Keith Urban – Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing
by H.notes Staff Writer mmm_marica@hanson.net

To say that this was one of the most anticipated CDs in the recent music history (not talking about country music only) – is pretty accurate, isn’t it? After all, it was to be released after the immensely successful Be Here , a Grammy and numerous country music awards: a glamorous marriage to a Hollywood royalty and the highest debuting country single ever on the mainstream Billboard chart (Once In A Lifetime at No.3).

A lot of to live up to and a lot of to make up for (his relapse into substance abuse and checking into rehab practically on the eve of the album release). And my personal beef - I LOVE Nicole Kidman.

I got this CD on the day of its Australian release – a personal honour reserved for Hanson and Matchbox Twenty only so far. And I can tell you straight away. Keith live up and made up in my book.

This is a very diverse and beautifully produced album. It brings us the rocking Faster Car; the passionate and self loathing Stupid Boy and beautifully sung I Can’t Stop Loving You. The last one is a Billy Nichols cover.

We have pure pop (Once In A Lifetime) and pure country (I Told You So and God Made A Woman) and the rest are in between – in the very unique Keith Urban pop/rock country style. The only cringe worthy song for me is Tu Compania - Keith collaboration with Ritchie Dunn. Especially the female reciting voice at the end; but that is the only one so when I skip it, it doesn’t spoil the general feel of the album at all.

Urban produced or co-produced and wrote or co-wrote all the original songs except God Made a Woman and Stupid Boy. The fact that he didn’t write the last one really surprised me because I could have sworn that it was his self-confession after relapsing into alcoholism. Which brings me to:

Lyrically – this is romantic stuff (of the “love reigns” type of thing) with melancholic twists here and there. But Keith IS country after all and it doesn’t bother me one bit. Lyrics are not that important to me. What’s most important to me is that he absolutely rocks. And plays some mean axe. Wow!

Track listing:

1.Once in a Lifetime
2.Shine
3.I Told You So
4.I Can't Stop Loving You
5.Won't Let You Down
6.Faster Car
7.Stupid Boy
8.Used to the Pain
9.Raise the Barn
10.God Made Woman
11.Tu Compañía
12.Everybody
13.Got It Right This Time