Gravity, that allows it to just be one in a crowd and not stand out.

The album’s 11-track collection begins with two stand out songs, “Kiss a Girl” and “Sweet Thing.”  Coincidentally, those were his two hit singles off of the album and rightfully so.  Each packs a shot of energy and express Urban’s child-like charm successfully.

He immediately changes directions to a lost-love ballad in “‘Til Summer Comes Around.”  Personally, this might be the standout song of the album just because it’s the one track that sounds so different from the rest.  But it’s far from my favorite track off the album.  The sluggish tempo and the lackluster lyrics is too deep of a hole to climb out of.

The sixth track, “Hit the Ground Runnin'” exemplifies Urban’s style of banjo-rock.  This is the direction his entire album should’ve taken.  Instead, it was plagued by a lot of fillers like “Standing Right in Front of You,” “Why’s It Feel So Long,” and his The Kinleys cover of “I’m In.”  It’s no wonder these tracks were thrown at the end of the album.

As usual, Urban concludes his album with a love ballad in “Thank You.”  This is an example of the power a love ballad could contain when you know the artist really means what he’s saying.  Whether Urban’s singing to his wife, Nicole Kidman, or Brad Paisley’s singing to his wife Kimberly Williams… it’s a glorious thing to hear someone pour their heart out on an album with no shame.

Overall, the album falls short of being good.  The bland taste left after listening to each track straight through is disatisfying.  And the fact that you expect so much more from Keith Urban adds to the fire of disappointment.  What I’m able to take from this album is no more than a handful of tracks I’ve added to my shuffle, but that’s it.


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